About us


The University of Missouri-Kansas City (UMKC) Counseling Center has been serving students for over fifty years. Training of doctoral level psychologists and master's-level counselors has been a central part of the Center for more than thirty-five years. UMKC's mission is to be a model urban research university characterized by signature graduate and professional programs, a dynamic undergraduate population, a highly diverse student body, and active engagement with its city and region. The training of psychologists in an APA-accredited internship supports the University's dedication to the development of professionals.

Interns have regularly commented on the personal, collegial quality of the training experience here. They have expressed appreciation for the variety of learning opportunities and the diversity of clients' concerns. Interns have also shared that they enjoy working with all of the staff members, each of whom are active in the training program and who represent a broad base of interest and expertise areas.  We truly value our role as trainers of future psychologists and appreciate your interest in our program.


The University of Missouri-Kansas City is one of four campuses of the University of Missouri system. It is located in the cultural heart of Kansas City, a metropolitan area of some 1.5 million people. UMKC is Kansas City's leading source of advanced graduate and professional study. It has a total enrollment of more than 15,000 undergraduate and graduate students. Ten percent of the students live on campus. UMKC consists of 11 divisions: Arts and Sciences, Biological Sciences, Business Management, Conservatory of Music, Dentistry, Education, Engineering, Law, Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences, and Pharmacy. UMKC's 85-acre main campus is surrounded by parks, tennis and golf clubs, fine restaurants and shopping. Nearby is the Linda Hall Library of Science and Technology, one of the largest and most prestigious libraries of its kind; the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, which is among the seven leading art galleries in the United States; Midwest Research Institute and several other educational institutions; and the unique Country Club Plaza with its inspirational architecture, fountains and fine shopping.

The Counseling Center is a component of the UMKC Counseling, Health, and Testing Center (CHTC).  Under the executive direction of Dr. Arnold Abels, the mission of the CHTC is to provide high quality, comprehensive psychological, health, testing and disability services to support the personal and academic potential of individuals and programs in a diverse campus community. These comprehensive services work in collaboration to serve UMKC students, staff, faculty and the Kansas City community.

The Counseling Center offers a broad range of therapeutic and personal development services to the students, faculty, and staff of this urban university. The Counseling Center mission is to foster the psychological well-being, personal development, and educational potential of our diverse student, faculty, staff, and campus community.  We are committed to supporting students' development of social, emotional, academic and life-planning skills, as well as the health and well-being of the university community.  Thus, while the Counseling Center provides therapeutic assistance for personal and interpersonal issues and concerns, many of the Center's efforts focus on enhancing personal health and effectiveness through preventive and developmental outreach and consultative activities.

Staff of the Counseling Center

All members of our professional staff are active participants in the doctoral training program.  See the People page for an introduction to each staff member.

Services of the Counseling Center

COUNSELING: The Counseling Center is the psychological service for the UMKC community. Students, faculty, and staff use the Center for a variety of problems ranging from normal developmental issues to more severe disturbances. Most of the counseling is with individuals, groups, and couples. Typical presenting concerns include stress, anxiety, depression, relationship problems, grief/loss, loneliness, career indecision, academic or work problems, eating concerns, self-esteem issues, identity development, and trauma recovery. Crisis intervention work is common. Both brief and longer-term therapy are offered, with students receiving eight free therapy sessions each academic year with an option for additional sessions at a nominal fee of $15 per session.  Interpersonal process therapy groups are offered throughout the year, and are free and unlimited.  Psychoeducational groups are offered in accordance with client needs and staff interest. 

TRAINING: The Counseling Center offers a substantive, high-quality training program to doctoral interns from counseling or clinical psychology programs. In addition, practicum programs in counseling, assessment, and social work are offered.  The doctoral internship program is fully accredited by the American Psychological Association (APA).  The Counseling Center is a member of the Association of Psychology Postdoctoral and Internship Centers (APPIC) and the Association of Counseling Center Training Agencies (ACCTA).

TESTING PROGRAMS: The testing service component of the CHTC works in collaboration with the Counseling Center, providing a comprehensive selection of psychological and aptitude assessment instruments. It also provides tests for career assessment, college and graduate school admissions, college course credit, and professional certification. It is the second largest testing center in the state and is a computer-based testing site.

