Name: Troy Mitchell
Title: BA in Recreational Leisure from Ling Beach State, MA in Counseling Psychology from National University.
How did you hear about Outreach? I was told about Outreach Concern through a college colleague, Ilita Beckham, who is a licensed MFT. She did an internship through Outreach Concern while completing her hours and advised me to apply for Outreach Concern. I didn’t know much about it but I trust her and her referral.
What are some other roles you play in life you would like to share? I wear many “hats” in my life. I’m a full time probation officer for La County (6years), I just started writing for a blog site that I enjoy in my spare time, I’m currently writing a book that describes my perception of life, a volunteer assistant basketball coach for high school alternative learning teenagers, and last but not least a father to a beautiful 1 year toddler.
What led to your decision to be a school counselor with us? I value the source where I received the referral in the area of therapy and psychology. When she referred to me that I should try Outreach Concern, I jumped at the opportunity. After doing a little research, I like the involvement in elementary, junior high, and high schools and the passion for the interns to learn their craft which goes along with learning something new about themselves. I work with children full time at my job as a probation officer so my passion is with the youth. Outreach Concern allows me to grow in my profession and better apply therapeutic techniques to everyday occurrences.
What are some key elements needed while working with children and adolescents in this role ? Patience is one of the best key elements that is needed to work with children. Real life is different than how it is described in textbooks and movies. Trauma, abuse, and negative behavior by a minor can be challenging, but patience allows people to persevere. Self care is another key term. If the counselor is not taking care of themselves mentally, physically, or spiritually, than you cannot provide the best therapy for a troubled child. Take care of yourself, find time for “you.” It is essential!
How do you identify change in clients? I start to notice change when the client starts to handle situations positively on there own. As a counselor you saw who the client was in the beginning and you can slowly notice change. Once the client become self sufficient than change has occurred.
How can this practicum/internship experience help you in your future working in the mental health field? The real life experience is what helped me prepare for a career in the mental health field. The real clients, stories, situations that a counselor has to address or take action. It’s more than just hearing people talk, it’s active listening and engaging the client so they are comfortable and know there is someone that really is concerned about me well being. The ability to work with a client the way you want is applicable in this internship, and you can start to learn for yourself what works and what doesn’t instead of being lectured on what works and what doesn’t.
What words of wisdom can you share with future candidates of Outreach Concern? It may seem overwhelming, and maybe it is at first but push through it. Don’t be afraid of the paperwork, learn it. Don’t be afraid of parents or having to make a call to CPS. We all had to do it and once you do it on you will realize that it isn’t so bad. Keep your supervisor informed about your activity and specific cases, take care of yourself, don’t take stress home, and last be confident in yourself, you will do great!