My Internship with a Clinical Social Worker

My name is Jordyn Paul and I’m a senior at Wheaton. I’m a Psychology major and a Hispanic Studies minor, and this summer I had an opportunity to intern with a licensed independent clinical social worker. Therapy is one of the main aspects of her job, primarily with kids who have faced trauma, so my boss, Sarah, employs a lot of cognitive behavioral therapy and trauma-focused behavioral therapy. Throughout the summer, I was able to work with her in talking through some of the frequent cases she gets, how she goes about diagnosing patients and how her therapy sessions generally flow. I enjoyed talking over cases with her because therapy and working with children is something that I’m considering as a potential job in the future. It was also really exciting to apply some of what I’ve learned from classes such as Child Psychopathology and Lifespan Development into what Sarah talked about with some of her clients.

Furthermore, I was able to learn more of the business-aspect of her job, including contacting Massachusetts Victims of Violent Crime compensation and helping with invoices, which is something that helped my communication and organization skills. Similarly, I was able to help Sarah in redesigning her website, which also allowed me to explore other creative aspects of the job that I did not think I would’ve been able to do. I liked how I was able to focus on the therapy practices and apply what I’ve learned in school, but I was also able to work on other skills as well.

I was also able to participate in group meetings that Sarah ran with case-workers from a company called Gándara. There were two groups of case-workers, those who helped with substance abusers, and those who worked with homeless teenagers. In the meetings with case-workers, we talked about their own mental health and how they were coping, as well as some of their cases and any difficulties they were facing. They’ve been working even harder than before to remain in contact with their clients and keep them safe, and oftentimes put the health of their clients over their own, which made the meetings with Sarah so important. For me, this was one of the most interesting parts of my internship. It was amazing to see how selfless and dedicated all these case-workers were to helping their clients, even when their whole job was flipped around due to COVID.