Philosophy and goals

The UMKC Counseling Center's internship program utilizes the Developmental-Apprentice-Practitioner (DAP) model. It is our belief that professional development and competency for entry into the practice of psychology are derived from purposeful, developmental, challenging hands-on experiences in recognized areas of professional service, guided by skilled clinicians as mentors and supervisors, and tailored to the individual, developmental needs of the trainee.

We value...

  • ...the use of self in training and in therapy.
  • that focuses on reciprocal learning and relationships.
  • in clinical thinking that bridges theory and science to practice and vice-versa in  a "local clinical scientist" (i.e. Stricker & Trierweiler, 1995) philosophy.
  • to create treatment fitting to the uniqueness of the client by integration of research and theory, the dynamics of the specific therapy relationship, and the unique life circumstances and individual differences of the clients.

The overall goal of the internship at the UMKC Counseling Center is to prepare competent, culturally sensitive practicing psychologists with knowledge, skills, and competencies necessary for successful employment in entry level professional positions in outpatient mental health settings. The evidence of our achievement of this goal is that our interns have found careers in private practice, university counseling centers, mental health agencies, organizational consultation, and academia. In a follow-up survey of our interns, they have reported that they were very well prepared for their entry-level positions.  Please see our Past Interns page for feedback from previous interns.

Our DAP model identifies three goals and fourteen competencies as follow:

Training program goals and competencies

  • Goal 1:  To develop the clinical competence of interns to practice as entry-level psychologists who utilize science, theory and critical thinking.
    1. Competency to practice individual and group therapy that incorporate theory, science and the uniqueness of each client(s).
    2. Competency to assess, diagnose and conceptualize academic, emotional, thought processing and relationship issues through a variety of assessment methods and instruments.
    3. Competency to practice effective case management and documentation.
    4. Competency to supervise trainees in counseling and clinical psychology and to utilize a theoretical framework for supervision.
    5. Competency to effective evaluate and intervene in crisis situations.
    6. Competency to engage in professional consultation and educational/preventative outreach.
    7. Competency to assess and assist clients in referral to other resources or treatment options.
    8. Competency in self-selected areas of special focus of practice to enhance interns' own professional interests or expertise.
    9. Competency to integrate research and theory with daily professional practice.
    10. Competency to engage in the reciprocal learning of client/therapist and intern/supervisor interactions throughout clinical practice.
  • Goal 2:  To promote interns' growth from "trainee" to "professional" in identity, conduct and responsibility.
    • Competency to identify and address ethical and legal issues and standards in the practice of psychology.
    • Competency to be professional in all relationships, appropriately autonomous, and participate in administration of a professional agency.
  • Goal 3:  To develop interns who respect and address multiculturalism in all aspects of psychology practice.
    • Competency to provide assessment, psychotherapy, and psychological interventions with respect for and awareness of individual differences and strengths.
    • Competency to be aware of one's own multicultural identity and its interface with clinical practice and professional identity.


The UMKC Counseling Center is offering two doctoral internship positions for 2014-2015. The internship is accredited by the American Psychological Association (APA).

UMKC is an equal opportunity/affirmative action institution. All inquiries, correspondence, and application materials for doctoral training experiences should be directed to:

Arnold Abels, Ph.D.
UMKC Counseling Center
4825 Troost, Suite 206
Kansas City, MO 64110

Direct Line: 816- 235-1218*
Front Desk: 816-235-1635*
Fax: 816-235-6350

* Individuals with speech or hearing impairments may call Relay Missouri at 800-735-2966 (TTY)


Inquiries regarding the accreditation of this program can be directed to:

American Psychological Association Commission on Accreditation Office of Consultation and Accreditation
750 1st Street, N.E.
Washington, DC 20002-4242

Phone: 202-336-5979
TDD/TTY 202-336-6123





Doctoral internship training, contact:

Arnold Abels, Ph.D.
UMKC Counseling Center
4825 Troost, Suite 206
Kansas City, MO 64110
Phone: 816-235-1218
Fax: 816-235-6350