My name is Jasmin Brooks and I am a senior from Atlanta, Georgia majoring in Psychology and Sociology. My research interests lie in the field of African-American Psychology, and specifically investigating how the internalization of stereotypes and discriminatory experiences impacts the mental health of African-American young adults. In addition, I am interested in addressing the stigma that exists in the African-American community against accessing mental health services. In the future I aim to connect my research to clinical practice in order to help train multicultural therapists to effectively address the unique needs of African Americans. This semester I have had the pleasure of interning at AHB Center for Behavioral Health and Wellness, a clinical private practice located in Durham, NC.
Interning at AHB has been an incredible experience for me so far. While I have prior experience interning at clinical practices, AHB is the first practice that includes a staff with diverse backgrounds, and areas of expertise. At AHB I am able to sit in on individual, couple and family therapy sessions with licensed psychologists, score psychological evaluations with school psychologists, and engage in informal conversations with LPC’s and LCSW’s to get a well-rounded holistic view of what it is like to work in a clinical practice. In addition, I have had the opportunity to help plan parenting sessions with one of the graduate students in the practice. As a result of these various interactions, my knowledge of the field of Clinical Psychology has broadened tremendously.
One of the most rewarding experiences I have had here at AHB is the opportunity to sit in on therapeutic sessions. I remember during my second week, my mentor Dr. Harris-Britt asked me to sit in on a meeting with one of her adult clients. At first I was nervous, as previously I had only observed behavioral concerns during intakes of a new client; however, after a short while I noticed the notes I was writing flowed easily. I noted therapeutic techniques used by Dr. Harris-Britt as well as my observations of the client. Afterwards I felt the nerves return as I was asked the broad question, “So what do you think?” However, I started relaying the first behaviors I noticed, and before I knew it 30 minutes had gone by. Dr. Harris-Britt then asked me to write up the notes that I had taken. Through experiences such as this, the passion I have for providing therapy to clients, and opening my own practice, has grown significantly. I am able to see the day-to-day behind the scenes of the life of a therapist as well as the many roles that the owner of the clinical practice shares. As a result of this experience, I now feel I have a more realistic and accurate view of what my future holds.
Interning at AHB has also reaffirmed my desire to pursue a PhD In Clinical Psychology. Through engaging with Dr. Britt and the rest of the team at AHB, I have realized that I not only want to provide therapy upon completion of my degree, but also, I want to open my own clinical practice with a diverse staff similar to the staff here at AHB. My confidence in my ability to work in clinical settings and perform clinical tasks has also grown through these experiences. This would not have been possible without the fantastic opportunity to be a Gil Intern! The Gil Internship has also helped me develop professionally, and increased my excitement for applying to Clinical doctoral programs this semester!