Mi experiencia en Costa Rica ha sido muy divertida e interesante. I have enjoyed my stay in Costa Rica as a therapist in training. There were various techniques I observed that previously I have not had the opportunity to observe.
During the first two weeks at the UNIBE Neuropsychological clinic, I was able to observe thru a two-way mirror REBT sessions and WISC testing. The sessions reminded me of the need to provide affordable services to those in need not only here in Costa Rica but also back in the Unites States. I was also reminded of every parent’s desire to have healthy, happy children. No one wants to live in a neighborhood labeled as dangerous. If resources are allocated to provide mental health services it can increase the levels of happiness within our communities.
The last two weeks I have spent time observing in the hospital. During clinical rounds I was able to see patients pre and post surgery to discuss their mental health needs. It was amazing to see how optimistic the patients were. Dr. Adriana was knowledgeable and caring and reminded me of the importance of self-care. At Hospital Calderón Guardia, while observing intake sessions, psychiatrist’s sessions, speech therapy, groups with children, mothers and adolescents; I could see how engaged and committed to improvement the clients are.
Fridays were the days I enjoyed the most because of clinical supervision with Dr. Paula Llobet. Dr. Llobet has many years of counseling experience and was willing to share her experiences with the group. We were able to observe her hypnotize a patient in an effort to help him relieve anxiety and panic attacks. She taught us new guided imagery techniques and how to properly use deep breathing in sessions.
During this time, I have learned so much about myself as a therapist and how important it is to continue to learn Spanish. It is very easy to assume someone who does not speak your language as less educated. I understand first hand how lost and confusing it feels when you are not understood. I would like to reduce those feelings of anxiety in my clients when English is not their first language. It will take tine and more practice but I am grateful for the LMH program and it’s assistance in helping me reach that goal of becoming fluent in Spanish.
Me gustó mucho el tiempo que he pasado en Costa Rica. I look forward to my next immersion experience and the knowledge I will acquire abroad.