Navigating Growth: A Reflection on my Pre-Doctoral Internship Experience at CFA

By Jane Persaud, MS

Embarking on my pre-doctoral internship experience at Center for Anxiety was both nerve-racking and exciting. Coming from a PhD program that specialized in treating children and adolescents, I experienced some anxiety about having a caseload of patients with varying ages and diagnosis that I had limited experience working with before. Expanding my horizons and clinical experience in patients’ age ranges, diagnoses, and treatment methodologies has been an integral part of my internship experience in expanding my confidence, clinical skill set and professional growth. Throughout my internship, I learned the value of stepping out of my comfort zone and embracing new experiences as each new experience enriched my skill set and broadened my perspective.

I have had the opportunity to further hone my clinical skills in various therapeutic approaches including Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT), Acceptance Commitment Therapy (ACT) and mindfulness-based interventions. The excellent mentorship from my supervisors, Dr. Waire and Dr. Estey, transcends textbook theories and draws from clinical experiences and case studies to help me explore diverse perspectives and alternative approaches to clinical practice, while maintaining a supportive, collaborative learning environment. Learning from the knowledgeable and experienced clinicians at CFA has enriched my clinical foundation and skillset and enhanced my confidence as a psychologist in training.

A personal growth lesson that occurred this internship year was confronting my imposter syndrome. As I navigated through unfamiliar territory and encountered diverse cases, self-doubt often crept in. However, embracing vulnerability and seeking guidance from my supervisors proved to be instrumental in transcending these barriers. There are ample opportunities to learn from reading helpful resources including textbooks and manuals, participating in trainings, and learning from clinical experiences to build confidence as a psychologist in training.

To incoming interns, I offer the following advice:

1. Embrace the Learning Process: Approach each experience with an open mind and a willingness to learn. Having new experiences and learning new things can be fun!

2. Seek Supervision and Support: Seek guidance from your supervisors and colleagues as they are invaluable resources. Don’t hesitate to seek guidance or clarification when needed.3. Step Outside Your Comfort Zone: Embrace opportunities to expand your skill set and explore new treatment methods and experiences.

Overall, the internship experience has been a transformative journey of self-discovery and professional growth filled with invaluable learning experiences. I feel more confident as a clinician in my knowledge and clinical skills to treat varying age groups and differing diagnosis. I am grateful for the guidance of my supervisors, the diversity of experiences, and the supportive work environment and I look forward to continuing to grow as a clinician at CFA.

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