Introduction: Say a Little about Yourself! {by 5/26}

Yes, this is a bit cheesy, but it’s been awhile and we need to break the ice.  Please answer the following about yourself: (1) Name?  (2) Where did you do your internship (how was it?)?  (3) What has been your most adaptive coping skill during the pandemic?  (4) What are your thoughts about graduating soon, including during the pandemic?

 

Your original post should be posted by 5/26.  Post your two replies no later than 5/28.  *Please remember to click the “reply” button when posting a reply.  This makes it easier for the reader to follow the blog postings.

 

*Strong suggestion: Write all your blogs on a separate document.  Then, copy and paste it.  This will make your life easier and less stressful in case something “wacky” happens with technology.

 

*Your first post may not immediately appear on my website.  I have strong spam filters.  So, I may have to approve your first post before it is visible.  I should only have to do this once unless you post in a different name and/or email address.

48 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Laura Wheeler
    May 22, 2022 @ 21:53:18

    Hi everyone! If we haven’t already met, I’m Laura.

    I completed my internship a couple of weeks ago at Community Healthlink in a small program they have called Together For Kids. TFK was founded on the idea that kindergarten and elementary school suspension rates were alarmingly high and were often due to behavioral concerns that might have been changeable. The idea is that TFK clinicians work with preschools and daycares to provide mental and behavioral health consultation and out-patient therapy to help families and educators modify and improve behavioral concerns in young children. I was extraordinarily lucky in my placement as my supervisors and mentors were all amazing and taught me more than I could have ever hoped for, so I really have no complaints. Although I don’t think this is necessarily a long-term placement for me, I did decide to stay on with them as an employee for now and am happy to continue gaining experience.

    During the pandemic I developed a much needed ability to slow down and be okay with moments of doing “nothing.” I used to have a bad habit of scheduling myself for way too much during a day/week because I felt like if I had an hour that was unaccounted for I needed to fill it with something conventionally productive. Slowing down and enjoying life has been a tremendously helpful coping skill for me, especially during the beginning of the pandemic when we were all staying home for the most part.

    Lastly, I am very eagerly awaiting graduation. I think since the pandemic has become an almost normal part of our existence at this point, it hasn’t impacted my feelings about graduation. Since I left my previous career when I started my internship, and am now in a work environment that I know isn’t going to be long-term, I am excited to start looking for where I want to land next.

    Reply

    • Alexa Berry
      May 23, 2022 @ 14:30:41

      Hi Laura-
      The position you were in at your internship sounds so interesting! I was looking at doing something similar at Seven Hills. I’d love to talk to you about your experience in the role!

      Your comment about over scheduling yourself resonated with me too. Wrapping up internship has surely created more “down time” and the pressure to be productive during those free hours with it.

      Reply

    • Elizabeth Baker
      May 23, 2022 @ 15:33:03

      Hello Laura!

      It sounds like you had an excellent experience at your agency!! I also can relate to the need to always be productive. We sometimes forget that unscheduled moments are also productive, they are just productive in a different way we are not used to.

      I also agree with your comment about graduation. If anything, I feel this has tested our ability to overcome tremendous obstacles and succeed through a pandemic, as well as learn to and increase our comfort with providing telehealth services.

      Reply

    • Anne Marie Lemieux
      May 23, 2022 @ 21:19:17

      Hi Laura, I am so glad you are still in the program and continue to work with and support children and families. Slowing down is my summer goal. I’m looking forward to meeting you in person, which is crazy to even say, given the amount of time we spent together. We are almost at the finish line, children in tow. I know this process was a big life change and I am so proud of you for pushing on to graduation.

      Reply

    • Tayler Weathers
      May 25, 2022 @ 12:10:42

      Hi Laura! I admire your ability to slow down. The pandemic has forced me to do the same, since many of the conventionally productive things I would schedule aren’t really an option anymore. It is very different to not constantly have things to do, and I find myself having to force myself to actually sit and relax, particularly now that my internship is over! It seems like it should be easy to slow down, but I find it hard. I think that is a very useful skill for a therapist – after all, how many times will we teach mindfulness and find ourselves forgetting to use it?

      Reply

    • Alison Kahn
      May 26, 2022 @ 14:16:42

      Hi, Laura!

      Reading your post was super interesting to me because we spent so much time together in our internship class talking about all the success and challenges every week. I always loved to hear about your placement and all the really great work you were able to do with your clients. I can definitely relate to your comments about being nonstop all the time and needing to feel productive. I think I am going to make it a point to work on your coping strategy this semester!

