My name is Jena Casman, I’m in my senior year at Wheaton College, and I’m a Psychology major. I knew that as the Spring semester approached, I wanted to have an internship experience in the realm of therapy. Once COVID-19 hit…I wasn’t sure how I was going to be able to do that!
Luckily for me, I had completed a short internship over the Winter of 2019 with a fantastic supervisor and LICSW, Mallory Grimste. I worked with her in her 2 Teen Girl Therapy Group sessions (TGTG), which included a maximum of 6 participants—aged roughly between early middle school all the way through the end of high school. These girls were navigating the journey of depression, anxiety, suicidality…and, of course, relationships. At the end of the internship Mallory and I had talked about how we wished the experience was longer, because we had just begun to get into a good flow with everything.
So…I reached out!
Mallory explained that her therapy had gone virtual due to COVID-19, but that we could make it work! And so, we got started.
I worked in 3 different therapy groups with Mallory, wrote recap emails that went out to parents after each session, transcribed Mallory’s mental health YouTube videos into blog posts, and most importantly—I learned a lot.
My biggest goal for this experience was to get more comfortable in group therapy sessions. At first, I played a very small role: simply facilitating the group agreements. Even doing that, I was really nervous! Will I say something that I shouldn’t? Will I use the wrong tone? Will I offend someone?
Mallory assured me that what I said (within reason, of course) would be okay. She told me that if I said something “wrong”, the members of the group would definitely let me know—and that it’s okay to make mistakes and more important to own them!
With that reassurance, and a lot of push to try things out of my comfort zone, I eventually ended up reaching my goal. I did group agreements, the check-ins, asked questions to encourage deeper thinking for group members, did the wrap-up, and even facilitated some activities!
Overall, I’m grateful to have had the opportunity to have an internship experience with Mallory Grimste. I think it gave me a good look into what life could be like for me if I continued down this road…and I was a huge fan of it!
(Images from mallorygrimste.com)