“The UMKC Counseling Center internship rounded out my clinical skills, developed my identity as a psychologist and served to prepare me for the world of work.”

Arena Mueller, 2005-2006

"Overall, the UMKC Counseling Center is an outstanding learning environment with the capability of addressing the diverse developmental needs of their doctoral interns."

Jacque Reese-Smith, 2007-2008

Former interns' reflections on the UMKC Counseling Services* internship experience

*Our office underwent a name change, from Counseling Center to Counseling Services, in 2016. Many interns comments utlize the former name, as it was at the time of their internships.


What are some of the strengths of the UMKC Counseling Services internship?

"UMKC Counseling Center has a lot to offer interns. There are so many different training opportunities here that are offered to interns. As an intern, I was able to conduct individual therapy, group therapy, assessments, supervision of practicum students, as well as be involved in outreach, work with BASICS clients, and participate on the eating disorder treatment team. I have been more than satisfied with my experience here and feel like I have been able to grow so much this past year because of the opportunities I have been afforded. I also have to mention the people who work here. They are fantastic and it truly is a supportive, family-friendly environment. It made the internship experience one that will be remembered fondly."
-Leslee Marcom, 2013-2014


"UMKC offers a dynamic internship experience with significant depth and breadth. Specifically, trainees are offered rich opportunities to not only practice via a variety of modalities, but also to receive excellent supervision which enables trainees to actually gain competence in each modality. I was especially appreciative of the individualized approach to supervision as supervisors emphasized exploration of one’s own unique therapeutic voice as it applies to each clinical situation."
-Brett Haskell, 2012-2013


"One of the greatest strengths of the UMKC internship is the wide variety of opportunities and the flexibility of staff in ensuring that interns are able to get the training they need and desire. My training was comprehensive, intentional, and touched on every facet I consider important and necessary to functioning as a staff psychologist in a university-based counseling center. Another tremendous strength is the wide range of diversity among UMKC students, allowing for optimal opportunities to work with clients from a wide variety of backgrounds and presenting concerns."
-Gina Meyer, 2011-2012

"There are so many strengths of the internship at UMKC Counseling Center!  The strength that stands out to me most clearly is the dedication, investment, and support of the staff. Another main strengths is the comprehensiveness of services that an intern can be part of.   As intern we have access to doing group therapy, couples counseling, supervising practicum students, eating disorder treatment within a multidisciplinary team approach, outreach opportunities, assessment and testing, access to a working with a diverse student population, etc.  There were not any areas that I wanted training in as intern that UMKC Counseling Center couldn’t provide."
-Ashley Heintzelman, 2010-2011 


"One of the major strengths of the program was the diversity of experiences offered in the internship program.  From the multicultural caseload of clients, wide range of professional collaboration with other staff members, and various specialty rotations, these aspects of the program offered me the chance to broaden my skill base and further build my confidence as an effective clinician."
–Brian Licuanan, 2009-2010


“The staff [are], by far, one of the greatest strengths. They are personable, approachable, and knowledgeable. The amount of one-on-one attention was outstanding. I really found that my therapy skills grew considerably as a result of the supervision I received in this internship ... UMKC's internship is a solid university counseling site set in a large metropolitan city. If a person wants to develop advanced therapy skills, UMKC is a prime, top 10 site”
Tony Tatman, 2004-2005


"Thoughtful supervision that encourages independent thinking and general development for a psychologist."
–Arena Mueller, 2005-2006


"Everything.  It's a great place to get solid clinical training as well as training in all the roles of being a generalist and counseling center psychologist (supervision, outreach, consultation, groups, assessment).  Their commitment to work/life balance for interns as well as professional development (dissertation and job search) is also a strength."
–Leila Durr, 2005-2006


"I had a wonderful experience at the UMKC Counseling Center. I was exposed to a diverse clientele that presented with a variety of clinical concerns.  Furthermore, the experiences that I had supervising students, conducting assessments, leading groups, and coordinating/organizing outreach projects, prepared me for a career in academe.  Last, the staff treated me with respect, and I felt like a valued member of the Center.  I would highly recommend the UMKC Counseling Center."
–Keisha Love, 2004-2005