      Reply

  2. Alexa Berry
    May 23, 2022 @ 10:13:53

    Hi everyone, I’m sure I know most of you by now but my name is Alexa and it is my last semester in the clinical counseling program! I just wrapped up my internship at Shrewsbury Youth & Family Services, where I enjoyed my time. Something that I thought was unique at my internship/something I enjoyed was we did many different “counseling activities”. During my time there, I was able to provide outpatient counseling for individuals/families, went to a school one day a week for school-based counseling, engaged in community support services (like helping members of the local community apply for fuel or rental assistance), ran groups, and had the chance to revise and implement a community-based group program for adolescents.

    With that being said, there was also a great emphasis on self-care practices during my internship, and we would share how our self-care had been weekly during group supervision. This gave me a lot of time to consider adaptive coping skills that worked the best for me. Thus, my most adaptive coping skill was probably reading- last year I managed to read 50 books! I am looking forward to taking my oral exam and graduating, with hopes of no pandemic-related interruptions to an in-person ceremony next spring.

    Reply

    • Anne Marie Lemieux
      May 23, 2022 @ 21:13:24

      Hi Alexa, You are probably unaware of how impressed I was with you during our internship course. I found you to always be so organized, informative, and professional. You also always had the best book recommendations! I think you are going to be an outstanding therapist. I am so glad that you had such a positive internship experience where they promote self care. Looking forward to seeing you.

      Reply

  3. Yen Pham
    May 23, 2022 @ 14:11:44

    1. My name is Yen Pham, a Vietnamese, Catholic nun. I am a member of class 2022. This summer, I am taking my last two-course, PSY 627 and PSY 716, then I will have my oral exam follow.
    2. I have completed my internship at Pernet Family Health Service in Worcester. My internship went well because my supervisor, and my co-worker supported my intern period. Mostly, my job as a home therapist and a home visitor is to work with the parents on household management, parenting skills, or access to community resources. Most of my clients have been involved with the Department of Children and Families.
    3. My most adaptive coping skill during the pandemic was always keeping a positive attitude because I believe that everything that happened always had some pros and cons. With a positive attitude, I more often realize the good things than the bad things. I was thankful rather than complained. Prayers with a positive attitude also helped me were able to give thanks to God in any circumstances.
    4. My graduation will come after I finish my oral exam. I plan to move to another state to live and work with another sister of the same Order. I will look for a job to gain more experience for a year or two, then I will return to Vietnam, with the dream of opening a private clinic to serve the poor.

    Reply

    • Elizabeth Baker
      May 23, 2022 @ 15:16:31

      Hello Yen!

      I always find IHT so interesting, especially entering someone else’s home. The idea of doing that always intrigued me, but I felt SUPER uncomfortable with being in someone else’s home. How was your experience working within the homes? Did you feel any discomfort when you first started?

      Your coping skill of staying positive must have aided you a lot throughout this journey! I also tried thinking positively, which also allowed me to understand the learning outcomes during “negative” or unpleasant and doubtful times.

      Reply

      • Yen Pham
        May 25, 2022 @ 09:02:39

        Hi Elizabeth,

        Thank you for your wonderful question about IHT, yes I felt uncomfortable if not scared at first when I went to see clients in their homes, especially in cases of tobacco addiction and Marijuana. I often cough when I smell cigarette smoke. However, after a while of building a good relationship with the client, I feel more comfortable going to their home. Working with clients in their homes, and being exposed to the environment they live in, has allowed me to understand more about what triggers their addiction. The more I understand them, the more I will provide them with the best treatment plans.

        Reply

    • Brianna Walls
      May 27, 2022 @ 13:36:40

      Hi Sister Yen, I am so excited for you to start your new journey in another state once you have completed the program! What state will you be moving to if you don’t mind me asking? I admire your positive attitude; we have had multiple classes together and you always seem to have a smile on your face. I look forward to seeing you in class!

      Reply

  4. Elizabeth-Maria Antonia Baker
    May 23, 2022 @ 15:08:06

    Hello everyone, I am seeing familiar names already! My name is Elizabeth!

    I completed my internship at Shrewsbury Youth and Family Services (SYFS). The clinical experience was wonderful, as I was able to provide services in many contexts including school-based, individual/family therapy, and case management. These various experiences helped me better understand the type of setting I would like to work in and the age range I would like to work with. I had great relationships with my clients, worked with the pace of my clients whilst noting what therapy type worked for them at the time, and continued exploring my comfort with being a counselor. During this experience, I believe the best coping strategy for me was being aware of, journaling, and processing times of distress; going for walks; and being plain goofy with my friends.

