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Hello! My name is Kelsey Sutton, and I am junior from Marshall, North Carolina, double majoring in Psychology and Sociology with a minor in Southern Studies. I became aware of my love of psychology while taking Abnormal Psychology, as I was looking forward to reading the textbook for class. I am primarily interested in anxiety and mood disorders in adolescents, specifically with how that relates to social context. I am also interested in research on evidence-based treatments for these disorders, access to treatment for underserved populations, and issues in rural mental health care. At UNC, I am currently a research assistant in Dr. Prinstein’s Peer Relations Lab. The lab focuses on peer relationships and stressors from early childhood to adolescence and their reciprocal influence on depression, suicidality, and health-risk behaviors. In the future, I plan on pursuing a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology. I love how the research can lead to larger societal shifts in the understanding of specific disorders and treatments, while the clinical work has a direct impact on individuals and their mental health.

Through the Gil Internship, I am thankful to be working at 3-C Family Services in Cary this semester. The private practice consists of multiple psychiatrists, psychologists, and counseling professionals who treat a range of psychological disorders with regards to the family context. Their clients range from toddlers to adults.  My mentor is Dr. Lori Schweickert who is a psychiatrist and the Medical Director at 3-C Family Services. She specializes in diagnosing and treating psychological disorders in children and adolescents and is also an assistant consulting professor of Psychiatry at Duke University.

My tasks vary greatly from week to week, which is great, as I get to see a variety of different aspects of the clinic. Over the course of the semester, I have conducted multiple literature reviews on different forms of medication and treatment plans for specific clients, have scored different psychological assessments, and have reviewed multiple clinician’s notes and reports. One of my favorite parts of the internship has been shadowing some of Dr. Schweickert’s psychiatry sessions. For one case, I have been the medical scribe since the intake appointment, and it has been interesting to watch the progression of the case through treatment! Currently, I am working on creating skills notecard books for the dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) groups. DBT focuses on helping people learn more effective ways to cope with intense negative emotions, and I have really enjoyed learning more about this kind of therapy from the clinicians on that team. I am also getting ready to start managing the data quality and organization for 3-C Family Services’ participation in the Reduction of Adverse Drug Events and Readmissions (RADAR-PGX) and the Sertraline Pediatric Registry for the Evaluation of Safety (SPRITES) national studies. I am really excited to learn more about how research can be integrated into clinical treatment in the private practice setting. I have already learned so much being at 3-C Family Services over the past few months, and I can’t wait for all the new experiences to come!

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