Week #9 in my counseling internship, and I have just clocked 100 hours! This means that I only have 500 more to go, it is awesome to see it adding up so quickly. Here is the breakdown: 18.5 hours Face to Face, 3.25 hours of Individual Supervision, 4 hours of Group Supervision, and 74.25 hours of Related Activities. By far the easiest hours for me to earn have been in Related Activities. For this any hours spend contacting area churches and businesses, hours of office work, or any hours reading materials, preparing for sessions, and writing case notes count.
The biggest struggle that I have had is earning face to face hours. I currently have two clients, at my practice I work with mostly licensed counselors and two MA level counselors. If our clients have insurance then they work with a licensed counselor, if they do not they work with either the MA counselors or myself. It turns out that in most cases most of those who contact us are insured, therefore it has been a struggle to find clients for me.
However, helping to train our new office manager definitely has its perks! Our office manager is a sweet heart and when she gets information for new clients she always keeps me in her thoughts as to whether it might be a good case for me to observe.
Recently, I was discussing observation vs co-therapy with my supervisor. In the descriptions for my school’s paperwork it describes observation as not interacting with the clients, but silently watching the session. At my site though, as I’ve mentioned, the counselors treat me like a colleague and encourage me to ask the clients questions and participate in the therapeutic process. In explaining this to my supervisor she said that I could write up the sessions as co-therapy, if that would be helpful, since essentially that is how the counselors have me act. This is an exciting way to get more hours!
During one of my intensives one of the professors mentioned the benefit of voice recording sessions and then typing the transcripts. I decided to do this a few weeks ago and produce the transcript to be able to have my supervisor evaluate my abilities. Transcribing took very long! For one 45 minute session I was transcribing for over 3 hours and I didn’t even transcribe the entire session! So, I think instead I’ll continue to audio the sessions to be able to listen to them to refresh myself when I do not have access to the client files and my notes, and transcribe short segments for my and my supervisor’s benefit. Audio recording was helpful to be able to attend better to my client, knowing that I get obtain more of the information afterwards, also I was able to mull over client’s specific words and detect more of the themes that ran through our sessions together.
I’m learning so much! One of the biggest things that I am learning is how important it is for me to be digging into the Word daily, not only of course for my own spiritual growth and development, but the more familiar I am with the Word I do not have to stumble when I’m trying to remember a specific passage or reference for a situation that a client is dealing with.
My biggest worry is getting my face to face hours in, I can’t make clients appear out of thin air. However, I can pray. I can pray that God will send me the right people at the right time. Maybe right now I just need to focus on the two clients that I have. I’ll see in time with 500 rest of my hours!
Feel free to leave suggestions, ideas, books/resources you recommend. I spend a lot of my time rereading books from previous classes.