Clinical Psychology Term Immerses, Inspires Students
March 05, 2018
by Elise Goitia '18
Aiding the elderly at nursing homes, assisting those suffering from drug abuse, and working with women and children who are the victims of domestic abuse are just some of the ways students are immersing themselves in clinical work through Clinical Psychology Term.
The immersive term gives students a taste of what a clinical psychology career would be like by combining an internship with two clinical psychology courses: Theories & Methods of Psychotherapy and Psychological Assessment. Students also attend weekly class meetings to discuss their internships and learn about practical topics like ethics, note-taking, and diversity.
"The term is one of the reasons I chose to come to Knox," said Chava Solberg '19, who is currently interning at The Consultants, a substance abuse counseling agency. "Not many undergraduate students get such a hands-on opportunity. Understanding more in-depth what clinical work looks like is really cool."
"It's just been phenomenal," she added. "I'm given a lot of responsibility. It really guarantees for me that this is what I want to do with my life and how I want my career to be."
Clinical Psychology Term students learn from clinical psychologists, counselors, and social workers, with the opportunity to work with the chronically mentally ill, the developmentally disabled, and children in the foster care system.
Chair of Psychology Tim Kasser started the program in 2003. He said that students are given "the chance to explore and see if this is a good direction for them, or not."
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"It's also clearly the case that students who do Clinical Psychology Term have a leg up when they apply for graduate school, because they've had some relevant experiences as an undergraduate," added Kasser.
He commented that the internships don't just help the students, but also benefit the surrounding Galesburg community.
"I really get the sense that not only are the students growing from this, but they're actually helping these sites, many which are short-staffed and need another able-minded person there to help out," Kasser said. "I think that's important."
Aliya Estes '19 wants to be a school psychologist. She's interning at a nursing facility called Seminary Manor, where some of the residents have Alzheimer's disease and dementia. Her responsibilities include helping in the activities department and conducting psychological assessments.
"The fact that you're completely immersed when you go into these terms really assists people to go on to work in the field of their choosing," said Estes. "It's fantastic. I can't really imagine that anywhere else, so I appreciate Knox doing the most they can for their students."
"A lot of my residents are really excited when I tell them I'm a Knox student," she added. "It shows how much of an effect Knox College has on the community. This is their home, this is your home, and you should have some kind of regard for it. Clinical Psychology Term really put it more into perspective for me."