My experience as a Gil Intern is one that I will forever count as one of the most valuable experiences of my life. I am a clinical intern at Lepage Associates Psychiatric and Psychological Services in Durham, which is a solution-based clinical practice consisting of multiple clinicians who specialize in everything from cognitive behavioral therapy to neurofeedback and nutrition services. Lepage Associates is a great place to be; I wake up excited to go to the office every day because I know that I’m going to learn something new and have the opportunity to grow.
My duties started off fairly easy for the first couple days; I checked in clients as they came in for their appointments, handled insurance claims, and learned quite a bit about the administrative duties of running a clinical practice. Essentially, I fulfilled the role of office manager. This really helped to ease me into the internship and alleviate the initial anxieties that came from knowing that the Gil program holds high expectations for its members.
The simple days were short lived, however, as I was given more complex (and exciting!) opportunities. Over the course of the internship, I have learned how to score and interpret multiple different psychological assessments, as well as how to write complete confidential reports for those cases. I also have access to information about all the clients, including session notes, diagnostic information, and other documents that allow me to follow the process of different client’s cases from the very beginning. I’ll also be shadowing the clinicians on and off site as they administer assessments and follow cases. The great thing about Lepage Associates is how diverse their practice is; I’ve gained experience in assessments, forensic psychology, mock diagnostic interviews, and various types of therapies.
Another aspect of working at Lepage Associates, and perhaps my favorite aspect, is the autonomy I have in my own involvement at the clinic. At any time, I can schedule an appointment to chat with any of the clinicians working there. I take advantage of this opportunity often, whether it is to discuss a particular case they are working on that fascinates me, or to seek out more challenges. Each clinician at Lepage has been so welcoming and willing (ecstatic, even) to help me develop new skills and to share their knowledge and experiences.
Another special factor of being a Gil Intern at Lepage Associates is the way that opportunities, through networking, have presented themselves every day. I’ve become involved, or plan to become involved, in numerous other organizations that are unrelated to Lepage Associates, just by interacting with the clinicians. Truly, it has amazed me just how much this program has been able to expand my horizon of opportunity.
Apart from my work at Lepage Associates, the class time spent with the other interns and Dr. Buzinski has also been invaluable to me. I love getting to sit with the other interns and talk about their experiences and the great work they’re doing at their individual sites. We also have many career development days with professionals in Career Services at the university. I’ve learned so much about how to improve my networking skills, resume and CV, interviewing skills, and so many other vitally important professional skills that I would not have otherwise received training for. I am so thankful for my semester in the Gil Internship Program!