    My thoughts about graduating…I feel this experience FLEW by. I feel it was just yesterday that I was seriously stressed about starting practicum and the whole idea of becoming a mental health counselor. I still feel nervous about fully entering the field, but I know my clinical skills will continue to greatly improve with practicing implementing treatment, so I have a positive and nervous outlook! Trying to take it one step at a time!

    Reply

    • Abby Robinson
      May 26, 2022 @ 09:36:14

      Hi Elizabeth! I hope you enjoyed your break from classes! I too feel nervous and excited to leave school and go into the real clinical work. I’m really interested to see how my clinical skills with grow and shift when we become “real” clinicians. I think it will be really helpful to watch, listen, and learn from other clinicians to get some more skills to add to our toolbox!
      See you soon, Abby

      Reply

  5. Anna Lindgren
    May 23, 2022 @ 16:41:49

    Hi everyone! I’m Anna if we haven’t met yet 🙂 I did my internship at Shrewsbury Youth and Family Services, and I really enjoyed my time there. It is a small community agency but has a huge variety of services and programs that were mostly run by us, interns. During my time there, I got to see individual clients of a wide variety of ages and presenting problems, did some family therapy with my young clients and their parents, helped members of the community access resources like fuel and housing assistance, lead social groups at a senior center, and spent one day a week counseling at an elementary school where I lead groups for anxiety, social skills, and increasing self-esteem. Most of my clients at my internship were diagnosed with an anxiety and/or trauma disorder, so in addition to practicing CBT interventions, I got familiar with TF-CBT, prolonged trauma exposure, learned some DBT skills, and learned a lot about how to effectively engage children in CBT for anxiety interventions like cognitive restructuring, mindfulness, deep breathing, and muscle relaxation.

    During the pandemic, my most adaptive coping skill has been my yoga and meditation practice. Starting most days with this routine has helped me to feel grounded and better able to handle the stressors of school, planning my wedding, and everything going on in the news. As an aside, I was just able to attend a course last week on the research behind yoga as a treatment for burnout, stress, and anxiety. I learned about the physiological effect that yoga and meditation have on the brain, stress response, and improving the body’s ability to cope with and recover from stress. One study presented compared the effects of yoga versus CBT on anxiety and found CBT to be the most effective treatment still, but yoga was also statistically effective. Leaving that three-day course, I’m feeling inspired and empowered to incorporate more yoga and meditation into CBT interventions in my work with clients in the future.

    I’m feeling so ready to graduate! I’m not too nervous about the pandemic as a factor. After being in person at my agency for pretty much the whole year, I’m used to wearing a mask, testing regularly, and doing telehealth when needed. Overall, I’m feeling good about entering the mental health field at this point because I know that our work is so needed. Seeing just how in-demand counseling services are while at my internship was hard because there are so many people who need help right now, but it has also reassured me that we won’t have any trouble finding jobs after graduating!

    Reply

    • Maya
      May 24, 2022 @ 10:57:53

      Hey Anna,

      That is amazing you are able to stick to a meditation/yoga routine and so cool you find it so useful to yourself but also to your future clients as an intervention! I also had a similar thought that the field we are going into now is rising in necessity. It feels complex to know there won’t be a shortage of work or clients but also a sad reality that this is the case. It is also interesting how apps are attempting to make therapy more accessible during the pandemic and I am intrigued to see how big that will become in our society.

      Reply

    • Connor Belland
      May 25, 2022 @ 19:04:53

      Hey Anna, I am always seeing articles and hearing from others how good yoga and meditating is for coping but I just cannot seem to get into it. You will have to give me some recommendations, the only thing I have liked so far is those guided meditations. I definitely think incorporating that stuff into my treatment could be helpful and effective as well.

      Reply

    • Laura Wheeler
      May 26, 2022 @ 18:24:43

      Hi Anna! I give you so much credit for balancing everything you have been! It will be so nice to be done with school and get married 🙂 I love yoga too, you have inspired me to return now that so many things are opening up again. I would love to hear more about the training you went to too, it sounds so interesting.

      Reply

  6. Anne Marie Lemieux
    May 23, 2022 @ 21:09:21

    Hi, I’m Anne Marie Lemieux. I completed my practicum at Community Healthlink and my internship at Keystone Collaborative School. At CHL I enjoyed the camaraderie. They were so welcoming to me. I especially enjoyed getting to be a part of the screening process for the Youth Mobile Crisis Team. I have referred clients for evaluation but never knew the inner workings beyond that. In interning at Keystone, I was able to work directly with adolescents which is a fairly new population for me and a true learning experience, as I previously worked with elementary students. It’s taken me two years to find adaptive coping strategies but I have an amazing therapist (who previously graduated from Assumption) in addition to starting hot yoga and a ceramics class that have allowed me to not only cope but grow as an individual during the pandemic. I can’t believe the finish line to graduation is so close! I am very proud of myself. I had so many genuine reasons why I couldn’t do this but persevered through them.That being said I am still terrified of the oral exam, despite reassurance from classmates that have already been through it.

