Hello everyone, I am a new intern with RCASA. I wanted to take advantage of this opportunity to introduce myself as RCASA is a very busy place. My name is Elizabeth. I obtained my bachelors degree from Lynchburg College with a major in Psychology and double minor in gender studies and elementary education. I recently graduated with my Masters in Clinical Psychology with a concentration in counseling from Loyola University in Maryland.
During my graduate education, I had the opportunity to complete a few externships and gain valuable experience. I completed my first two externships at Johns Hopkins Alcohol and Addiction center. I had expected to learn a great deal about addiction and coping skills, which I did, but I also learned a great deal more. I learned how to be tough and supportive at the same time. I was reminded how much I appreciated honesty from others. I learned that you can learn something from the most unexpected of sources. Most importantly, my clients taught me “fake it until you make it.” Now I keep at each new challenge until I overcome it, accomplish something, or simply learn from it.
My third and fourth externship experiences were at an inpatient hospital. At this site I completed assessments, facilitated individual meetings with patients, facilitated couples meetings, led thought processing groups, and completed case management duties. I learned a great deal about treating the entire person rather than addressing just the symptoms. I learned about community resources, support groups, and how to incorporate family into treatment. I also was exposed to music and expressive therapy.
During my graduate experience, I also worked at a rehabilitation day program with chronically mentally ill patients. I assisted patients in creating and reaching their recovery goals. I taught a smoking cessation class and took clients on community outings.
Now I am interning as a therapist for RCASA as I work towards my goal as a licensed professional counselor in the state of Virgina. I have truly enjoyed the experience so far and have learned a great deal more already. No matter how old you are, there is always something to learn. I am truly honored to work with such a great group of people. Thank you for allowing me the opportunity to introduce myself.