The school year has started and around here, that means a fresh batch of graduate student interns! As a reputable private practice in the area, Skill Builders feels honored to be trusted as an internship site for many prestigious universities including George Washington University, James Madison University, Gallaudet University, and Northeastern University. As our internship program has grown, we’ve made our selection process competitive and thorough to ensure that we are hosting the best of the best!
We like to think that our interns are fortunate to get to experience a practice like ours, and we know that Skill Builders offers a rigorous and unique experience. But as a parent, what’s in it for you?
Here are 6 reasons why having a graduate student on board is a wonderful thing!
1. Students work their tails off!
Students are eager to please, and are working hard to earn a good grade, as well as a good recommendation for future employment. They go the extra mile to plan creative activities and prepare fun, individualized materials for each client. This means your child gets to reap the benefits of that!
2. Your therapist works harder!
I don’t know about you, but when I have an audience, I tend to make sure that I am putting my best foot forward. I want to make sure my interns get to see all the tricks up my sleeve! Having to explain the rationale and process behind each technique really challenges me to think critically about my caseload, and helps solidify my own understanding of the approaches that I am using. Interns frequently present me with tough questions, so I really need to be extra prepared and know my stuff. This makes ME a better clinician too!
3. A fresh face!
It is amazing what a fresh face and a different personality can add to the mix! I find that having an intern can really shake things up- in a good way! For many of my clients, it is essential that they learn to generalize skills to use with less familiar adults, and so having a new person in the room really lends itself to carry-over. Interns are also often “young and hip”, and they bring a fun energy to our sessions. (They also seem to know about all the latest cool pop-culture references…unlike some of us old folks!)
4. Up to date information!
Interns keep us “in the know” about all the latest research and developments in our field. We love hearing about what students are learning in class, and every semester, I find myself learning something new. Who says that you can’t teach an old dog new tricks? 😊
5. Two for the price of one!
I get excited when I have an intern, because there are certain activities that are better executed with a third person in the room. I can prep my students before the session to help create situations for learning opportunities, and use them to strategically sabotage or alter a game to allow for application of specific skills. I also love having a third person to work on conversational and social skills! These are situations that I often can’t create in the one-on-one environment. Additionally, it is pretty darn helpful to have an extra set of hands helping with set up, data collection, and clean up- this means more efficient sessions, which means more time directly focused on my client.
6. Sending better therapists out into the world!
At one point, we were all interns! There is no way that I would be the therapist that I am without the guidance, mentorship, and support of phenomenal supervisors who really poured into me when I was a student. It is both a duty and a privilege to get to return the favor to the next generation of therapists. We hope that by providing a challenging and intensive experience at Skill Builders, our students will enter the work force more prepared, and with a passion for providing high quality services.
So if you notice a few new faces around our office- fear not! It is our goal that our internship program will only enhance the therapy process. We greatly appreciate how welcoming Skill Builders families are to the students who come through our doors. It is because of you that we have become such a popular internship site!
For more information about our internship program, contact Michael Lemieux, Skill Builders’ Internship Coordinator. (Michael@skillbuildersllc.com)
-Elizabeth Clark McKenzie, MS, CCC-SLP