My internship experience took place at Behavioral Health Associates in their partial hospitalization program. This gave me the opportunity to work with youth ages 9-18 who struggle from mental and behavioral health issues. We covered everything from group therapy, family sessions, and medication prescriptions to daily progress reports, educational integration and insurance involvement. The average length of stay for an individual here is 60-90 treatment days, so it really allows staff to get to know the clients and help them progress.
What Was Valuable About the Experience
I was able to see a variety of mental illnesses in the real world as opposed to only reading about them in textbooks. It helped me gain a much better understanding of what these effected individuals are going through on a day to day basis. I also found it valuable to be a part of the therapy and be immersed in this professional environment. I was seeing things I had previously learned being put into action.
The Coolest Part of the Experience
The coolest part of this experience for me was getting to know each of the kids. Originally I thought I might want to work with adults but I was surprised at how much I truly enjoyed the company of this younger group. During breaks in between therapy sessions, we would chat and play games. It helped remove the element of ‘client and therapist’ to two people who wanted understand one another. It was gratifying to watch them grow and progress, even in the relatively short time I was present. I still find myself wondering how they are doing today.
Who I Met that Made a Difference
My supervisor and the therapists I worked with were amazing, welcoming me with open arms. Each of them wanted me to be as successful as possible and they were always offering their help and knowledge. It was their goal to make sure I had a great experience and I learned so much more than I expected to because of them. I couldn’t thank them enough!
Psychology Club, Fitness Center Staff, Annual Student Art Exhibition