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!


Christopher Salazar said...

Hello. This is a good post!

I am currently an intern as well at a web company and I have enjoyed it so far.

I like to write about my journey as an intern and what I learn so I can look back and "recap" everything.

I am trying to reach out and seek other interns to create an intern network, please keep me updated with your status.

Do you know of any other interns?

Let me know. THANKS!

-Chris Salazar

Anonymous said...

Les - hearing that heartbeat is so freaky, but cool at the same time!

so happy for the two of you!!