Name: Karissa Lentz, MA
Title: Regional Field Supervisor, currently working on MFT licensure
Education: Graduated from Argosy University
Practicum Site: Mater Dei High School
How did you hear about Outreach? I heard about Outreach Concern my second year of my graduate school program. I wanted to work with children so my practicum advisor told me about Outreach Concern. After reading about the program, I decided that Outreach Concern was definitely the spot for me and I have been here ever since.
What are some other roles you play in life you would like to share? Outside of being a Regional Field Supervisor, I am also going back to school for my PsyD in Clinical Psychology.
What led to your decision to be a school counselor with us? I was drawn to school counseling because I know that challenges early in life can be detrimental to a child’s success. I wanted to be able to help people at a young age because that is where I believe the most change can happen.
What are some key elements needed while working with children and adolescents in this role? Some of the key elements in working with children are patience, creativity and flexibility. Working with children is very different than working with adults because they do not possess the same skill sets life experience provides. Children require patience during the learning process, creativity to engender motivation to learn and flexibility accommodate to each child’s unique need.
How do you identify change in clients? I identify change in clients by grade point average improvement, parent evaluation and teacher evaluation. I do not believe you can obtain an accurate depiction on whether or not a child is succeeding based on what they tell you. I believe there are several factors that play a role in determining improvement and obtaining all the relevant data is the best way to measure success.
How can this practicum/internship experience help you in your future working in the mental health field? Outreach Concern offers a unique opportunity to work in our field. Working in a school based program introduces counselors to more than the identified patient. You must learn how to be personable, flexible, collaborative and have a sense of urgency in order to generate results which are skills that are essential to being successful in the mental health field. Outreach Concern does not train counselors to sit in their office and wait for change. We are diligent because of our strong desire to help students succeed both in and outside of the classroom.
What words of wisdom can you share with future candidates of Outreach Concern? Be ready to work! School based counseling is not like any other position in our field. You are introduced to many different situations that require collaboration and quick thinking that will definitely make you a stronger counselor.