The Benefit of a Field Placement

This year, I’ve had a phenomenal experience at my field placement interning in the outpatient clinic at the Center for Child and Family Health (CCFH). This placement was perfect for the experience I was seeking from a field placement.

What’s the deal with CCFH? The CCFH outpatient clinic serves children, ages 0-21, and families who have experienced trauma by providing evidenced-based treatments. Therapies administered by CCFH clinicians CCFH_2015Logo_rgbinclude Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT), Parent Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT),
Structured Psychotherapy for Adolescents Responding to Chronic Stress (SPARCS), Triple P, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), and Child Parent Psychotherapy (CPP). Our clients have experienced a range of traumas–anywhere from sexual abuse to  physical abuse to neglect to witnessing domestic violence to community violence–and various chronic stressors.

What do I do as an intern? The outpatient clinic is a purely clinical setting, which I absolutely love! Here are a few of my responsibilities I’ve held this school year:

  • Conduct weekly intake assessments
  • Diagnose mental health disorders using the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-V)
  • Propose treatment recommendations to a multidisciplinary treatment team
  • Hold a caseload of individual clients for weekly therapy sessions
  • Co-facilitate a post-adoption group
  • Co-facilitate a school-based skills group for high school students using an evidence-based model
  • Attend training opportunities, such as weekly didactics, National Child Traumatic Stress Network problem based learning group, PCIT learning sessions, and SPARCS and TF-CBT learning collaboratives organized by North Carolina Child Treatment Program

Why did I call it a “perfect” placement? So maybe there is no such thing as a perfect placement, but this placement is spot on for what I was looking for in a second year internship. I’m getting to work with my target population and am experiencing the nuances of community-based mental health and an outpatient clinic. Additionally, the training opportunities to learn about various treatment models has been amazing! I appreciate the chance to get hands-on experience assessing, diagnosing, and doing therapy with clients. Finally, I’d say one of the many benefits about having a field placement as I take classes is juxtaposing what we discuss theoretically in the classroom and seeing how things actually practically and realistically function in the field.

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