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Date of Graduation
Educational Specialist (EdS)
Department of Graduate Psychology
Jack H. Presbury
Abstract I am neck-deep in the middle of my internship experience, working as a counselor in a community mental health clinic (CMHC). My internship instructor, when asked by a former professor, “What do you wish you had learned that you didn’t in this program?”, answered, “I wish I had known how hard it was going to be.” At first, I scoffed at my instructor’s response. I knew how hard this was going to be. Now, however, I find myself uttering these same words to those close to me. I have told friends that I feel like I was trained to be a small-scale community farmer and now work for Monsanto. Had I known what I know now, I am not sure I would have continued in graduate school. That is how neck-deep I feel. I am guessing that in this sentiment I am not unique. Even in the best of internship experiences, we have left the comfort and support of our cohort and are frequently out of touch with our most trusted mentors. Add this to the pressures of work in a clinic beholden to increasingly myopic regulation and designed to require you fit the round peg of your training into the square hole of its practice, and you have a recipe for despair. I would have loved to read the personal journal of someone else in a similar situation before embarking on this journey myself. In this text I provide an intimate portrait of my cries and joys as I work professionally as a counselor for the first time. I do this both for myself, as a much needed coping strategy, and in the hope that something I write better prepares you, the reader, perhaps another new counselor beginning their work in a CMHC.
Lincoln, Patrick, "Cries of the world and joys of the heart: A primer for new counselors in community mental health clinics" (2013). Educational Specialist. 60.