How I imagined my internship to be differed in some respects from how it really was. For one thing, I have a lot more research based tasks than I thought I would–for example, I get to research certain treatment options to help patients based on their specific problems and finding community resources to help. Additionally, I spend a good amount of time research grants and learning how to apply for them–an important skill to have when doing large projects that require funding. Also, the day-to-day life in a psychotherapy clinic is a lot more interesting than I imagined–the therapists are often lively and humorous both during a therapy session and during their break times. The therapy sessions in general were much different than I thought–we often think therapy is for people with severe mental illnesses, when in reality a large portion of the clients really just have regular problems. This opened my eyes to see that therapy is really for everyone rather than just a minority of the population.
There were also some similarities between how I imagined my work to be and what I actually did. For example, I did expect some of the paperwork and filing information for patients. I expected to be shadowing therapists and being able to sit in on therapy sessions and learning about the theories behind the work. This is especially interesting to me–in school we generally only learn about the theories behind the practice, but here I’m able to see the direct link between the theories and the work the therapists do.