My Internship

I was welcomed onto the team at Hospice Calgary's Sage Centre where I completed an eight month practicum under the supervision of a registered psychologist. I had the privilege of working with children, adolescents and families who had been faced with sudden death. I was inspired by the strength of my clients as I became witness to their suffering, healing, resiliency, and ability to discover hope in the face of incredible despair. Experiences which contributed to my growth as a counsellor included: 

  • Facilitation of relational informed consent using age appropriate props and metaphors

  • Collaborative goal setting with clients and families

  • Development and use of core counselling skills (including structuring, soliciting, reacting and process based skills)

  • Establishment of trusting therapeutic relationships with clients and their families

  • Implementation of assessment strategies and modification of treatment plans

  • Engagement in Family Counselling Sessions 

  • Contribution to writing of agency case notes and informed consent documents, adhering to master level ethical considerations

  • Usage of data base to document confidential client information

  • Documentation of theme based session notes

  • Creation and presentation of individualized case conceptualization reports 

  • Identification of a wide range of possible approaches and strategies relevant to client issues

  • Expression and implementation of appropriate theoretical frameworks to assist with meeting client goals

  • Familiarization with Grief Theories (including Meaning Making, Instrumental and Intuitive Grief, Complicated Mourning, Attachment and Grief, Family Focused Grief Therapy, Anticipatory Grief, Companioning Model, Dual Process Model and Range of Response to Loss Model

  • Participation on reflective teams

  • Consultation with supervisor to present client cases, debrief ethical dilemmas add monitor performance

  • Engagement with practice of videotaping to contribute to learning and assessment

  • Collaboration with colleagues to gain perspective and feedback

  • Participation in professional workshops and reading to enhance understanding of grief at various developmental levels

  • Familiarization and referral to community resources to support clients 

I valued the opportunity to work with diverse clients which contributed to my ability to expand knowledge in the area of counselling interventions. My caseload of clients included those struggling with sudden death, addiction, trauma, anxiety, and depression. Interventions to which I have become familiar include:

 

  • Goal Formulation

  • Artistic Expression (including drawing, sculpting, painting) 

  • Play Therapy

  • Cognitive Behavioral strategies (including work with automatic thoughts, anxiety, depression,  cognitive distortions and maladaptive behaviors)

  • Mindfulness Activities and Grounding Strategies (including muscle relaxation, deep breathing, visualizations) 

  • Therapeutic Letter Writing

  • Problem Externalization

  • Continuing bonds (including Re-membering conversations)

  • Family Witnessing Activities

  • Hope focused strategies and Resiliency Building (including use of metaphors, client strengths, goal formulation)

  • Suicidal Risk Assessments (including scaling questions, assessing severity of ideation, safety planning)