by Matt

I started my internship with the Baylor Psychiatry Clinic this summer in July.  I was really impressed with my field supervisor in the interview and was extremely pleased that I was able to choose Baylor for my 2nd year field placement.

Baylor is an outpatient psychiatric clinic, and is affiliated with Baylor College of Medicine.  I have the opportunity to practice long-term individual and group psychodynamic psychotherapy with clients.  That sounds like a mouthful, so I will attempt to translate.  First, most present therapies tend to be brief unless you have a bucket of money or exceptional insurance.  Baylor bills on a sliding scale, which makes it feasible for the middle to lower-middle class engage in longer term therapy.  These individuals would not generally qualify for state assistance in seeking mental health services. Psychodynamic psychotherapy generally attempts to help the client reveal or become more aware of conscious/unconscious processes that are causing difficulty in daily living.  (This is my definition after a few months so please don’t quote me as an expert at this point.)

One of the elements that immediately drew my interest in Baylor is the extensive academic program that is a part of the internship.  A variety of clinicians with social work and psychiatric backgrounds conduct seminars throughout the year: DBT, CBT, couples counseling, trauma counseling etc…  Most of these courses consist of anywhere from 6 to 25 hour long trainings.  This will undoubtedly buttress my understanding of specific techniques as well as diverse populations.

Another selling point for me is the interdisciplinary nature of the clinic.  We participate in a case conference every week along with doctoral psychology fellows and psychiatric residents.  We also attend Grand Rounds at Baylor main campus in the medical center.  It is interesting to hear other perspectives on cases as well as sharing our viewpoints with students of different psychological disciplines.

Finally, Baylor is committed to rigorous supervision.  In addition to weekly meetings with my field supervisor, I also have weekly supervision with two other clinical social workers in private practice that volunteer their time.  Having access to three experienced clinicians on a weekly basis is extremely reassuring as well as another opportunity to learn with individuals with different theoretical orientations.

My advice to 1st year students is to take some time to research field placements before the marketplace.  If you have a good sense of what type of work you want to do, investigate the various organizations before you go to the marketplace.  You only get three interviews, so make them count!

Good luck.

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