If It's Tuesday, This Must Be Wheelock College Counseling Center

Posted on October 24,2012 by sdmosaligantimspp

Me with the amazing Emily (BC), my fellow Wheelock intern, in front of our Maslow-themed bulletin board

My second-year PsyD practicum is at Wheelock College, a program that complements my first-year practicum work at Newton-Wellesley Hospital's Psychiatry Unit. I went from diagnoses, formal titles, and overhead lighting to psychotherapy, first-name bases, and Bed Bath & Beyond lamps.

When I first started interning here, the idea of engaging in 50-minute psychotherapy sessions intimidated me. What would happen if the client and I ran out of stuff to talk about? I could just imagine it: an awkward pause - I panic... and continue panicking as the awkward pause extends into an awkward minute... after which I frantically blurt out something - anything ("So, um, what's your favorite candy? Do we really need any more half-hour cop dramas? What are your thoughts on US foreign policy in Libya?").

Everyone starts out nervous when first performing psychotherapy, but, as a student here, your education, experiences, and personality will smoothly get you through. I've been able to recruit knowledge gained through my coursework and past and current practicum trainings - from CBT and motivational-interviewing techniques to psychodynamic and attachment theories - to help foster comfortable, engaging, and productive sessions. Amidst my crazy, hectic schedule, Tuesday is my most hefty-duty day as I tend to have up to seven sessions, but I'm no longer nervous - in fact, sometimes I wish the sessions could be longer than 50 minutes, but I might feel different about that in a couple months or so... I'll keep you updated!