Title: Clinical Forensic Psy.D. Candidate
School: The Chicago School of Professional Psychology (Irvine Campus)
How did you hear about Outreach Concern? I discovered about Outreach Concern through discussions of practicum experiences with many student colleagues as well as the clinical training director of the academic institution at which I study.
What are some other roles you play in life that you would like to share? I am an emerging researcher, passionate lifelong learner in several areas, volunteer psychoeducation provider, aspiring psychology and addiction sciences instructor at a private university, non-professional music producer, encourager, leader, and avid writer in the psychological sciences and prescriptive self-help discipline.
What led to your decision to be a school counselor with us? Joining Outreach Concern was motivated by a variety of factors, namely the prospect of growth. I saw Outreach as an opportunity to acutely familiarize myself with embodied child development, system dynamics, personality emergence, the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, learning disabilities, socioeconomic and ecosystem impact on an individual scale, and interdisciplinary efforts with non-psychology professionals. Outreach offered a unique experience that in many ways satisfied my hunger for learning and competency building, yet also positively diverged from expectation.
What are some key elements need while working with children and adolescents in this role? It is difficult to synthesize the “winning combination” of attributes and efforts in this counseling role. Foremost is a desire to sharpen and excel in the experience. A strong sense of self-efficacy and a drive to self-represent are vital to being a top achiever. Pragmatism is must-have quality. Objectives, planning, execution of intervention, and results should be a paramount priority. Communication cannot be emphasized enough. We are perceived according to what we present. An internal locus of control is the ultimate key to success. Our experiences are shaped by what we do with them and opportunities are created in turn.
How do you identify change in clients? Change is evident in the way a client feels about him/herself. Though the referral issues may sometimes vary between cases, the results often follow a uniform profile. The client who experiences progress naturally improves functioning in a variety of areas, including academic performance. Gathering collateral information can indicate areas that need improvement as well as status of measurable goal attainment. Ten times out of ten, the child reportedly and observably feels better and navigates his/her environment and tasks more effectively. For those who demonstrate change, the momentum is palpable. Even in children, progress is both simple and complex.
How can this internship/practicum experience help you in your future working in the mental health field? This experience has broadened my perspective and approach to counseling. I have acquired knowledge and practical ability within some of the techniques I did not previously take interest in or apply. I realized further development in my style of communication, my confidence with specific populations, and contribution to collaborative efforts on a case-to-case basis. In the mental and behavioral health field, goal-oriented focus is a necessity. This experience has furthered my understanding of what it means to facilitate and empower results. Actively pursuing the above-and-beyond level of performance has undoubtedly optimized my trajectory as a professional in the applied psychological sciences.
What words of wisdom you can share with future candidates of Outreach Concern? This experience is what you make of it. It can be a phenomenal opportunity, or it can be a task that earns hours. You have the ultimate choice. Set your sights on learning, honing your craft, improving, and constructing something you are proud of. Do not minimize the significance of the experience or the work. Invest in it, grow with it, and make it something you and others eagerly highlight as being worthy of marvel!