Elder Ashram Academy provides a unique 1-2 year internship program designed to promote a developmental process in which interns and trainees move into the role of existential facilitator and therapist. This internship is an important stage in the process of becoming a professional therapist, healer, and elder. Interns and trainees are encouraged to take an active role in carrying out the program’s research and educational goals.
The Socratic dictum “know thyself” is in many ways the primal motivation to become a clinician in the human services field. Having said that, knowledge of self is inter-related to knowledge of other. Along with developing clinical skills and professional expertise, Elder Ashram Academy draws from the rich tradition of human thought and experience the help we need to struggle with the fundamental questions of being a human being: Why are we here? How are we here? What does life want from us? What do we want from life?
Interns and trainees are trained in the phenomenological-existential and process-work approaches to therapy within which they are encouraged to develop and grow their own style of care and clinical support.
All events and meetings at the facility are based on and designed around communal and individual needs and requirements. Marriage and Family Therapist (MFT) and Social Work interns and practicum students must be registered with the Board of Behavioral Sciences. Practicum students must comply with their school’s requirements and have completed a number of counseling-related courses.
The internship is open to students in good standing enrolled in a M.A. in counseling psychology graduate programs. Applicants must have completed at least one year of graduate work and be certified by their department or school as ready to begin internship level training.
Program Contact Information:
Nader R. Shabahangi, Ph.D., LMFT
Clinical Director, Elder Ashram
The Clinical Supervisor manages intern supervision and oversees all resident issues of a clinical nature. He/she is a licensed professional in the State of California and meets current supervisory requirements. The Assistant and/or Clinical Director is the interns’ primary administrative contact. He/she coordinates all aspects of interns’ presence in the practicum-site facility, including orientation, logistical concerns, and any other issues of a non-clinical nature. The Assistant and/or Clinical Director works closely with the practicum site’s staff (RCFE’s, Mental Health Clinic, ICT’s case managers and social workers) to insure a smooth operation of the program and to insure program effectiveness.
Elder Ashram Academy promotes a caring, loving and inspiring living environment that feeds body, mind and spirit and reflects the true value of who elders are. When it comes to caring for our elders, we ask for a deep and loving care from our interns. Because we know that working with elders can involve traversing challenging new territories, we often refer to our interns as Warriors of the Heart (based on the term Warriors of the Lightcoined by Paulo Coelho) and/or Midwives of the Soul (Doris Bersing).
Elder Ashram Academy interns work with premier health care systems throughout California to support transitional care services for older adults in need of residential milieu support before they return home. Elder Ashram Academy interns play a vital role in ensuring the success of this program.
We know that being an elder brings with it many gifts and lessons of life that only those with much life-experience can offer. Elders are our teachers and mentors, our leaders and guides. If we deeply listen to them with all of our senses as well as our heart and soul, we gain much wisdom and understanding for our own journey through life.
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RCFE #019200956 – (510) 698-4674 fax
A Community Supporting our Elders as Teachers