Date of Award
MCM - MA Clinical Mental Health Counseling
Dr. Rebecca Zarate, MT-BC, AVPT, LCAT
Internships are an essential part of expressive therapies education as they prepare students with the necessary skills for clinical work. In the current model, it has been normalized for internships to be unpaid despite a lack of documented rationale behind this practice. This review uses the available literature on internships to question and critically analyze unpaid internships in expressive therapies education. In recent years, increased criticism has been expressed about the practice of unpaid internships across many industries. Research has shown that students with more connection to social, cultural, and financial capital are favored for internships, creating inequitable access. Those who cannot afford an unpaid internship are effectively barred from the field. For those who can afford it, there are increasing concerns about the psychosocial impact of this experience on students. Using the literature, it’s argued that unpaid internships perpetuate societal patterns of devaluation, conflict with expressive therapies principles, and impede social justice movements for paid internships and equitable access to education and employment. This review reveals an extensive gap in the literature regarding unpaid internships in expressive therapies education. Questions for further research on this topic are provided.
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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.
McConkie, Sophie, "Perceptions and Impacts of Unpaid Internships within Expressive Therapies Education: A Literature Review" (2023). Expressive Therapies Capstone Theses. 709.
The author owns the copyright to this work.