Emily Grimsman worked at The Center for Change-- truly making a difference in girls' lives. Read more about what she learned and accomplished during this experience!
What was your internship experience?
I spent about 16 hours a week working at Center for Change. CFC is a residential hospital for women and teen girls with eating disorders.
As a psych technician I was involved in direct patient care on the units. I mainly worked on the adolescent unit - which I love! I ate meals with the patients, took them to doctor's appointments, attended school with the teen patients, provided emotional support, enforced rules and CFC programming, and many other various tasks. Sometimes this involved implementing consequences or assignments to help patients reflect on events that lead up to engaging to negative behaviors. Working part time at CFC during school also helped me to feel responsible and accomplished.
During my time there I learned how to find balance between showing compassion to the patients, but being hard on the eating disorder. I learned about the medical and mental health complications that are associated with these disorders. I grew in my confidence and ability to remain empathetic but also calm during emotional or physical crises. If given a chance, I would choose to intern/work at CFC again.
Overall, my experience at CFC was overwhelming at times but caused me to grow in my ability to understand and deal with mental health in clinical settings.
What was the most important thing you learned from this experience?
The most important that I have learned at CFC relates to the field I would like to go into. I want to be a counselor/therapist (specifically in marriage and family therapy). Being able to work in a clinical setting among patients with complex and difficult mental health issues gave me understanding and increased my ability to empathize. This has given me confidence and experience as I move forward in pursuing further education and work related to psychology.
The psychology courses I took at BYU increased my knowledge and understanding regarding how the body and brain work together to create our relative experiences. I learned a lot about mental health in my abnormal psychology course which I found especially useful.I developed confidence and gained knowledge regarding clinical mental health settings. I have grown as a person and am able to act quickly during crises. I also take seriously my responsibility to stay updated with patient information and emails relating to their progress.