    Reply

    • Alison Kahn
      May 26, 2022 @ 14:20:51

      Hi, Anne Marie!

      That is so awesome that you got to see the inner workings of a YMC screening. I have also seen the process from a different side and was always interested to better understand it from the intake point of view. I would love to hear about your experience! I also am very nervous about the oral exam because I get terribly anxious when speaking in front of people. It sounds like you’ve got some really great coping strategies to use, though!

      Reply

    • Laura Wheeler
      May 26, 2022 @ 18:31:49

      Anne Marie, I totally agree- we should all be so proud of ourselves! I am so glad we finally have a class together again, its been a while 🙂 I am curious about your practicum experience, I did my practicum and internship at CHL as well. I wish I would have been able to get some experience with Youth Mobile Crisis, I have crossed paths with them professionally several times but would love to see first hand how they operate. Kudos on the coping skills, yoga is the best!

      Reply

    • Brianna Walls
      May 27, 2022 @ 13:43:57

      Hi Anne Marie, I too am terrified of the upcoming oral exam, but I believe if we have made it this far into the program nothing can stop us now! We can see the finish line lol! It has definitely been a journey and I too had many reasons to quit but I am glad I didn’t, and I am also glad you didn’t! That is definitely something to be proud of. I wish you the best of luck these next few weeks and I am looking forward to seeing you in class!

      Reply

  7. Connor Belland
    May 24, 2022 @ 09:59:18

    Hi everyone! My name is Connor Belland. I interned at Family Continuity in Whitinsville, overall, it was a very good experience. I learned a lot, developed my therapist’ skills, and gained important experience working with a variety of populations and in multiple settings. I got to do individual outpatient, school-based, and home-based therapy so I got to see a little bit of everything with clients ranging from ages 6-53. I am still trying to figure out which populations I like working with the best because I got a little sampling of every population in my therapy work. I would say my most adaptive coping skill during the pandemic has been staying active both physically and socially. Trying to get out of the house and get out into nature, get some exercise playing a sport, or seeing friends have all been immensely beneficial to my mental health these past couple years. I find that I feel so much better when I exercise regularly and leave the house regularly. Doing activities that fully occupy my mind really help to clear my thoughts or stresses I may be having. It crazy to think I will be graduating soon, it seems like it has gone by very fast. At the same time though I can’t wait to be done with school. I didn’t mind the online classes, it made it a lot easier to manage a busy schedule. I am excited to get a real job in this field and start to establish my work identity at a mental health therapist.

    Reply

    • Maya
      May 24, 2022 @ 10:52:14

      Hey Connor,

      It is really great you had an opportunity to have so many different modalities in your internship, IHT, OTP and in a school! Hopefully that gives you an idea of what you may want to go into in the future. So far, I only have experience at an outpatient so I wonder how IHT compares to that for you?

      Reply

    • Yen Pham
      May 25, 2022 @ 09:56:00

      Hi, Connor,

      I’m just like you when it comes to having some IHT experience, the things I learn from clients when I visit their homes help me a lot in building a good relationship with them as well as with treatment planning. I hope you will find the population that you want to work with in the future.

      Reply

  8. Maya
    May 24, 2022 @ 10:48:16

    Hi guys I’m Maya, I completed my practicum and internship at Spectrum’s outpatient methadone clinic. For those that don’t know this is for those who struggle with Opioid Use Disorder however there was a large prevalence of comorbidities. It was an extremely transformative time for me, I was pushed very far out of my comfort zone and learned to genuinely get used to feeling uncomfortable. It was a challenging internship personally and professionally however I am grateful for all that I have learned and the amount of growth it has produced in me. I had 25 clients almost independently and ran 2 groups. I was able to put a lot of my MI skills to the test with this very ambivalent and resistant population. I also discovered, first hand, how meaningful the therapeutic alliance was. I appreciate having this population because SU affects so many so I know this experience will serve me well.
    I suppose my most adaptive coping skill during the pandemic has been to increase my hobby of baking, it keeps me busy and productive. I enjoy working on my craft and it brings me joy.
    I am very excited to be graduating soon, I am looking forward to being compensated for my hard work and establishing new relationships with clients that will be for longer term. I am also excited to not have homework for the first time in 23 years. I am looking forward to seeing what new hobbies I take up with my new time, seeing what coworkers I will meet in the future and where I will end up relocating. It feels as though adulthood/career life is right around the corner and I am looking forward to the stability it may provide. I am used to my schedule changing every semester so it will be interesting to finally have a set one. I am a bit nervous that due to the pandemic most positions are expecting a lot of remote work and having interned at spectrum it was primarily remote. I enjoyed the in-person sessions so much more and still have not run a group in-person yet. So as we graduate and head into the workforce I am hoping more for in-person opportunities.

