Founders’ Fellowship

The Live Oak Founders’ Fellowship Program is a postgraduate training opportunity for individuals having obtained a master’s or doctoral degree in social work, clinical counseling, art therapy, marriage and family therapy, or another related helping profession to gain further education and training prior to full clinical licensure. The program is rooted in Live Oak’s rich clinical tradition of providing high-quality training and supervision in the areas of LGBTQ affirmative practice, trauma-informed care, and intersectional practice. Applications for the 2024-2025 cohort are now closed.

In the late 1990s, Live Oak’s co-founders Jeff Levy and Bruce Koff, were involved in the creation of the country’s first postgraduate training program in affirmative practice with LGBTQ individuals and families. This program was a collaborative effort between the Center on Halsted, Howard Brown Health Center, and the Chicago Center for Family Health–with which Jeff and Bruce were associated. When Live Oak was founded in 2004, the administration of the program was transferred to Live Oak. Through the guiding vision of Jeff and Bruce, the Live Oak Training Program continued to grow into its current format, emphasizing values-driven clinical training and supervision.

In honoring this history, the Founders’ Fellowship seeks to train the next generation of affirmative therapists by incorporating Live Oak’s core values and competencies into a one-year training intensive including opportunities for individual, couples, family, and group psychotherapy experience. The fellowship concludes with a capstone presentation for a panel of Live Oak staff members in which Founders’ Fellows will facilitate a 1-hour case conceptualization related to the clinical work they have done with an individual client, relationship (couple, triad, polycule, polyamorous or non-monogamous relationship), or family (chosen or bio) throughout the course of the training year.

Foundational Training Model

Founders’ Fellows will engage in a variety of clinical training opportunities including:

    • Weekly individual supervision from a clinically licensed therapist (LCSW, LMFT, LCPC, Licensed Clinical Psychologist), resulting in approximately 48-50 clinical supervision hours.
    • Weekly group supervision with Live Oak trainees (fellows and graduate-level interns) facilitated by a Live Oak Clinical Supervisor, resulting in approximately 70-75 clinical supervision hours.
    • Monthly community meetings with all Live Oak staff members and trainees
    • Monthly foundational trainings in Live Oak’s core competency areas, resulting in approximately 36 CEUs for social workers, marriage and family therapists, and clinical counselors.
    • Access to monthly public trainings offered at Live Oak for the wider clinical community (space permitting) in more advanced applications of psychotherapeutic modalities and approaches.
    • Capstone presentations: Present a case conceptualization related to the clinical work completed with an individual client, couple, or family throughout the course of the training year. The goal of this presentation is to illustrate a personal understanding of self through the lens of clinical practice.
    • Ongoing support in developing primary administrative and clinical skills related to case note documentation, case conceptualizations, peer supervision/consultation, and clinical/insurance billing.

At the completion of the training year, Founders’ Fellows will be able to:

  • Demonstrate an understanding of anti-racist and anti-oppressive beliefs and actions within clinical and peer relationships.
  • Demonstrate the ability to practice from a clinical lens that holds and affirms multiple, intersecting identities, especially at the intersections of sexuality, gender, race, culture, class, ability, and relational diversity (monogamy, polyamory and various forms of non-monogamy).
  • Demonstrate an understanding of affirmative practice with trans/GNC and non-binary identified individuals.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of trauma-informed care, with the ability to apply trauma-informed approaches to a variety of clinical situations and presentations.

Core competency trainings include the following themes: 

  • Trauma-Informed Practice
  • Understanding Systemic Privilege & Power: Personal Identity
  • Understanding Systemic Privilege & Power: Clinical Practice
  • LGBTQ Affirmative Practice
  • TGNC Affirmative Practice
  • Attachment Theory & Clinical Practice
  • Non-Monogamy & Relational Diversity
  • Sex Diversity, Sex Positivity, & Kink-Aware Practice
  • QTPOC Cultural Competency
  • Vicarious Trauma & Compassion Fatigue
  • Ethical Rebellion 

Minimum Qualifications

  • Master’s degree in Social Work, Counseling, Couples/Family Therapy, Art Therapy, Dance/Movement Therapy, Music Therapy or Master’s degree in a related field and RYT or CYT credential.
  • Provisionally licensed or provisional license eligible as an LSW, LPC, AMFT within the state of Illinois; pre-licensed clinical psychologists who have completed their doctorate degree but are not yet licensed are also eligible. If the candidate is license eligible but not yet licensed, provisional clinical licensure should be obtained within 6-months of hire. If provisional clinical licensure is held in a different state,  licensure in Illinois should be obtained within 6-months of hire.

Desirable Qualifications

  • Proficiency in more than one language (including English).


  • To provide individual, couples, family, and group psychotherapy (minimum of 800 clinical hours for the 12 month period).
  • To participate in up to 200 hours in organizational projects throughout the course of the training year as authorized by the COO and Clinical Supervisor.
  • To attend select training events provided by the directors or other contractual employees of Live Oak, Inc.
  • To attend all designated community,  consultation, and supervision meetings.
  • To complete designated paperwork in a timely and accurate manner, as identified by the Clinical Director.
  • Participation in at least 9 of the 11 foundational trainings (discussed earlier in this posting).


  • $42,000 salary for 1-year (July 1, 2024 – June 30, 2025); compensation is paid on a monthly basis. This position is not eligible for supplementary compensation throughout the training year.


  • Health insurance, vision insurance, dental insurance and 401K plan available with employer contribution
  • Collaboration and consultation with experienced mentors
  • Weekly individual supervision
  • Weekly group supervision
  • Monthly community meetings
  • A working environment that values diversity and the strength that comes from difference
  • Attendance at any Live Oak sponsored training event at no cost, space allowing
  • User-friendly and comprehensive electronic health records system
  • Administrative support/Office manager support
  • Paid Time Off:  5 PTO days plus 2 week trainee break at the end/beginning of the calendar year

To Apply:

Applications for the 2024-2025 cohort are now closed.