"Breadth and scope of clinical work (diversity in student demographics, diagnostic issues, severity of cases, etc.); strong commitment to personal and professional development; great emphasis on supervision and support.  The Training Director really cares about supporting interns through the process.  [It is] a structured and organized training program, but one that also allows for flexibility in focus areas that are most relevant to an intern's interests and goals. The entire staff is incredibly invested in training issues, and this shows in their relationships with interns." 
 –Angie Bahner, 2006-2007


“I think the most notable strength of the Center is an emphasis on both professional and personal growth. I felt that my experiences at UMKC allowed me to extend myself on multiple fronts. I truly felt that I had a much better understanding of my strengths and growth edges, which provided me with great insights into my path as a clinician and professor.”  
–Jeff Klibert, 2007-2008


“I really think the true strength of the UMKC Counseling Center internship is the people you get to work with while you're there. It was such a supportive and positive environment to be a part of, one where growth could really take place...and the laughter didn't hurt either! I also really appreciated the breadth and depth of my experience, from clients to special focus rotations. You really have the opportunity to make of the experience what you want. Very unique and special!”  
–Kristen Hensley, 2006-2007

“The UMKC Counseling Center psychologists and staff understand and value the internship process. The environment promotes optimal development for the psychologist as a professional and clinician. My learning experience ... ran the gamut of clinical experiences such as individual and group therapy, as well as multicultural counseling, assessment, advocacy, and policy and organizational consultation.  Unique about UMKC Counseling Center is the ability of the staff to anticipate and plan for mundane challenges and distractions (e.g., moving, learning in an new environment, etc.) associated with starting an internship. Many times, I was amazed by the attention to detail and proactive strategies to increase the likelihood of the intern’s successful tenure at the Center.”
Jacque Reese-Smith, 2007-2008


I think the biggest strength is the entire staff's commitment to the personal and professional development of the interns. It is such a supportive environment that promotes ongoing growth and development.  The experience provides such a great balance with regard to both depth and breadth of clinical, supervision, and administrative training experiences.  The diversity of the client population and the staff at UMKC is definitely a clear strength of the internship program, [as well as the] collegial, supportive atmosphere.”
Mike Hines, 2009-2010


In what ways did the UMKC Counseling Services internship prepare you for your first job as a psychologist?

"This was such a fantastic year of growth for me, both professionally and personally. The UMKC Counseling Center offers a variety of training experiences throughout the year and each one I feel has prepared and shaped me to be a great psychologist. Aside from all the amazing training experience opportunities, there is good quality supervision. As an intern, I never felt alone and knew that if I needed to consult or seek out supervision, it was something I could do with any of the senior staff members at any time."
-Leslee Marcom, 2013-2014


"UMKC trained me as a strong generalist and helped me look outside the box in regard to how I might be able to utilize my skill set as a psychologist. This enabled me to be more creative in looking for a job that best fit my hopes and desires as a future professional. UMKC also had a profound impact on my confidence as a clinician. The combination of rigorous training, thoughtful supervision, and interesting clinical experiences affords trainees the ability to build competency in a variety of areas which often translates into greater confidence."
-Brett Haskell, 2012-2013


"I was able to obtain generalized training as a psychologist alongside specialized training in my interest areas which allowed me to highlight these areas as my strengths on job interviews. For example, because of my special focus rotation in administration, I was able to assume two administrative roles my first year as a staff psychologist."
-Gina Meyer, 2011-2012


"I completed my post-doctoral work at a university and private practice that specializes in the treatment of clients with eating disorders.  I was very well prepared to work within a multidisciplinary team consisting of physicians, psychiatrists, group therapists, and nutritionists because of the treatment team I was part of at UMKC Counseling Center.  Because I had wonderful supervision of my supervision of practicum students as a special focus rotation during my intern year, a very fulfilling part of my clinical work currently is supervising practicum students.  Overall, because of UMKC Counseling Center’s strong generalist training and because their staff modeled professional, warm, and collaborative relationships between each other an the university at large, I feel that I would have been very well prepared to work in a large variety of settings."
-Ashley Heintzelman, 2010-2011


