YWCA Greater Austin

Internship Program

Intern and Practicum Placements

The YWCA Counseling and Referral Center works cooperatively with colleges and universities to provide masters-level social work and counseling students a well-rounded clinical experience. Students typically receive 15 hours of training, carry a case-load, complete intake assessments, attend individual and group supervision, conduct research and co-facilitate groups.

The bachelor-level internship is more generalist and offers students the opportunity to develop case-management, advocacy, outreach, group facilitation, research, and administrative and planning skills.

We regularly collaborate with The University of Texas at Austin, St. Edward's University, Texas State University, and The University of Texas at San Antonio. We anticipate fostering relationships with other universities and colleges as students express an interest.

Clinical Volunteers

The YWCA counseling and referral center accepts people with LPC-Is and LMSWs working towards completing their clinical hours for advanced licensure. Clinical volunteers formulate a plan with their supervisor, carry an on-going caseload, co-facilitate groups, and attend individual and group supervision.

Community Volunteers

From time to time, the YWCA counseling and referral center accepts volunteers to help with administrative projects, research, group facilitation, advocacy, and workshops.


Within the YWCA counseling and referral center program, students, clinical volunteers, and community volunteers work under the supervision of the Clinical Director, the Clinical Supervisor, or a Lead Counselor. They receive individual and group supervision on a weekly basis.


If you are a professor or student interested in the social work/counseling intern/practicum program, or if you are interested in the clinical or community volunteer positions, please contact Laura Gomez-Horton, LCSW, Clinical Director at 512.326.1222 or laura@ywcaaustin.org.


The YWCRC takes the theoretical perspective embraced by Relational Cultural theory, an especially useful approach with women and one that is sensitive to cultural differences as well.

The approach originated from the idea that women's psychological development is different from what prevailed in clinical thinking in the mid-1970s, where most conclusions about development were based on men's experience. A group of women at the Stone Center at Wellesley College studied, worked, and concluded that women's sense of self develops in and through their relationships, and that women's health is related to elements of mutual empathy and mutual empowerment in their relationships. This approach encompasses the impact of culture and socialization, often in dominance and subordination practices, as vital and critical to understanding each client. YW counselors are trained in the basics of this perspective and encouraged to study further.

The YWCA has been an enthusiastic partner with the Somatic Experiencing Training Institute in the dissemination in Austin of this very promising approach to dealing with trauma. Several counselors have been fully trained in this approach, and all counselors are provided with basic grounding techniques to help clients who experience PTSD manage intense activation. We have discovered that at least 75% of our clients have experienced some form of trauma, and this approach has been very helpful for clients in settling their nervous systems from extreme anxiety.