Emma interend as a coach and clinical aide for The Heritage Community during Winter 2023 Semester.
Briefly explain what you did and the result of your internship.
I work in a Life home, so my department focuses on teaching adolescents executive functioning and life skills while maintaining progress on their emotional regulation. We make sure kids are able to cook for themselves, work in teams, do household chores and clean up after themselves, maintain a healthy and active lifestyle, and develop social relationships, as well as working on specific skills like budgeting, vehicle safety and maintenance, goal setting, and more. We help them in school and develop a schedule of activities in the evenings, and track how they are doing in a variety of categories to keep a record of their progression. We prepare them to graduate and return to their families or move up to a Launch home, depending on their personal goals.
What did you learn on your internship that you were not expecting to learn?
I knew I would have the opportunity to work with populations with neurodivergent diagnoses and mood disorders, but I was not expecting to work with such a wonderful community of queer folks, and learn to tailor my clinical efforts to that population. I also got to learn a lot about Dialectical behavioral therapy, and family therapy methods that I was not expecting.
How have your future plans changed because of what you learned from your internship experience?
I learned that I want to provide family therapy as well as individual therapy, and I learned to respect the efficacy of group therapy as well.
Please share how your experience led to personal inspiration or insightful revelation.
I felt guided over the course of working at Heritage to apply for a wider variety of schools than I had considered, and the program that wound up being my first choice (and the one I chose, since I got into it) is one I hadn't considered applying to without that revelation.
Would you recommend this internship to other students?
Absolutely! It is a wonderful working environment, with plenty of opportunities for mentoring and learning. Supervisors really invest in your professional development, and it often can lead to long term employment.