"My first job following internship was at a college counseling center and I felt incredibly prepared for all of my responsibilities.  I not only felt prepared in terms of my clinical abilities, but also with regard to my professional identity as a psychologist.  The experience at UMKC provides such a great generalist foundation that I would have felt confident entering a number of different settings."
–Mike Hines, 2009-2010


"I learned a lot about myself as a psychologist while on internship with the support, nurturance, and guidance I got from the staff at the Center...they really do work to make an environment that is safe and comfortable for self-reflection, challenge, and growth. I felt allowed to spread my own 'counselor wings' and really develop my own professional identity! My internship experience built my confidence in ways that totally allowed me to take the next step in the process...the real world!” 
–Kristen Hensley, 2006-2007


“Although I took a non-clinical teaching position, it's clear to me that the internship at UMKC helped solidify my professional identity and transition from the role of a student and trainee to that of a professional.”
–Angie Bahner, 2006-2007


"I believe my total experience at the UMKC Counseling Center was great preparation for my post-doctoral clinical experience at an inpatient facility.  Further, my experiences at the Center were helpful in my first position as research scientist developing research studies, which focus on counseling interventions to promote health behavior change.  The experience at the UMKC Counseling Center was valuable in both clinical and research experiences, because the opportunities to learn various aspects of the field of psychology were available at the Center.  Each intern has the option to tailor the internship experience to their needs along with the fact, the staff will support your professional growth in that process."
–Jacque Reese-Smith, 2007-2008


“They did a TERIFFIC job with a mock interview day; forwarded information about job openings; provided support and bolstered spirits through a process that can be trying.  Not to mention the full year of training.” 
–Arena Mueller, 2005-2006


“It allowed me the flexibility to work on research in order to get a research professorship.” 
–Ben Chapman, 2004-2005


The UMKC internship prepared me for my first job as a psychologist by allowing me to work collaboratively with multidisciplinary teams as well as consult and interact with professionals not only in the clinic but within the university and the community. I also further developed my professional identity as a result of the independence and responsibility bestowed upon me by senior staff members.” 
Brian Licuanan, 2009-2010


“I went straight into private practice, so the vast amount of direct, clinical hours available at UMKC really prepared me for the amount of therapy hours I would be facing in private practice.” 
–Tony Tatman, 2004-2005


How would you describe the relationships between interns and senior staff at the Counseling Services?

"The relationships formed with the staff are one of the best aspects of the internship at UMKC! I felt we were very much respected and treated as colleagues. The staff at UMKC were so supportive throughout the internship year, and they are especially mindful that internship can be a challenging year as we transition from trainee to professional. They are invested and have genuine care for the interns’ personal and professional growth and development."
-CariAnn Bergner, 2013-2014


UMKC truly has a family atmosphere in which trainees are valued both as professional and people. While there, I encountered some of the most genuine, thoughtful, and real people I know. I will continue to value these relationships for many years to come.
-Brett Haskell, 2012-2013

"I experienced the relationship between interns and staff to be very warm and supportive. Because of the rapport and trust I built with my primary supervisor, I felt very comfortable discussing professional development concerns (e.g., job search, transitioning between trainee and professional, the overall intern experience). I was able to work with all staff members in some capacity so I got to know everyone there and benefited from everyone’s special knowledge and expertise. The staff are very close themselves which I think makes for a very healthy interpersonal environment and because of the relationships of trust they have with one another, they are able to model challenge and vulnerability. As a training director, it is abundantly clear how much Dr. Abels values and cares about the interns, invests in their growth and development, and ensures that they get the training they need and desire. Internship can be a really challenging year oftentimes being apart from your loved ones and friends, but Dr. Abels recognizes this and was willing to help as much with the transitional process as possible."
-Gina Meyer, 2011-2012

In all services provided to clients, practicum students, and interns, UMKC Counseling Center staff shows great consideration, appreciation, and sensitivity for diverse backgrounds, lifestyles, and value systems.  As an intern, I felt extremely valued by the staff and if I ever had a specific need, I truly felt like I could have turned to any staff member for assistance and support.  I also felt like all staff members were invested in my personal and professional development.
-Ashley Heintzelman, 2010-2011  

Collegial, professional, and very supportive….It is clear how much they value what the interns have to contribute.  They do a great job at creating a safe and supportive environment that fosters growth both personally and professionally.  The staff members at UMKC genuinely care about the interns.” 
Mike Hines, 2009-2010


