My position was as an outpatient substance abuse counselor. My duties included substance abuse evaluations, admitting clients, planning activities and leading group sessions, and individual sessions, completing ASAMs and monitoring progress, communicating with DHS and probation officers, writing progress reports for clients, drug screenings, and more.
My greatest accomplishment during my internship was gaining more confidence in myself. Although I still have a lot of work to do on myself to overcome my fears and nerves, I feel I have come a long way through my experience. When I began my internship, even though it was my dream to be a counselor and someday a therapist, I didn't feel confident enough in my communication skills to do so. I struggled a lot with impostor syndrome in the beginning and thought everyone was crazy for trusting me to work in a position that required such high communication skills. The counselor I worked side by side with was very helpful, however, in helping me grow my skills and prepare questions and topics to discuss before appointments. She was also very encouraging and empowering, and so were my supervisors. I still feel nervous, but now I at least know that I CAN do this, and I AM good enough for my dream job.
I learned to grow my confidence and my communication skills throughout my internship, which is extremely valuable moving forward with my future. I also learned that people who struggle with addiction CAN change. One of my clients also shared a statement that has really stuck with me ever since, "meth is the portal to hell." I have pondered this a lot and felt it really illustrates the experience of people who become addicted to this substance.
What advice would you give?
For future students in my major who are entering their internship, the best advice I can give is just to breathe. Believe in yourself. You have made it this far for a reason. You have successfully made it to the end of the road to get your degree, and you wouldn't have been able to do that if you didn't display the knowledge and skills to earn it. You were hired at your internship because the supervisor saw something in you. You can do this. I promise, no matter how nervous you are or how much you doubt yourself, you are here for a reason, and you can do whatever you set your mind to. Also, your coworkers and supervisors can be very helpful and supportive of any fears or challenges you may have. Definitely talk with them and keep up good communication; you can really learn a lot from this experience. Best of luck!