Loving Your Practicum

lovewhatyoudoBy Christie Hyland– I’ve heard the horror stories before.

I didn’t like where I did my practicum.

This worry hung over my head as I sorted through openings and applied to various sites last semester. What if I didn’t like where I ended up? What if it’s not a good fit for me?

Luckily for me, I ended up at my top choice. I am at the Behavior Clinic at Penfield Children’s Center where we provide treatment to children five years and younger who are experiencing behavioral or emotional problems. The children who receive our services may be having temper tantrums, aggressive behavior, problems at daycare or school, and problems eating and sleeping, as well as other concerns. The treatment is quite unique in that it targets very young children (under 5), includes in-home therapy and is family-centered. What makes the Behavior Clinic so unique is exactly what I love about it.

It’s great to work with a program whose philosophy relates so closely to mine. The theories it is based on and the approach to treatment relate to my own philosophy of human development and effective psychological change. The treatment targets both the parent and the child, which I believe is more effective than treating the child alone. The program is often utilized by low-income, single mothers, a demographic who traditionally have limited access to mental health services. I believe it is important for all people to have access to quality mental health care, and the Behavior Clinic is making that a possibility for parents of young children with psychological problems in Milwaukee.

I feel fortunate that I am completing my practicum at a site that is a great match to my own beliefs about counseling; I am truly passionate about the work we do there. In addition, I am learning from some great counselors and an awesome supervisor. Soon I will be counseling myself. While that thought is a little scary right now, I know that this practicum experience will prepare me to be an effective counselor.

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