Intern Name: Adam Steinbach
Title: Extended Care/Therapy intern
Place of internship: Lutheran Social Services
How did you find out about the internship and what was the application process like?
I found out about this internship through the internship office at CSB. They helped me look at internships other students had done. The woman I was working with then told me about this new program that might be starting soon. She gave me the contact information of the woman who was running the program and throughout the summer I stayed in contact with her. She gave me an interview based on the level of interest I took in the program. After the interview she asked me if I would like to start in the fall.
What were some of the internship highlights?
Through this program I have been able interact with children who have been diagnosed with an axis one mental health disorder. Since, I am looking at a career in which I would be working with individuals who have mental health disorders it has been really great to gain some experience with these kids. I have also been able to shadow the licensed therapist that comes in once a week. In all this program has really opened my eyes to what a career in this area would be like.
What was a typical day like? What were some of your major responsibilities?
I usually go in and do some daily tasks that need to be taken care of then after about an hour of that the kids arrive. While the kids are in the house I am usually supervising them playing and making sure there are no major issues. We have two different rotations a day, one is social skill or building group therapy and the other is recreation time or relaxation. I help with planning and executing both groups. Each day the children have a 30 minute homework time which they can also use to work on packets provided by the staff that works on different skills in understanding their diagnosis and different skill building activities. After homework is done a dinner is served. Every day a couple of the children get to help with preparing the meal. When dinner is done every one gets assigned a chore and once they are done they have some unstructured time until we leave, usually 15 minutes long. During most of this time I am watching the children to notice any behaviors that need to be addressed or I am working one on one with someone who asks for my help. I'm not just an authority however, I am also a friend to them and they invite me to play many games during free time.
What were some of the challenges of your internship?
There are a couple of kids that attend that have some major behavior problems and at points they can get out of control. It has been a challenge for me to interact with these children not knowing how they are going to respond however, after taking some time to observe how they work best I have been able to develop a way of interacting with them that is not only easy for me but beneficial for them.
What did you learn?
I have learned how to develop lesson plans for children that are productive and that will be not only fun but beneficial in developing skills. This internship has also opened my eyes to what a potential future career would be like in the counseling field and how best to work with children in this area. I have also learned many skills to help me be a more effective counselor in the future.
What advice would you give other students interested in internships?
Open your mind and go for it. There is no better way to get real world experience. The classroom is great but it can't simulate what a true work environment will look like. Don't allow yourself to be a passive participant in the internship either. Make sure you get what you want out of it. Get involved in the work place, it can really help you grow professionally.