With graduation just around the corner, it is pleasant to look back on the past few years and realize just how much knowledge and skill-building has occurred. Over this time, it has been possible to become proficient in diagnosing, conceptualizing, and formulating cases, and I have obtained valuable experience with a variety of treatment modalities and therapeutic approaches. It has been a great help to have entered the program knowing that my end goal was to become a clinical social worker with a specialization in serving children, adolescents, and families. That way I was able to tailor the last few years to make sure that I took advantage of opportunities to engage in learning that was relevant to this personal and professional goal.
My foundation year field placement at a psychiatric residential treatment facility provided crucial experience in working with children, adolescents, and families in both acute/crisis and residential care. This fast-paced environment allowed me to work with psychiatrists, psychologists, and other therapists as part of an interdisciplinary treatment team, facilitating not only individual and group therapy, but also family sessions, intakes and assessments, as well as coordinating continuation of care and discharge planning. During my concentration year, I was able to build on this foundation at the Child and Adolescent Outpatient Program within the UNC Department of Psychiatry. There, fellow trainees and psychiatry fellows engaged in thoughtful and thorough diagnostic processes and provided outpatient psychotherapy, play therapy, and supportive therapy to children and their parents/caretakers. Thanks to supervision provided by both a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and a Psychology PhD, as well as working in collaboration with psychiatrists, psychologists, and other social workers at program-wide case conferences and at the medication management-focused behavior clinic, it has been possible to become a much more experienced, competent, and capable clinician.
As we close in on graduation day, I find myself excited about the opportunity to both apply all that I have learned so far and to continue to grow even more. I look forward to joining a profession in which I’ll be able to continue to develop personally and professionally and the years will add up to more relevant knowledge and wisdom.