Tuesday, May 23, 2006

My Internship: A Recap

I figure I might as well knock out a few posts on my first day of blogging and bring everyone up to speed. For those of you don't know or just had trouble keeping track, I am still a graduate student in clinical psychology at the University of Kansas. I graduated with my undergrad degree from good ole UND back in May of 1999 and have been in grad school ever since (yes, it has been an eternity). I love practicing psychology and I can't wait for my future career helping people, but needless to say, I am sick of school. The nice part is that the "school" part is really pretty much over. I took classes the first 4 years of grad school, but the last 3 have really been about getting more therapy experience and doing my research for my thesis, dissertation, and other projects. I am at the last 2 steps in completing my doctoral degree at this point: 1) internship, and 2) dissertation.

Well, as you've heard, I am on internship. Last February, I found out I would be doing my year-long full-time internship at
Family Service and Guidance Center in Topeka, KS. It was a long, intense interview and match process (a big computer somewhere actually matched me to this site based on both of our ratings of each other). I was excited and scared - would the commute kill me, was I prepared to work with only children (I have child experience, but even more experience with adults), what would community mental health be like? Well, since Aug. 1, I have started to answer those questions. First of all, the commute may have indeed killed me if my fellow intern, Trish Miller, had not come to my rescue in November and agreed to rent the extra bedroom in her apartment to me. I have been rooming with Trish during the week since then and stay in Topeka during the work week only to return to Scott and KC on the weekends. It makes for a long week and missing my hubbie, but its been okay.

Its truly been great to be an actual practicing therapist. My days are filled with seeing clients for psychological testing, individual, family, and group therapy sessions, doing paperwork (YUCK!!), and going to many educational seminars, supervision, meetings, and such. I get in about 10-20 direct clinical hours a week (seeing clients), another 15 hours of meetings and education, and the last 10+ hours for the paperwork, phone calls, and other support tasks that make the machine run. I have loved working with these kids and families. Its tough work but well worth it. Also, the agency I work at is great. See their website if you're curious,
Family Service and Guidance Center. A description of the internship is given under the Training and Education tab at the top - look for the APA Approved Pre-Doctoral Internship. The people here are so warm, welcoming, and supportive. I feel so lucky so spend my internship year here. My fellow interns, Molly Hayes and Trish Miller, have become my quick and, I believe, lifelong friends. See our lovely Halloween pic below - yes we dressed up for work - it was for the kids!


Hi Everyone!

So, this blog has been a long time in the making. I first considered the idea of doing my own blog when my great friend, Lyle Snyder, started his to compile a record of his internship as part of his third year of Lutheran Seminary (
Lyle Snyder's Blog). I thought his was a great idea, and I, too, wanted to keep a written memory of my internship. Well, I started my year-long internship (code for "first real full-time job in psychology") on August 1, 2005. It only took me nine of those 12 months to finally put my ideas to fruition! What can I say, its been an extremely busy year filled with lots of commuting (78 miles from my home in KC to my internship in Topeka, KS), 10 hour work days, and lots of learning! Finally, some added motivation came in February when Scott & I found out that I was expecting our first child, due Oct. 24th, 2006. If internship wasn't enough to get me going on this blog, then surely communicating my baby and pregnancy news with my pepes would do it, right? Well, another 3 months later (hey, I had to get through my first trimester!), here it is : Lesley's Life Log. What can I say, I'm a procrastinator. Hope you like the aliteration (L.L.L.). I've grown accustomed to them since my maiden name initials were L.L. Anyway, so here you now will find news of both my last internship months and any current baby news along with other tidbits and thoughts from my life. I know some of you think blogs are lame, trendy, or just overdone and you're probably right. But I'm a practical girl - these things are great ways of communicating with your circle of confidants without bombarding their inboxes with group emails (I'm not giving up emails, though - I know there is still a place for personal communications). The other great thing is that people can come to you: you can visit it anytime you want to; you can reply to whatever posts your heart desires; if you hate the blog thing, then you don't have to visit it ever again! This post would not be complete without my acknowledging my husband, Scott's, blog - his is much funnier and I'm sure more entertaining than mine! Yes, I copied his blogspot address (scottinkc.blogspot.com - Scott's Blog) I thought it would make our blogs easy to remember for everyone. Scott also recently started working on a family website which will include a page for me, Scott, and the baby so check that out (Lesley and Scott's webpage). It is a work in progress. Okay, so my introduction is complete. I hope you enjoy the blog!