Hi there! My name is Brianna Baker and I am a senior from Elon, North Carolina double majoring in Psychology and Interdisciplinary Studies with a minor in Health and Society. During my time at Carolina, research has been one of my top priorities and passions. Having always been interested in African-American Psychology, Health Disparities Research, and Multicultural research methods, my research experiences tend to be quite interdisciplinary. In the past, I have worked as a research assistant at the Carolina Population Center, the UNC Department of Sociology, and in the Motivation and Identity Lab in the UNC Psychology and Neuroscience Department. Currently, I work as a research assistant in the UNC School of Medicine’s Center for Health Equity Research where I am also completing my Honors Thesis. In addition, I am a research assistant under Dr. Enrique Neblett in his African-American Youth Wellness Lab which is dedicated to examining individual differences in responses to racial discrimination with a focus on biological processes that shape the link between racial discrimination and physical and psychological well-being in African American adolescents.
Despite having a fair share of research assistantships, I was lacking the exposure and hands on experience of applied psychology. I longed for an opportunity to take my research beyond the lab and into practice and the Gil internship gave me just that. This semester I have been interning under clinical psychologist, Dr. April Harris-Britt at AHB Center for Behavioral Health and Wellness. This private clinical practice employs clinicians of diverse backgrounds and with diverse fields of expertise. Additionally, the AHB Center treats children and adults from diverse backgrounds and with various levels and types of psychopathology. At the center I have observed clients from ages 3 to 95 and seen first-hand the practice of multiple types of psychotherapy such as play therapy, mindfulness training, and CBT. My internship has given me the opportunity to observe therapy sessions, score and administer psychological evaluations, and understand the inner-workings of a private practice.
In addition to observation and assessments, the center keeps me busy with various tasks. My large project for the semester centers around making a database of free, community resources that the center can refer clients to. Working at AHB has taught me that psychological wellness and distress are often the product of the environment. Many people experiencing psychological issues have inadequate housing, abuse substances, or have a lack of quality and sustainable social connections. My database seeks to find resources for these underlying issues of mental illness at no cost to the client.
I have thoroughly enjoyed my time at AHB Center for Behavioral Health and Wellness. I believe this opportunity has made me even more eager to start my career as a clinician. As I apply to graduate programs this fall, the Gil internship has made me more confident in my choice of career and in my competence to succeed in the field of clinical psychology.