“The relationship between senior staff and interns was characterized by genuine support and trust in us as interns, thus enhancing our professional and skill development. There is a sense of warmness and an 'open door policy' among the staff members that made coming to work each day satisfying.”
–Brian Licuanan
, 2009-2010


“I would describe these relationships as the crowning feature of my experience. The connections I made with the people in my cohort were by far the most memorable and joyful aspect of my experience. I truly felt like I had made friends that positively influenced the way I viewed myself, others, and the world in which I live. I also valued the relationships with the staff as well. They listened to my fears, concerns, and triumphs in a supportive and warm manner. They encouraged me to try new things and offered feedback that was very constructive. Even now, I often wish I could consult with a number of them about a diverse range of topics that I encounter in my professional work.”
–Jeff Klibert, 2007-2008


"The UMKC Counseling Center fully integrated pre-doctoral interns into the daily process of the Counseling Center. The professional relationships are reflective of 'positive collegial relationship' in the full sense of the words. I was amazed by their ability to actively monitor the internship experience each year as if it was their first internship cohort and APA accreditation was dependent upon the outcome of the internship year." 
–Jacque Reese-Smith, 2007-2008


“The senior staff is incredibly balanced in providing warm and professional relationships with interns. They are available to interns as needed, and also provide more and more autonomy as the year progresses. In addition, the staff generally gets along well and this makes for a cohesive team-based approach to work. They really help the interns feel valued as integral parts of the team.”
–Angie Bahner, 2006-2007


“I would describe the relationships between interns and senior staff as safe, close, comfortable, nurturing, and challenging in all the right and appropriate ways! … The greatest strength of this program is its people. The senior staff are different in so many ways and offer such diversity in what they teach, model, and practice, that you really do get to learn so many different things from each person. No two are alike...and again, the laughter did not hurt!” 
Kristen Hensley, 2006-2007


“As interns, we were treated like professional colleagues.  There was great mutual respect and appreciation for us as professionals as well as people.  I am honored to be able to call many of my former senior staff ‘friends’ now!”   
–Leila Durr, 2005-2006


“Great! I always knew I could go to my direct supervisor, the training director or any other staff member to ask questions, bouncing ideas off of, or just process a situation. The UMKC staff, I found, were also very open to intern feedback and ideas.”
–Tony Tatman, 2004-2005


Other comments on the UMKC Counseling Services internship experience:

"I feel very fortunate that I matched at UMKC! It was a great fit personally and professionally. Working with such a supportive staff really helped me grow throughout the year, and I will cherish the relationships I formed with the staff. The training I received at UMKC was excellent, and I highly recommend the internship program!"
-CariAnn Bergner, 2013-2014


"I had an amazing experience at UMKC, I think you would be hard pressed to find more authentic, thoughtful, and genuine training. I can’t say enough good things about this program!!!!"
-Brett Haskell, 2012-2013


"I am 100% confident this is exactly where I needed to be to get the training that made me competitive in the job search and allowed me to obtain a full-time staff psychologist position at a mid-sized state university immediately following internship. My experience at UMKC was quite honestly the highlight of my doctoral training."
-Gina Meyer, 2011-2012


"When I reflect on my complete training experiences as a doctoral student, my internship year is by far the highlight of my six years of doctoral work!  I thoroughly enjoyed myself as I developed as a person and professional."
-Ashley Heintzelman, 2010-2011  

Amazing.  I could not have matched at a better site.” 
Mike Hines, 2009-2010


"I enjoyed my experience at UMKC.  The cultural richness that the city and university offer opened my eyes to a wealth of experiences that I think is hard to find in a single training program. ... The UMKC internship program is a 'hidden gem'."
–Brian Licuanan, 2009-2010

“The staff is very dedicated to helping interns through ALL of the processes related to degree completion. I was also finishing my dissertation during internship year, and I know that the level of support and encouragement provided by the staff was a tremendous help, allowing me to defend successfully before internship ended.”
–Angie Bahner, 2006-2007


“I still say that my internship experience was the absolute BEST experience of my graduate training and experience, and that was because I was lucky enough to be matched to UMKC. I count many of the people there as friends, not just colleagues, and still feel close to them even years later. The Center and its people will always hold a very dear place in my heart!” 
–Kristen Hensley, 2006-2007


“Some of the highlights of [the] program for me were the following:

  • Diversity of the theoretical orientation.  I appreciated the supervision I received from supervisors who did not hold the same theoretical orientation as myself.  I was able to conceptualize client concerns from different perspectives which I believe contributed greatly to my skill and professional identity.
  • Solid assessment program.  Coming from a school psychology program and a passion for assessment, it was great and informative to be exposed to different procedures and approaches with disabilities assessment.
  • Openness to diversity. 

