Top “Learnings” During Internship

These past 6 months have been a blur of learning experiences! It is so hard to narrow down what my top “learnings” have been because I have learned so incredibly much. I am not remotely close to the therapist I was 6 months ago, and thank goodness for that! I’ll try to synthesize the top 2 areas in which I have noticed the most growth in myself.

  1. Confidence! If you had told me 6 months ago that I would reach the point where I would feel confident in my ability to facilitate therapeutic change for a client within a session, I would have laughed in your face. Now, confidence does not mean I have the impression that I’m done learning and improving. I still have so much to learn! But this confidence means that I am no longer feeling floods of self-doubt when I enter my sessions. I no longer feel like I need to script and plan out every second of my sessions. Confidence means I’m finally to the point where I can trust my instincts. When I’m trusting my instincts, I can be myself. And when I’m myself, the client benefits from a more authentic therapeutic relationship, which leads to faster learning and goal achievement!
  1. As it turns out, I can teach! I had never thought of myself as a very good teacher. These past 6 months, I have been put in many many MANY teaching situations, from adapted piano and guitar lessons with children and teens to teaching the Clavinova (read: electric piano) to older adults. Initially, I was TERRIFIED by the idea of having to teach. And many times I felt I was just stumbling through each lesson. So, of course, I was amazed when my older adult students told me that I explained things very well and that they were able to easily understand my instructions. Now, I am no longer terrified of teaching. What’s more, I may even ENJOY it sometimes! I think this speaks volumes to the amount of practice I’ve had over the last 6 months, trying to relate to each one of my students in their unique learning styles, and breaking information down into small pieces. I’m grateful that I can walk away from this internship knowing that I developed a skill a never thought I had or would have

It’s been a wild learning ride, and the above to learning areas are just the tip of the iceberg. I am SO grateful for this experience and for the tools it has given me to become a more successful therapist.

  • Chiara

Goals, Assessments, and Reports

MTCCA shared an acronym with me for how to write great goals for your clients.  It is simply this–be SMART.

  1. Specific: The action must be very specific in order for it to be measurable.  In order to do this, you must first determine their functioning level before therapy is begun so there is something to compare
  2. Measurable: This is the way to tell if clients are making progress
  3. Achievable: They must be able to achieve the goals or there is no point in setting goals at all
  4. Relevant: There is no point in working on something that is not relevant to the client
  5. Time Limited: You should set a specific date for when they should have a goal achieved, for example “by July 2015…”

Mary Jane