    Reply

    • Alexa Berry
      May 25, 2022 @ 09:29:21

      Hi Maya,

      Your experience with running groups at Spectrum was always very interesting to me when you shared about it in our group class. I can’t imagine what it would be like running a group therapy program over the phone! I love the point you make about using motivational interviewing with the population you were serving during internship- do you plan to work in the same sector following graduation? Substance use is not something I am all that familiar with in working primarily with children, so I am interested in hearing your perspective!

      I also love baking so if you have any recipes you tried & loved please feel free to share 🙂

      Reply

    • Tayler Weathers
      May 25, 2022 @ 12:03:41

      Hi Maya! You make a good point about remote work. The pandemic has really changed the landscape of the field – it’s been really interesting to see how it still remains so common! I remember in our ethics seminar we spent some time on how uncertain things are with telehealth, and so I agree I would also like more in-person opportunities. I enjoy talking to people face-to-face more, but I admit sometimes it’s easier for me to do the remote sessions because I feel less self-conscious about my legs/full body position! I also found sometimes the masks would be difficult in-person, so I think it will definitely be a transition as therapists trained during a pandemic as life and sessions reverts back (in some ways) to in-person and un-masked.

      Reply

    • Carly Moris
      May 28, 2022 @ 15:57:55

      Hi Maya! It sounds like your internship was a great learning experience. It can be so stressful when your internship pushes you out of your comfort zone, but I’m glad that it was a positive experience for you! Being able to acknowledge that you feel uncomfortable and work through that to connect with the client is super hard! I know it caused me a lot of self-doubt at my internship. It’s easy to say we need to be accepting and create unconditional positive regard for out clients, but it can definitely be challenging in some situations. We think of empathy as something innate, and when it’s challenged it’s easy to become self critical. How can you be a good counselor when you feel uncomfortable? But it’s normal to experience, especially when working with a more challenging population like you were! That you were able to turn a challenging situation into a learning experience definitely means you are going to be an amazing counselor; and that you’ll be able to face other challenges you meet both professionally and personally!

      Also you can definitely tell that you work hard when it comes to baking, everything I’ve had that you’ve made is delicious! I keep thinking about those pumpkin donuts!

      Reply

  9. Tayler Weathers
    May 25, 2022 @ 11:59:45

    (1) Hi! My name is Tayler Weathers.
    (2) I completed my internship at Shrewsbury Youth and Family Services, an outpatient counseling center in Shrewsbury. I really loved it – I had a nice variety of clients (all ages, anxiety, depression, OCD, family therapy, communication skills training, etc.). I felt like it was a good intro into counseling: I got to do classic CBT and some CBT-plus sessions, and I had a great supervisor who was insightful and supportive!
    (3) I think my most adaptive coping skill in the past year (not during the whole pandemic) was organizing my life since my move: I keep consistent wake/sleep hours, I cook 90% of my meals, and I try to exercise 3 days a week. This has really helped my mood and mental capacity! I feel a lot more adjusted than in the start of the pandemic, and a lot more prepared for life outside of school.
    (4) I am excited to graduate, but I’m a little sad we won’t have a whole graduation ceremony, since I missed mine for undergrad. It means yet another life change (moving again, getting a full time job), so that’s a little anxiety-provoking, but I really liked working as a counselor during my internship, so I’m excited to get to do it and be paid!

    Reply

    • Anna Lindgren
      May 30, 2022 @ 13:35:10

      Hi Tayler!

      I applaud your consistent efforts in maintaining a self care routine. Having consistent sleep, healthy meals, and exercise are so essential to our overall functioning and yet they are difficult things to be consistent about!

      I totally sympathize with the daunting changes that come with graduation. Even though we won’t get a graduation ceremony in the winter, I’m sure you’ll find a way to celebrate this monumental achievement!

      Reply

  10. Beth Martin
    May 25, 2022 @ 13:22:41

    1. Hello! I’m Beth Martin

    2. I did my practicum and internship at LUK’s Central Massachusetts Child Trauma Center. It was stressful and intense, as I worked exclusively with trauma, but I enjoyed the vast majority of it. I was able to get formally trained in TF-CBT and ARC, both of which I really enjoyed learning about and seeing how well they worked for my clients. I co-led groups for children exposed to domestic violence and victims of crime too, which sometimes felt like trying to herd cats but I learnt so much on how to modify my approach in the moment when something wasn’t working, which is a nice tool to have.

