My name is Kelly Eom and I am a senior majoring in Psychology and minoring in Spanish for the Professions (concentrating in law). My research interests lie in abnormalities in human behavior and in cognitive functioning, and ultimately, I hope to aid in de-stigmatizing topics of mental health in our society. This semester, I have had the pleasure of interning at the AHB Center for Behavioral Health and Wellness. I would like to extend my gratitude to the Gil Internship program, including Dr. Buzinski, Rachael Hall, and Molly Corrigan, for this incredible opportunity.
The AHB Center is headed by Dr. April Harris-Britt, who has been my co-mentor and co-supervisor (along with Diane Pace-Wiles) for this semester. I am surrounded by experienced clinicians who have a diverse range of expertise – individual/couple/family/developmental therapy, sand play therapy, evaluations and assessments, school observations, forensic psychology, interventions, and counseling. There are facets of clinical work that I would have never known without interning at the AHB Center. I have worked on Behavioral Intervention Plans for people in group homes who face a catalogue of mental disorders, I have gotten a peek at the arduous work surrounding parent coordinator cases from court, and I have sat in on the utmost vulnerable therapy sessions. Through all these experiences, I have much greater respect for clinicians because I now have a clearer view to appreciate the hard work that is required of their jobs.
One of the most rewarding experiences I have had was when I sat in on a meeting with a client who was in a group home. This client had multiple mental disorders and problems within the group home, and as I sat there taking notes, Dr. Harris-Britt suddenly told the client that I had some questions. I was shocked and felt as if she had thrown me under the bus. However interestingly enough, as she gave me an encouraging nod, the questions rolled off of me. I could feel myself becoming more engaged as time went on, and without realizing, 2 hours had gone by. If this wasn’t enough to shake me, Dr. Harris-Britt asked me afterwards to write a Behavioral Intervention Plan (BIP) for this client. A BIP sets out guidelines for the client and the supervisors at the group home; this allows the client to know what is (un)acceptable behavior and it helps the group home supervisors implement steps to enforce and upkeep positive behavior. This process truly hit a home run in me by making me realize the importance of the work that clinicians do in people’s lives, and I couldn’t be more honored to have even gotten a glimpse of it.
For me, the most valuable aspect about this internship was being able to participate in the clinical aspects of psychology. Despite my initial fears and worries, I can say with confidence that this has been the most amazing experience I have had within the psychology department. Every week, I got to fall more deeply in love with psychology and its implications and applications, and I have no one else but the Gil Internship Program to thank for this life-changing experience.