Mommy Monday – My Psychology Internship Experience

Hello My Beautiful Jewels and Gems,

So during my junior year, at Cal State Fullerton. I decided to take my psychology internship class.

It was very important to me to choose an internship that gave me real life experience. I did not wish to only earn the credits for my G.P.A., but I wanted an experience that I could take away to test the theory of becoming a Clinical Psychologist.

Let’s rewind about five years, when I was a freshman in high school, I had taken a course called Freshman Studies that allowed you to explore your future career. During this course we worked on a year long project to research our future career to find out more about it.

At this time, I decided to research being a Counseling Psychologist. I wasn’t sure if I would still want to follow this career path after researching it.

I was pleased that upon completing the course and completing the project, I still wanted to pursue that career. Of course I was planning to pursue a career as a Counseling Psychologist as a back-up plan to my dreams of working in the entertainment industry.

Therefore, I went through the rest of my high school and the beginning of my college career planning on pursuing a career in Counseling/Clinical Psychology.

braidsSo the internship, was a huge test for me because I understood that real life experience was far superior to just studying a career.

So back to my junior year at Cal State Fullerton, I completed my internship at a Counseling and Education center. Which, is now closed to my understanding.

I was a monitor for monitor visitations. I completed Intakes, which were the interviews that lead to a new monitor visitation case beginning in our program.

In addition to doing Intake interviews, I also monitored court ordered visits between parents and their children.

The intake interviews gave me a “patient-therapist” type of experience. The monitoring gave me a “relationship-building” type of experience that occurs between a therapist and their clients.

Also, I answered incoming phone calls and completed outgoing calls to get more monitor visitation cases going in our program. In order for these children to see their parents, we had to complete an Intake interview with both parents. Which meant, they both had to be compliant.

Even though, the court had ordered these visits many of the parents did not follow through. So, if one parent came and completed their interview, but the other did not, then that parent could not see their child.

Many times, this caused parents who were not seeing their children to become very upset. They would coincidentally, call and cuss me out because I was usually the one answering the phones two-days a week.

Also, the company was disorganized and had too many cases. There were even cases where both parents had come in and completed all of their paperwork and the Intake process, but because there were not enough monitors, we could not accommodate them.

Therefore, week-by-week they still could not see their children. These parents would also call and cuss me out, just because I was the one answering the phones.

My position included helping and checking people in at the front desk, answering phone calls, and completing outgoing phone calls to gain new monitor visitation cases. However, my most important job was completing Intakes and monitoring visitations. If you ask me, this was a lot of responsibility for an unpaid intern. Don’t you think?

The way monitored visits worked, was one parent would come 15 minutes earlier than the other because there was usually a restraining order between the parents. When that parent would arrive they would be put into a room, and I would close the door and wait for the second parent with the child to arrive.

Usually, when the visiting parent came in they would pay for the visit. If they were late, the visit was cancelled because we did not want to take a chance on both parents seeing each other.

Once the parent arrived with the child. They would leave the child with me, and I would take the child back to the visiting parent’s room. At this time, I would monitor the visit. Meaning, I would watch and record every interaction between the visiting parent and the child as much as possible. I was also required to write down any conversation they might have.

Once the visit was done, the second parent would arrive and pick up the child. 15-minutes-later the visiting parent was allowed to leave. I then put my notes into the families file and that concluded my day.

Next week I will tell you all about how this experience drove me away from Clinical and Counseling Psychology.

TaTa for Now!

Lots of Love xoxo!

Chauntel

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