    3. I’d say my most adaptive skill during the pandemic has been keeping my hands busy. I’ve taken up knitting/embroidery, alongside various DIY projects around the house, and I’ve made an effort to get out the house a lot more. We got a pandemic puppy, so having a set training regimen for him has helped keep me accountable and not let the days where were stuck indoors get too same-y. Not necessarily an adaptive skill in and of itself, but definitely makes you develop them before a little monster chews your baseboards!

    4. I’m ready to graduate – pandemic school wasn’t the most fun, and with the light at the end of the tunnel now, it’s hard to focus on much else! Like a few people have mentioned, I am sad we won’t get a summer graduation and get that final piece of closure/celebrating with our entire cohort, though. I’m feeling mostly okay about finding a job, but the pandemic seems to have placed (or exposed) a lot of strain on agencies (the number of people that left the field during my internship citing burnout was alarming), and I am worried about what’s going to be expected of new grads (and whether it’s sustainable) when it comes time to finding work.

    Reply

    • Connor Belland
      May 25, 2022 @ 19:42:55

      Hi Beth, I believe that you probably made a huge difference in the lives of the people you worked with, and although it may have been stressful and difficult at times, it will prepare you to face any challenges in your counseling career. I have seen pictures of your dog and he is very handsome, good luck training him!

      Reply

      • Beth Martin
        May 26, 2022 @ 21:38:42

        Hi Connor!

        That’s really kind of you to say, thank you very much! And if you ever fancy getting squished by a massive dog, just let me know! He’s like an excessive weighted blanket that drools~

        Reply

    • Abby Robinson
      May 26, 2022 @ 09:41:12

      Hi Beth!
      I hope you enjoyed your time off from classes! I’m so glad you brought up burnout! I think that this matter is so important to keep track of and talk about with peers and other staff members at school/work. To me, self-care helps me stay regulated (most of the time) but I did feel there were a few weeks during internship/school that were filled with lots of big emotions and I had a hard time managing it! I hope this this something we can talk about in class to better help manage those really hard weeks. I am a bit worried that this field has hard and fast burnout that will influence how I continue working.
      See you soon!
      Abby

      Reply

    • Cailee Norton
      May 26, 2022 @ 11:33:07

      Hi Beth!

      Groups can be so difficult at times to lead, but it sounds like you did a fantastic job of steering conversations with kids (as close to cats as they may be). I also understand what you mean about worried of expectations of new grads. I think this is something most have faced, but the pandemic has created such a unique situation that it’s hard to tell. One positive of this program at Assumption is that we’ve been taught so much about boundaries and maintaining self-care. I hope that these lessons will help if these issues do arise, but I have hope that the field is adapting to the reality of how difficult our jobs can be.

      Reply

  11. Carly Moris
    May 25, 2022 @ 16:11:52

    Hello everyone, my name is Carly! I completed my internship at NAFI’s intensive residential treatment program at the Worcester Recovery Center Hospital, though at the end of my internship the program moved to Allen Hall in Westborough. This program was a locked inpatient setting, that had two units that could house 15 clients each. I had the opportunity to do individual and group counseling, as well as provide on unit support and assist with crisis management. This setting offered a number of unique challenges and opportunities. This included working with clients who were experiencing symptoms of psychosis or who were actively suicidal and self-harming. While this was a high stress environment, NAFI had an amazing clinical team that I enjoyed working closely with and learned a lot from.

    During the pandemic my most adaptive coping skill has been taking time for myself by going on hikes with my dog, or working in my garden. This gives me time to clear my head and organize my thoughts. Another reason that I love gardening is that you can see the results of your hard work over the year as your plants grow! So even on days I don’t have time to work in the garden I try to take 5-10 minutes to walk through and see how everything is doing. Unfortunately I didn’t have much time for either of these activities over the past year with classes and internship. But I’m looking forward to finding ways to fit them back into my schedule this semester, and in the future after graduation.

    I am both nervous and excited about graduating soon. I have this semester of classes and then oral exams in the fall. I feel confident about finding a job, and being able to do well at it. I think this program and my internship did a good job preparing me to work in the mental health field. One of the things I’ve been worried about is developing a good work/life balance. With graduation coming up I have been trying to think what I actually want out of life, and how to start building it/what steps I need to take after graduation. With the Pandemic, grad school, and internship I’ve almost felt like I’ve been living in the twilight zone these past two years. I know that how life is now is not how it will be in the near future. Which is both exciting and daunting! This past year I’ve had almost no work/life balance, so the idea of having free time and no homework or essays to write soon is super exciting! So I have been trying to think about what it will take to lead a successful career and have a fulfilling personal life. Like what are the things I want to make sure to include in my life after graduation?

