From the Inside: Life as an ACS Intern

Written by: Jolla Delos Santos, MFT Intern
After-School Counseling Program

A typical day at ACS…The After-School Program Counselor paces to and from the art therapy room and the intern area approximately 30 minutes prior to her upcoming session in attempt to plan a productive and focused session. The counselor formulates the idea for the client to do a family portrait and a genogram.  Having the client draw the family is a technique used to help the counselor understand how the client views his or her family.  The genogram is a psychological family tree, “a graphic representation of the personalities and interplay of generations within a family, used to identify repetitive patterns of behavior” (, LLC, 2012). 30 minutes pass and it is now 4:00pm. The doorbell rings and the counselor greets the client at the door…

Counselors have the privilege to meet and form therapeutic relationships with many teens, with all different types of personalities.  Counselors here at ACS understand that during the adolescent period of life, an individual is transitioning from childhood to adulthood, which can be very challenging for them and their families. That is why counselors make efforts to inspire their adolescent clients to make positive changes and reach their therapeutic goals, while, also working with the  family to navigate this difficult transition.

Like any job, there are ups and downs to being a counselor. Sometimes clients expect counselors to make their life magically easy. Unfortunately, counselors do not own magical wands. What magic they do possess is the ability to help the clients realize that they have the power within themselves to make positive changes in their own lives. Despite the challenges counselors experience, helping adolescents and their families is very rewarding.  Counselors learn so much from their clients, whether it be new life lessons or incites into their personal lives; it is the clients and the lessons learned that make a day in the life of a counselor worth while.

If you are interested in seeing an After-School Counseling Program Counselor, please contact Connie Mayer, LMFT, Director of Outpatient Counseling Services, at 650-424-0852 ext 104 or

The After-School Counseling Program is a fee-for-service program; however, scholarships are available on a demonstrated need basis.

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