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Gratitude Friday: The End of Internship Edition

GratitudeFridayI am happy to report that I made it through my internship year. This summer has been a time of great reflection for me. I started out my final year of graduate school in a much different place than where I am now. By nature, I’m an introspective person. I suppose that’s why I’m now a psychotherapist πŸ™‚ Due to my introspective nature, I searched this blog for all of my posts about my counseling internship. I mentioned my internship on twenty-one pages of Mel’s Miles. Internship has been a huge part of my life. It was so scary when I first started; I remember feeling completely out of my element, which I alluded to in this post. Towards the middle, I hit my stride with clients and felt more confident. In the final few months of my internship, I was offered a job at a different agency. I worked there part-time while also finishing up at my internship site. I’m grateful for every second of my internship – the good, the bad, and the ugly. Believe me, working as a counselor is not all rainbows and butterflies. It’s not all about helping people. There were times at my internship when I had to do really tough things, like call DCFS on a client. However, I also had deep connections and strong therapeutic relationships with the vast majority of my clients. They are the ones who have made every second of my experience working as a therapist intern worth it. I will never forget these first clients of mine. I’m grateful that leaving my clients was so hard! That just shows how beautiful of an experience I had working with them. My clients taught me so many lessons and I feel so lucky that I was able to be a part of their healing. I’m grateful that I got to do some work in Spanish! My undergrad degree is in Psychology and Spanish. I almost didn’t study Spanish in college, but I am so grateful that I decided to do so. I love that I can do my work in TWO languages. Using my Spanish makes my work so much more exciting and helped me land my new position as well. Some of my clients spoke only Spanish and I got to run two different therapy groups in Spanish. I’m grateful for my classmates. Twelve classmates and I had group supervision together all year. We have all grown very close and it’s been great to have their feedback and support. I’m grateful for my professor. She let me borrow different books and resources, listened to recordings of my sessions, and gave me feedback that I really needed in order to be an effective therapist. I’m grateful for my supervisor. I may be biased, but my internship supervisor was the best supervisor EVER. He was available to me whenever I needed him, gave me the encouragement I needed to raise my confidence, validated my feelings, and provided constructive criticism about my work when necessary. We had excellent chemistry, too. I think the two of us will be good friends following my internship. He truly made my internship experience enjoyable. I’m grateful that my internship site was AWESOME overall. My internship was at a community based health center, which has several locations around the city. The location I worked at was a half mile away from my apartment. I walked there almost all the time πŸ™‚ My coworkers were SO helpful and my fellow interns were a joy to work with. This internship was UNPAID, but I didn’t mind working there at all! If they could hire me, I’d work at my internship site in a heartbeat. Sadly, my internship only hires therapists who are fully licensed, which will take me about 2 years. Who knows – maybe I’ll be back there someday?! I’m grateful that I had a cute office πŸ™‚   I’m grateful that I chose this internship and that the internship hired me. It was the best fit for me! I had a GREAT experience. Now real life begins again. In many ways, I feel prepared to get out there and work as a counselor. However, I also am aware that I have so much further to go and a ton more to learn. I am up for the challenge, though! Thank you for sticking with me throughout this journey. I know my blogging has not been very consistent, but school was my priority this year. Now, I’ll be working more, but will no longer have homework to do πŸ™‚ I hope to continue updating this space regularly with my running and life adventures! Do you plan to make a career change someday? Do you get to work with clients/patients at your job? What is it like?