    Reply

    • Yen Pham
      May 27, 2022 @ 23:16:44

      Hi Carly,

      I agree with you that the internship time prepared us with many experiences that are very helpful for our work in the future. I am glad you have both experiences in both individual and group counseling. For me, I just only had some experience in working with individuals during my internship. Hopefully, the experiences you learn during the internship and the knowledge you have, are, and will gain after completing the program will be a good foundation to help you be more successful in the future.

      Reply

  12. Abby Robinson
    May 26, 2022 @ 09:32:45

    Hi all!
    I hope you all enjoyed your few weeks off from class. If we haven’t met/shared a class together: my name is Abby (she, her, hers).

    I did my practicum/internship at Shrewsbury Youth and Family Services. I really liked it and learned so much working hands on. I had the opportunity to work both in the outpatient clinic as well as a local public school in their counseling department. I worked mostly with adolescents during my internship, which I enjoyed thoroughly! I am a bit nervous having worked little with the adult population, but it will all pan out eventually.

    My go to coping skills for life during the pandemic are taking my dogs for a walk, spending time outside, as well as watching reruns of Schitts Creek (and other various Netflix series) 🙂

    I am ready to graduate, but also am bit nervous leaving the bubble of school and having that support. I have a few ideas lined up for options post grad, but waiting to see what is available after graduation! I feel like I have mixed feelings about next steps!

    Reply

    • Cailee Norton
      May 26, 2022 @ 11:29:03

      Hey Abby!

      I think that your experiences at SYFS will serve you so well moving forward! I worked with clients above the age 18 only, and I feel that many of the skills you used will be very easily translated to adults if that is where you move towards! I’m glad that you found Netflix to be a positive coping skill, and those reruns definitely helped me to decompress after long days. I know next steps are so intimidating, and I hope you feel the support post-graduation. We’re all in it together!

      Reply

    • Beth Martin
      May 26, 2022 @ 21:37:07

      Hi Abby!

      It sounds like SYFS was a great fit for you! Are you hoping to work with adults in the future? Or are you thinking you’d like to stay with kiddos and adolescents? I found the few adults I worked with were a lot less intimidating than I’d built them up to be in my head – and if you can handle teens (which you can!) I feel like you can handle anything!

      Thanks for sharing!

      Reply

  13. Cailee Norton
    May 26, 2022 @ 11:25:47

    Hey everyone! My name is Cailee if we haven’t already met.

    I completed my internship at a partial hospitalization program for Harrington Hospital in Southbridge. It was what I like to consider a roller coaster of an experience. I learned so much valuable information about group therapy and individual therapy, and saw a diverse population and wide range of disorders. My experience was unique in that I didn’t have a set group of clients throughout my experience, rather I saw a rotating basis of new faces which I found to be exciting and intimidating (initially at least). While I decided not to stay due to several factors, I enjoyed the people I worked with and feel that I learned so much from the experience as a whole.

    My most adaptive coping skill was probably embracing embroidery during the pandemic. This was something I did when I was younger, but I found that it is such a focused craft that it helped me to escape on difficult days. I also found cooking to be an important skill for me as well, as I challenged myself to find ways to cook dishes I wasn’t comfortable with and even set a goal of cooking the national dish of every country (this week is Libya)! It’s been a great way to explore cultures and foods, which helped me to feel in control during a chaotic period.

    I think like many of my colleagues, I’m very ready to graduate. This experience has been challenging and rewarding, and seeing the light at the end of the tunnel is so motivating to finish strong in this program. While I feel somewhat timid about entering the field, my internship experience showed me how desperately we are needed out there. I know that I will continue to learn about mental health for the rest of my career, and that helps to make it feel less intimidating.

    Reply

    • Beth Martin
      May 26, 2022 @ 21:33:03

      Hi Cailee!

      I really enjoyed hearing about your internship experience, and how different things are in PHP! It sounds like you got some fantastic group experience, and I imagine some really adaptive skills in how to make it work in situations where you’ve got people rotating in and out too.

      It’s also great that you’ve found embroidery helpful during the pandemic too – I’m not sure what it is about stabbing something many times, but it’s certainly soothing, and I always feel accomplished at the end of it!

      Thanks for sharing!

