Internship Program

Working with a Clinical Student Intern

Frequently Asked Questions:
We are thrilled that you are interested in reaching out for support & are considering working with one of our Clinical Student Interns. Below are FAQs about what it means to work with an intern at Three Oaks. We understand that depending on the context, the word “intern” has different meanings and connotations. Our team values openness & transparency, including demystifying skepticism around mental health and therapy. We hope the answers below help you decide whether working with a Clinical Student Intern is right for you!

What is a “Clinical Student Intern?”

Internship is a rite of passage for ALL helping & medical professions. Our interns are graduate students currently enrolled in accredited programs including Counseling, Rehabilitation Counseling or Social Work around the Triangle area. Interns have finished- or are about to finish- all required coursework from their graduate programs, and are working towards completing internship hours so that they can pursue licensure in a mental health field.

Here at Three Oaks, Clinical Student Interns have the same expectations as all other clinicians on the team, including maintaining a caseload and completing administrative tasks. However, interns execute these expectations on a smaller scale to make room for other expectations as outlined by their graduate programs.

What's it like working with an intern?

Working with a Clinical Student Intern is like being able to work with multiple Three Oaks providers simultaneously! Interns receive required weekly clinical supervision from our licensed Clinical Intern Supervisors. Supervisors are specially trained, fully licensed therapists. Additionally, interns are under the supervision of professors in their graduate programs. Everything discussed between an intern and supervisor remains confidential; you can be assured of your privacy.

Our interns also attend regular consultations with members of our clinical staff. Consultations involve receiving feedback from peers about one’s work with individual clients. This collaboration allows exposure to many different therapeutic styles & techniques which translates to YOU having a provider who is able to meet your concerns from a variety of professional, clinical lenses! No identifying information about a client is shared during consultations.

Interns are also still students, which means that the latest clinical research is woven into their graduate curricula, beneficially informing their direct work with you during therapy sessions.

What is the cost of working with an intern?

Working with a Clinical Student Intern allows for much financial flexibility. Insurance companies are not able to reimburse interns for services. This means that Three Oaks interns are able to schedule clients on a sliding scale or "reduced rate" basis, allowing you and the Clinical Student Intern to negotiate a cost per session together.

Three Oaks believes that finances should never be a barrier to getting exceptional counseling services. Our Internship Program plays a huge role in Three Oaks being able to welcome clients to the practice who are uninsured or otherwise unable to budget for professional therapeutic support.

Also, working with an intern is an excellent option for folks who do have insurance but do not want to submit a mental health claim through an insurance company. Submitting insurance claims requires the need for a mental health diagnosis which becomes part of the client's permanent medical record.

How are interns reimbursed?

Our Clinical Intern Supervisors take their roles very seriously when it comes to preparing future therapists for success in their mental health careers. 100% of therapy session fees collected are used towards the professional development of our interns. The price per session covers the costs of the interns' supervision, professional headshots, consultations, and training that help further benefit their clinical practice & education. By working with a Clinical Student Intern, you are directly impacting the next generation of helping professionals in the field of mental health.

Please direct your questions to the Internship Program Manager:

Pressley Cox, LCMHC, LCAS
email |

Are you interested in becoming a Clinical Intern with Three Oaks? Click [here] to learn more about our Internship Opportunities.


Thank you so much for reaching out to me 🙂 I have nothing but amazing things to say about working with Sam! She has helped me significantly over the last few months and every day I think about how happy I am that I was able to connect with her and work on bettering myself. I tell friends and family all the time that there’s no chance they have a better therapist than I do! 

She has given me countless tools, really listens to me and offers advice and feedback tailored for any concerns or issues I’m having in my personal life, is warm & welcoming, and all around a phenomenal soon to be fully licensed therapist!

I've seen Sam five times so far since starting in late March, and already I'm starting to see positive changes; things don't feel so bleak, and she has helped me come to a few self-realizations that have resulted in those positive changes. One in particular happened when I was nine, and I have cycled through a menagerie of emotions from depression to hate and even revenge. I have struggled with that revolving cycle for years, and in our last session, she pointed out that children do things from learned behavior, and while it seems so obvious to me now, I never once thought that they may have just been acting out the way they have always been treated. While that does not excuse the actions, it helped me absolve them of my anger and maybe lead me to understand what they may have gone through most of their lives. The techniques she has given me and guided me through have been so helpful in managing my day-to-day anxiety. My assumption when I arrived for my first session was that I'd feel like I was under a microscope and that it would all be too clinical, but she makes me feel at ease and safe to talk about things. We laugh, we joke, and I think that plays a key role in her success now and in what's to come.

Sam has been a wonderful resource over the past months that she has been seeing me. While this is the first experience I have had in this type of therapy, it has been a completely pleasant and informative experience with Sam leading the sessions. I have had the opportunity to learn and express emotions in a judge-free environment that has allowed clear progress towards my personal development goals.

I would definitely recommend Sam to anyone in need of therapy and am thankful to have had such a wonderful experience at her tutelage.

Thank you so much for offering space to give feedback on Sam's performance as a therapist. I have seen three therapists before Sam with varying success. I have never connected with a provider like I have with Sam. She has an incredible ability to analyze and synthesize experiences. Under her charge, I can better interpret, process, feel, and put those feelings away responsibly.

