Hello! My name is Willa King, and I am a senior from Richmond, Virginia. I am pursing a major in Psychology and a minor in Studio Art. I work in Dr. Paschal Sheeran’s health behavior lab, and I recently completed my senior honors thesis on behavioral interventions to reduce health information avoidance. I spent this past summer conducting art therapy with patients at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City. I am passionate about taking a holistic approach to health and wellness, and I hope to pursue a doctorate in clinical psychology and become a therapist.
As a Gil Intern, I have had the wonderful opportunity of working at Lepage Associates under my mentor, Dr. Bailey Cole. Lepage Associates is a psychology private practice that puts emphasis on providing both positive and practical solutions to life’s challenges. Not only do Lepage clinicians wish to serve as listening ears for their clients, but they make it their priority to give them advice that they can easily digest and incorporate into their lives, actively helping people to overcome hardships and acquire the strength needed to reach their goals. I was first drawn to Lepage Associates because of the wide range of psychological services they provide. Not only do they offer the typical therapies for people suffering from adversities or psychological disorders, but they also offer a number of self-enhancement therapies in such areas as improving social skills and building self-esteem, motivation, and confidence. They also offer couple’s and marriage counseling, family therapy, reunification therapy, and forensic services. For an undergrad aspiring to learn more about clinical psychology, Lepage has provided a very rich environment in which to learn and progress.
Therapists have a lot of side work to do, which limits the amount of time they can spend providing therapy. My role as an intern has been to take over some of that side work, thereby freeing up clinicians to maximize time with their clients. Thus, my work involves doing research for clinicians on a variety of topics, such as how to talk to kids about divorce, whether or not children should be reunified with previously abusive parents, and laws on competency to stand trial. Another of my tasks is to help with writing clinical interviews. Lepage Associates provides court-ordered psychological evaluations, which are comprised of a client’s psychological tests and clinical interviews. Lepage clinicians conduct the interviews and give me the interview notes, which I write up in paragraph form as they are meant to appear on the evaluations. A final task of mine is to write posts for Lepage’s “Something to Ponder,” “Ask Anything,” and “Happiness” blogs, which can be found on their website. I have written about such topics as shifting dependency patterns from codependence to interdependence, the importance of sleep hygiene, and the power of meditation. My time interning at Lepage has allowed me to observe the daily routines of a psychology private practice and gain insight on the tasks required of therapists other than just seeing clients. This internship has given me a unique experience to deepen my knowledge and passion for applied clinical psychology, thus furthering my preparedness and excitement to pursue a higher degree and career in this domain.