I’ve just finished the first quarter review in my second semester of counseling internship. Here are the stats: Week #25 Face to Face: 97.25 hours, Individual Supervision: 12.75 hours, Group Supervision: 11 hours, and Related Activity: 283 for a grand total of 404 hours.
The past few weeks I’ve felt less like a counseling intern and more like a general office aide. I’ve covered for our office manager/admin assistant over the Memorial Day holiday, and have spent many related activity hours on a networking open house event for churches in the area. Also, the summer weather seems to have increased the amount of no shows and late cancellations that we have. Its been discouraging because I want to keep growing in my therapy skills.
It doesn’t help that the group I was co leading has now ended, as that was a great source of hours on a weekly basis. Through teaching group using Boundaries materials by Cloud and Townsend, and doing premarital using Prepare/Enrich I realize how comfortable I am in more of the structured teaching role. It is enjoyable having the outline structure, and then being able to tweak it as we desired. The Boundaries DVD and work text is set up as a 9 week course, but likely it would be better to be further stretched out as they teach so much material each session, and focus less on application until the last few sessions.
Hopefully, I’ll be able to make up for the lack of my own regular clients by doing co therapy with some of the other counselors again. In those times I have to work through my insecurity of bugging them, and hope that I’m actually helping some of those who have such a heavy case load themselves.
One thing that I started towards the end of my first semester was my own personal counseling. My supervisor suggested it, stating that her school’s program actually required it. When she first suggested it, I wanted to avoid it. I thought “eh, I don’t really need it. I mean I could just talk with a good Christian friend.” In watching that inner dialogue I realized that I was being a giant hypocrite in wanting to avoid it.
I was so nervous even in completing the intake over the phone. When asked what the presenting problem was I said “past issues.” Realizing how generic that was I said, “umm like family of origin” She laughed and said, “You sound like a counselor!” I replied, “well….I may or may not be a counseling student.” She was very encouraging, saying how valuable it was to be able to have time to work on my own issues as well as being able to experience what my own clients experience. So far I’ve had 6 sessions and I really look forward to it each week. I see this as another educational experience, her modeling techniques while we’re working through any of my personal life struggles.
Pushing through the slower/lack of direct client hours lately, I try to focus on the positives. I try to focus on the fact that in actively having to participate in the process to gain new clients I’m gaining important marketing skills. In spreading out counseling experience over time, I try to focus on the fact that I will have a full years worth of experience come December (and the end of my 3rd semester). Little by little. At least now all I really need to obtain are my face to face and supervision hours :0).