I started meeting with Sam at a time of major transition in my life. I cannot imagine coping with those experiences-- at least not healthily-- without her care. She has helped me develop tools to reframe my thinking, "unhook" from negative thought spirals, and practice mindfulness. Of equal importance is how Sam prioritizes the comfort of her clients. We always shifted offices, but she made sure I felt okay in the space and always had a toy to fiddle with during our sessions. When she offered walking therapy, I was overjoyed. I'm not sure if it's protocol, but Sam even allowed me to bring my dog during walking sessions. Having him there completely changed my experience with therapy. We talked through some of the most traumatic events in my life while seated at a picnic table in the sun with my dog. I left that session feeling empowered, maybe even joyful.

I have never felt so comfortable with a provider. I lament her graduation only because it means I cannot continue seeing her. That said, I am confident that Sam will make lasting impacts on any client lucky enough to work with her.

These last few months with Breanna have been really awesome, she's very kind, welcoming, really patient and sincere. Every session we had left me with some of the best advice I've ever had, and I really enjoyed our time together. Breanna was an amazing therapist, and overall this experience was really positive! For words of encouragement I really wish her the best and for her to know the really positive impact she's had on my journey.

She was very kind, considerate, and I enjoyed being able to see and talk with her. It made my day when I’d get to talk with her, even if it was brief. It felt like any worries I had were washed away when we spoke.

She was a very thoughtful and kind therapist. I was very surprised to find that she was only an intern because she handled herself professionally and really made me feel listened to as a client. As she goes into the professional world, I think Alexis’ biggest strength will be her ability to stop and relate with her clients. Sometimes that’s as small as just validating what they’re saying. Thank you for setting me up with such a great intern!

She is a great listener and provided insight I hadn’t already considered. She’s helped me conquer a hurdle I was struggling with for months. I am so appreciative of her efforts.

Working with Kelly was an absolute dream! She was a great addition to my regular sessions and offered relevant input and insight. She is a compassionate, relatable, and empathetic therapist, and I appreciated her bright smile and welcoming attitude.

I can't rave about Kelly enough, honestly. If, for some reason, Sara were to take a leave of absence or move away, I would, without hesitation, try to get on to a regular schedule with Kelly.

I love him! I swear he has saved my life several times. I originally started with Ben, but then was placed with Phil due to financial reasons. I immediately felt comfortable with him and felt like I could talk to him about anything without any judgment. There was never a session that he did not ask how I was doing and feeling. I have reached out to him in dark times in the middle of the night and he always promptly responded. I feel like I can trust him with anything. He is very good at pointing me in the right direction and always makes sure that I know what I have been doing well and what I am succeeding in. When he tells me he is proud of me, it means more than anything I could ever put in a letter. Sometimes people need to hear that in life. The only complaint I have is that an hour is not long enough. 🙂 He is also the first person I know to truly understand what I have went through in life. Everyday, I have use tools and techniques that he has taught me to get through my crazy life. I am not sure if it was not for him, I would be still here standing on my feet. I think Phil would continue to provide Three Oaks exceptional service and I know he will soar high in his career. The world definitely needs more Phills around. 🙂

Working with Phil has been incredibly life changing for me. I've had many therapists and I've made some kind of progress with all of them, but never as much as with Phil. I really felt understood by them, which is a testament to the things we have in common and them being a good fit for me as a client, but also to their ability to listen and help process situations and thoughts. I really appreciated the way they were able to listen to me and respond in ways that were helpful, insightful, and were respectful of my agency and intelligence despite my being mentally ill. Overall, the past few months working with Phil have helped me become a happier, healthier person all around, and I can't be grateful enough for my opportunity to work with them.

Phil has without question been the best therapist I’ve ever had, and I’m *extremely* picky after ten years and 13 providers! When I first decided to try out a student intern with your practice I was a bit hesitant because I’d had plenty of very experienced providers who I still did not have a good experience with. Fortunately, having seen both RC and Phil now I can genuinely say both were fantastic, and despite significant budgetary concerns I do plan to continue seeing Phil using my insurance as soon as they are licensed and able to begin practicing.

It’s been incredible finally having a provider who is able to work with my child abuse related CPTSD in a significantly impactful way, who has been able to help me work through the internalized ableism I’ve struggled with for the past few years as I became disabled, and who is also trans and doesn’t need their hand held through basic things as I explain my experiences. I think our philosophies about therapy and trauma, as well as what constitutes a meaningful life, overlap to a high degree and honestly, it’s probably the first time I’ve had a provider share theory and techniques I’m *not* already completely familiarized with.

I’m a bit of a veteran patient at this point and had begun to feel in a lot of ways that I’ve been there, done that, got the T-shirt and maybe there wasn’t much further I could go with therapy. I’m very glad to have been proven wrong. You are lucky to have had Phil in your practice and they’re a credit to your agency.

Phil was my first ever therapist, and they made me feel welcomed and informed and comfortable to begin my therapy journey. I felt that I learned a lot; Phil is very knowledgeable and can whip out quotes and metaphors that I found helpful and interesting. They create a great atmosphere which makes them feel safe and relatable rather than othered or better-than. I’m very grateful to have met Phil, they seem like at awesome person in general on top of being a great practitioner.

This is the 2nd intern I've worked with at Three Oaks, and I really appreciate being able to be part of a learning and teaching experience. I enjoy hearing their unique perspectives, and it's very fascinating to learn more about how therapy works "behind the scenes".