Hello! My name is Rachael Kang and I am a junior majoring in Psychology. Being a member of the 2016 Fall Gil Intern Cohort has been one of the most enriching and awesome experiences I have had here at UNC. I want to thank Dr. Buzinski and Rachael Hall for allowing me this incredible opportunity. Words cannot express how grateful I am.
I am working at 3-C Family Services clinic located in Cary, NC. I chose 3-C for two reasons. Firstly, I am interested in clinical child psychology, possibly with an emphasis on development. Secondly, I hoped to gain more experience in a clinical setting, especially because I only had clinical research experience. In my short time at 3-C, I have found that this was the perfect place to be. My mentor is Dr. Lori Schweickert, though all the clinicians at 3-C have mentored me in some way. The clinic focuses on providing mental health care and support to the surrounding community. Services include, but are not limited to, family therapy, individual therapy, couples therapy, and group therapy. In addition to having licensed clinicians on staff, there are also two M.D.s on staff, one of whom is my mentor, Dr. Lori Schweickert.
My position as an intern has involved creating visual timelines of medication for patients, proofreading patient reports, being a social skills group co-leader, being involved with a pharmaceutical research study, and creating a database for Non-verbal learning disabilities. I have been at this internship for over half a semester now, and I could not be happier with what I am doing. Not only am I getting hands-on clinical experience as a co-leader for group and still getting to be part of a research study, but I am also catching a glimpse of the diagnostic and assessment processes by getting to proofread Dr. Schweickerts’ reports.
However, I think my entire experience at 3-C can be summed up in one experience. There was one activity that Dr. Schweickert had me do will truly stick with me. She had me look at a drawing that a child drew in session that day, and she told me, “I told the child to draw what their family did this weekend. Based on this picture, what would you guess the diagnosis is?” This was nothing like I had ever learned in a classroom before. There was no prompt or word bank—just me, the picture, and what little information Dr. Schweickert had told me. And, honestly, all I saw was a picture of the child and what looked like a mother in a sea of blue. But to Dr. Schweickert, the picture told the story of a child so afraid of being alone that they neglected to draw their siblings, their father, and the activity they had done over the weekend.
This experience really made me understand how blessed I was to be placed at 3-C. Everyday I am pushing the boundaries of the classroom, applying textbook theory to real-life situations. I watch clinicians as they interact with their patients, listen to them as they seek each other’s advice and feedback, and learn from them whenever I have questions about a practical application of more abstract concepts such as clinician-patient multiple relationships and ethical violations. I am looking forward to completing this internship, and continuing expand my view of the world of clinical psychology.
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