These are just a few that come to mind.  There are many more, I truly valued my time there at UMKC and [their] dedication to training new professionals.”
Brian Sneed, 2005-2006






Past interns' first post-internship positions


Home academic program

First position


Sebastiano Procopio Oklahoma State University (Counseling Ph.D.) University Counseling Center (post-doctoral resident)
Jillian Wasson University of Missouri-Kansas City (Counseling Ph.D.) Faculty (Assistant Professor)


CariAnn Bergner Iowa State University (Counseling Ph.D.) University Counseling Center (staff)
Leslee Marcom University of North Texas (Counseling Ph.D.) Children's Hospital Eating Disorders Unit (postdoc)


Brian Cole University of Nebraska - Lincoln
(Counseling Ph.D.)
Faculty (Assistant Professor)
Brett Haskell University of Kansas (Counseling Ph.D.) Athletics Dept. Counselor; Practicum Coord. for academic department


Kelly Caver Texas A&M University (Counseling Ph.D.) University Counseling Center (postdoc)
Monica Jones Virginia Commonwealth University
(Counseling Ph.D.)
University Counseling Center
Regina Meyer Western Michigan University (Counseling Ph.D.) University Counseling Center


Emily Averitt University of Memphis (Counseling Ph.D.) University Counseling Center (staff)
Amari Enam Western Michigan University
(Counseling Ph.D.)
Community mental health (staff)
Ashley Heintzelmann University of Missouri-Kansas City
(Counseling Ph.D.)
University Counseling Center (staff) and private practice


Michael Hines University of Indianapolis (Clinical Psy.D.) University Counseling Center (postdoc)
Brian Licuanan University of Oklahoma (Counseling Ph.D.) University Counseling Center (postdoc); Behavioral sleep medicine specialty training
Christian Vargas University of Kansas (Counseling Ph.D.) University Counseling Center (staff)


Krista Brittain University of Denver
(Clinical Psy.D.)
Hospital (postdoc)
Alice Fridman University of Iowa (Counseling Ph.D.) University Counseling Center (staff)
Nancy Fry University of Kansas (Counseling Ph.D.) University Counseling Center (postdoc); international research/program development


Jeff Klibert Oklahoma State University (Counseling Ph.D.) Faculty (Assistant Professor)
Jacque Smith University of Kansas (Counseling Ph.D.) Community Mental Health Center (postdoc)
Suzan Schuetz University of Oklahoma (Counseling Ph.D.) Children’s Psychiatric Hospital (postdoc)


Angie Bahner University of Missouri-Kansas City
(Counseling Ph.D.)
Community College (faculty)
Kristen Bast University of Kansas (Counseling Ph.D.) Community Mental Health Center (staff)
Amalia Bullard University of Kansas (Counseling Ph.D.) VA Hospital (postdoc)


Arena Mueller Adler School of Professional Psychology (Clinical Psy.D.) University Counseling Center (postdoc)
Brian Sneed Brigham Young
(Counseling Ph.D.)
University Counseling Center (staff)
Leila Durr University of Wisconsin-Madison (Counseling Ph.D.) University Counseling Center (postdoc)


Keisha Love University of Missouri-Kansas City
(Counseling Ph.D.)
Faculty (Assistant Professor)
Ben Chapman University of North Texas (Counseling Ph.D.) Research postdoc
Tony Tatman Western Michigan University (Counseling Ph.D.) Private Practice (therapy and sex offender evaluations)


“I have, and will always, recommend this internship to others, and deeply value my time at UMKC."

Tony Tatman, 2004-2005

Doctoral Internship Information

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