My name is Tate Overbey and I am a senior from Greensboro, North Carolina majoring in Psychology and Philosophy, and minoring in Neuroscience. Throughout my time at UNC, I have had the opportunity to become involved in psychological research which has led me to cultivate my own research interests. These include studying the role of cognitive mechanisms and traumatic experiences in the maintenance and etiology of OCD and PTSD in adult populations.
While I had numerous opportunities to get involved in research at UNC, I did not have many chances to gain clinical experience. This prompted me to request to be placed in a clinical setting after I was accepted into the Karen M. Gil Internship Program. Thanks to this program, I have had the pleasure of spending this past semester working as an intern for Holly Hill Hospital.
Holly Hill Hospital is a private psychiatric treatment facility that consists of two inpatient campuses, one serving children and one serving adults, as well as an outpatient partial hospitalization program. They treat patients ranging from four-years-old through the geriatric population, with a variety of psychological diagnoses such as Depression, Bipolar Disorder, Anxiety Disorders, PTSD Schizophrenia and Substance Abuse disorders. Holly Hill’s mission is to aid those in need on their path to recovery, as well as provide them with skills to help them function in the real world. In order to meet these goals, Holly Hill employs clinical psychologist and psychiatrist to assess patients, determine optimal treatment strategies, and with their consent, use psychotherapeutic and/or medical interventions as treatment.
In my time at Holly Hill, I primarily worked under clinical psychologist Dr. Jonathan Ahr as he assessed patients in order to create treatment strategies tailored to their specific needs. My responsibilities under Dr. Ahr included learning about, scoring, and evaluating personality assessments such as the MMPI-2 RF and MMPI-A, as well as shadowing Dr. Ahr as he interviewed and evaluated patients using assessment tools like the Kaufman Brief Intelligence Test and the Rorschach Personality Test. In addition to working under Dr. Ahr, I occasionally had the chance to shadow social workers as they facilitated group therapy sessions and psychiatrists as they conducted initial assessments with newly admitted patients.
My experience at Holly Hill gave me the opportunity to shadow over a hundred assessments, providing me with first-hand experience interacting with individuals from a vast range of populations. On any given day at Holly Hill, I could be sitting in on a group therapy session interacting with adolescents with oppositional defiant disorder, and an hour later be shadowing Dr. Ahr as he conducted a neurological assessment on a geriatric patient with dementia.
My experience at Holly Hill has been truly unique and is more that I could have asked for when I requested to be placed in a clinical setting. It has given me the chance to shadow a variety of professionals, and observe the administration of several different assessment tools, which is an experience that is unavailable to most undergraduate students. I am thankful for the Gil Internship for providing me with these opportunities that have helped me solidify my decision to seek out a Ph.D. in clinical psychology.