Title: Licensed Marriage and Family therapist
School: Notre Dame Academy
How did you hear about Outreach Concern? I heard about it when I was first starting my masters program at Cal State University Northridge
What are some other roles you play in life you would like to share? Mother is first and foremost, Chair of the Board at St. Anne’s for pregnant and parenting young mothers, Board member of CHIPS, Juniors of Social Service, Holy Cross Family Ministries, Order of Malta.
What led to your decision to be a school counselor with us? I was told by former counselor’s at Outreach Concern that it was a great way to get a wide variety of experience working with children and families.
What are some key elements needed while working with children and adolescents in this role ? Flexibility is the most important element. Some students are very talkative and want to stay in your office for a long time. Others barely say anything and you need to come up with creative ways to help them express their feelings. Each day is also very different. You may think that you have planned out your day and then a student is in crisis and you need to stop everything to see them.
How do you identify change in clients? Sometimes you can see it the moment they walk in the door. If they have been unhappy, it can be as simple as seeing them smile. If they have been struggling in school, you can see it when you see their grades or they tell you how well they did on their last test.
How can this practicum/internship experience help you in your future working in the mental health field? It exposes counselors to so many different elements of children and family counseling. From speaking to parents on the phone, to bringing them into the office, you see the dynamics of the student’s home which can help you to better understand the student and can help you with future clients. By working with students on a variety of issues, the counselor is also better trained for the issues that will come up in other counseling situations.
What words of wisdom can you share with future candidates? This is a great internship because the student’s are at the school and come to counseling. When you do an internship in an agency, there are many no- shows or cancellations so it is much more difficult to build up hours. Ina a school setting, you are also exposed to a wide variety of issues such as grief, eating disorders, cutting, substance abuse and an assortment of family related problems which gives you a great deal of practical experience.