My Practicum Experience

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There were three goals that I had in mind when I started my practicum at Walter B. Jones Alcohol and Drug Abuse Treatment Center. I wanted to focus on improving the basic and the core counseling skills, gaining skills in assessment, case conceptualization, treatment planning, case recording, and on developing a deeper awareness of who I am as a counselor-to-be.
a) Reflection on the seminar/group supervision
The seminar allowed me to discuss the experience from a practicum site with my supervisor and peers. I shared with everyone not only the issues and challenges about practicum experiences, but also what I have learned about my clients and myself. A large part of the seminar was to present a clinical case, and then receiving critique
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Jones ADATC has helped me develop awareness of my areas of professional and personal strengths and limitation. I was fortunate enough to have a sensitive field-site supervisor who emphasized my capabilities, provided positive and constructive feedback, and gave me a lot of encouragement. Her ongoing support and understanding of what I was going through decreased my anxiety level and self-doubts about my counseling skills. Practicum gave me an opportunity to integrate theoretical knowledge and apply it to practical settings. By participating in intake assessments, psychiatric consultations, and by providing individual therapy and psychoeducational group, I improved my counseling skills, case conceptualization, treatment planning, and notes writing, which also helped build my self-confidence. Because during my first weeks of practicum, I was full of doubts and anxious about the possibility, or rather certainty, that I may say something wrong in the session, I will not know what to say, or how to respond to a question. The initial face-to-face meetings with patients were struggles, because I felt that I lacked counseling skills and competencies, and was not sure if I could bridge the gap between the theoretical knowledge and this ‘real life’ practice. However, as I progressed along, I realized that I could keep my stress and anxiety at manageable level and became more confident in my abilities to apply skills and theories to…show more content…
This experience has taught me a few truths that I intend to incorporate in my future practice. My biggest realization was to learn that patients have amazing intuition when it comes to recognizing if a counselor is invested in a conversational and genuinely cares about patient’s well-being. One of the most important and humbling moments during my Practicum was sitting across the table from a complete stranger, trying to establish certain degree of trust and safety by listening and attempting to understand patient’s story, and receiving “It seems like you care” affirmation from a client that I am trustworthy and
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