Tips for Clinical Interns

  • Be transparent: Starting your internship you are going to experience a flood of different transitions and emotions. During my time as an intern, I realized the importance of transparency and acknowledging the transitions and emotions being experienced. Although intimidating and scary at first, this allowed for the release I needed as well as the necessary support. It is important to note that it is important to be transparent with yourself first, acknowledging and being aware of those transitions and emotions being experienced. Whether it be a peer, spouse, colleague or supervisor, be transparent within your means of comfortability. Through practicing transparency, this gives insight into some of the emotions and difficulties our clients may be experiencing when we are asking them to share their story with us.  

  • Find a routine/ritual: The individuals that we work with all experience their own unique story. Many stories that we hear will be heavy and may impact our spirit in some way or another. As an intern, it is important to find a ritual/routine that works for you, which helps to take care of your spirit. Before clients, I like to take 10-15mins for deep breathing exercises to ground myself and after seeing clients, I smudge to release and reconnect with my spirit. Finding a practice early on in your career rather than later, can be very beneficial as you will know how to better take care of yourself. Whether that’s through smudging, embodiment practices, watching cat videos or debriefing with a colleague/supervisor, find something that allows release, grounding and reconnection with your spirit. 

  • Stay up to date with client notes: I am sure this tip comes as no surprise. Client notes, although not ideal for experienced or beginning clinicians, are a vital aspect of our roles and it is important to stay up to date with them. As an intern, this is a good practice to have as you grow into your own clinical practices. 

  • Don’t be afraid of your own healing: Interning at HIRW is much different than many other organizations. As we help to foster growth and healing in our clients that we work with, it is also encouraged and recommended to embrace your own healing journey. This goes in conjunction with being transparent. Through the art of transparency, you begin to foster your own healing process. Whether it be journaling, talking with a mentor/supervisor or seeing your own therapist, find what works for you. Through embracing your healing journey, this gives a better insight into what clients are experiencing during the therapeutic process. 

  • Utilize your supervisors and colleagues: Coming into HIRW, you will be embraced by a community of individuals that are wanting and willing to help support you during your internship journey. Utilize both your individual supervisor as well as other supervisors and colleagues, whether it be for case conceptualization or support for personal matters. They have all been through the rigors of being an intern and many of them have years of experience in the field. They will offer different perspectives, help your personal and professional development and lastly, model therapeutic behaviors and guide you in a way that supports you into developing/finding a therapeutic approach to counseling that works for you. Know that you are NOT alone during your time here at HIRW, and that you are heavily supported.

"Illness becomes wellness when I becomes We"
Healing Intergenerational Roots for All Nations-One Tribe 

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