Hello! My name is Haley Weatherford, and I am a senior from Raleigh, North Carolina, studying Psychology and Hispanic Literatures and Cultures. Studying Psychology has given me an outlet to explore my interests in how people interact with one another, and has given way to my interest in the way that mental illness affects these interactions. I have had the opportunity to volunteer in the Couples Lab, assisting with studies that look at communication between couples, and what insight conversations between the members of the couple can bring, from emotion regulation to emotional synchrony. This work has not only solidified my interests in the importance of interpersonal relationships, but has also sparked a desire to work with couples long-term, putting research about effective communication into practice.
This semester, I have been able to develop wonderful insight into what the daily life of a Clinical Psychologist looks like through being placed at Lepage Associates. My responsibilities here are quite variable, which has been really great in allowing me to explore many different areas of the field. All of the clinicians at this private practice have such diverse backgrounds, which has proved to be an incredible wealth of knowledge. A few of the clinicians, including Dr. Lepage, and my mentor, Bailey Cole, have extensive backgrounds in forensic psychology. This is an area of psychology about which I knew very little before starting my internship, and now I have been able to hear about these experiences in detail, and even complete some literature searches that have helped in a forensic case. This encompasses one of the best parts of the internship experience, which is getting to learn from so many differently accomplished individuals within the field in which I want to work.
The main task that I have at my worksite is completing literature searches for the clinicians. I have gotten to do research about such varying areas of psychology, from different therapies to counterintuitive victim behavior. It has been really rewarding to practice the research skills I have learned in my classes to actually aid in improving people’s lives, as some of my research has gone towards assisting with court cases and clients with needs unfamiliar to the clinicians. One of the most exciting things I have had the opportunity to do at my worksite is observing the administration of the Woodcock Johnson, a cognitive test, and then going on to learn how to administer and score the test myself. This introduced me to a valuable new skill set, but also showed me another piece of what goes into reaching a diagnosis.
Interning at Lepage Associated has been a remarkable experience that has given me so much insight into what it means to be a clinical psychologist, both in regards to therapy and the business aspect of the job. It has given me the ability to learn from clinicians, complete meaningful research, and gain valuable skills for any position I may hold moving forward. Each day is filled with so many new, rich experiences that have only increased my excitement for clinical psychology.