      Reply

    • Carly Moris
      May 28, 2022 @ 14:37:38

      Hi Cailee! Cooking the national dish of every country sounds like a very fun challenge/experience! I also love cooking, but I have to admit I tend to play it safe and use the same recipes often. This seems like a great way to change things up and find new foods you like. I was wondering many national dishes have you made so far, and which one is your favorite?

      Reply

  14. Brianna Walls
    May 26, 2022 @ 13:26:18

    Hi everyone, my name is Brianna. I recently completed my internship at Harrington Hospital in Webster at their partial hospitalization program (PHP) and their intensive outpatient program (IOP). I worked with patients who had been diagnosed with co-occurring disorders. I enjoyed my time at Harrington. Everyone I worked with was kind and helpful and I do not think I would have had a better experience elsewhere. I learned so much from the staff at Harrington and the patients. Before starting my internship, I was clueless about co-occurring disorders. I also knew nothing about partial hospitalization programs or intensive outpatient programs. I was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to not only work with PHP staff and patients but also with IOP staff and patients. My experience at Harrington taught me so much and I am beyond grateful I was able to have that experience.
    One of my coping skills that I have been using during the pandemic is just taking life one day at a time. Soon after the pandemic happened, I began to realize that life can change in a split second so it has been helpful for me to not look so far into the future because I came to the realization this stresses me out more and gives me more anxiety, especially over things I can not control. I also avoid watching the news as much as possible because this gives me overwhelming anxiety!
    I am extremely excited but also nervous to graduate in the upcoming months. It’s weird to think I won’t have any papers/assignments after being in school for almost all my life. I am looking forward to starting my career, but it does make me a bit nervous to be starting during the pandemic. I am hoping things continue to be in person and telehealth appointments continue to decline as I prefer face-to-face interaction.

    Reply

    • Anna Lindgren
      May 30, 2022 @ 13:41:00

      Hey Brianna!

      It sounds like you’ve had a really helpful shift in perspective and are living more in the moment because of the pandemic. I can relate to anxiety about the news, I’ve also had to change how I consume news and media for mental health reasons, trying to balance staying informed and “doom scrolling”. It’s also really helped me to focus on what is in my control like you said. I’m sure this attitude has helped your clients have a more neutral, mindful approach.

      Reply

  15. Alison Kahn
    May 26, 2022 @ 14:11:11

    Hi, everyone! My name is Alison Kahn.

    I completed my internship at Devereux Advanced Behavioral Health in Rutland, MA. I worked in a community-based group home with adolescent females, most of whom have significant trauma histories and challenges with mental health. The program is designed to support individuals through providing mental health treatment, permanent connections, and independent living skill-building. I very much enjoyed my time interning at Devereux, and I am pleased to say that I was given abundant amounts of training, practical experience, support, and supervision during my experience.

    At the beginning of the pandemic, I can’t truthfully say that I coped well at all, however, as it became more “normal” I definitely turned to friends, family, and loved ones as a means of coping with the many challenges. Facetiming and phone calls became much more of a resource for me than it ever has been, and it really helped me, particularly in times when I was feeling isolated.

    I am eager and excited to complete this program and obtain my master’s degree. I’m not sure if it was my full time job, being a part time student, the pandemic, or a combination of all three, but I feel like I have been working on my degree for in incredibly long time. I am really looking forward to accomplishing this milestone!

    Reply

  16. Nicole Giannetto
    May 26, 2022 @ 15:07:43

    Hi everyone! My name is Nicole Giannetto. I completed my internship at Seven Hills in Worcester doing In-home family therapy. I enjoyed having the opportunity to experience a new area of psych that I had not tried out yet. I currently work at a psychiatric hospital in Devens, Ma, which I have been at for almost 2 years, so a good deal of my experience in psych has occurred there. My internship provided me with a lot of great information about child and family services, and I was able to work with clients who were involved with DCF, which was something new for me. I was able to receive helpful trainings on different topics including family services, education on culture and identity, and on therapeutic approaches and techniques for working with family and kids.

    One of my new found coping skills since the pandemic started has been going to the gym. When I had started this program in 2020, an activity in one of my courses was a role play in which the client talked about something they have been struggling with. When it was my turn to be the client, I shared about my interest in getting a gym membership, as well as some of my nervous feelings about doing so. In 2021 I finally did it and got my very first gym membership. I surprised myself, and now I am very consistent with getting to the gym. It has been such a wonderful addition to my daily routine, and it feels great to have a healthy and productive outlet to engage in.

    I am very excited to graduate, as well as a bit nervous. I think my nerves come from the “not knowing” aspect that comes with ending or beginning something new. But, I know that all the hard work I have put in, and the experiences I have had, has prepared me for my future career.

    Reply

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Adam M. Volungis, PhD, LMHC

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