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Running Head: FINAL REFLECTION 1

FINAL REFLECTION PAPER

ALFA E. RODRIGUEZ

NEW JERSEY CITY UNIVERSITY


Running Head: FINAL REFLECTION 2

The last seven weeks of Internship I seemed to have passed in the blink of an eye.

It feels this way looking from the hindsight, as at the beginning of the semester this day

seemed to be so far away. These weeks have represented a continued growth for me as a

counselor in training. One critical growth experience occurred when I did an intake of a

potential client whose presenting problem was depression. The client had been feeling

depressed for the past two years but her symptoms got worse after she gave birth to her

one-year-old baby girl. Unfortunately, she did not have the support of her partner during

her pregnancy as he had told her he did not want to have any children. The client

experienced her partners rejection and eventual separation from him due to this new

baby. As reported by the client, knowing that her baby would not have a father figure

present in her child's life was one of the things that tortured her mind. In addition, her

relationship with her baby's father was one where verbal abuse was usually present.

These things made the client feel like her life was worthless, hence she would often

engage in alcohol consumption as an escape goat. During the intake, it seemed to me that

the client was feeling comfortable during our conversation as she did not hesitate to share

her feelings with me. However, I did notice that she seemed surprise when she first saw

me. This was evident by her verbatim indicating that she was under the impression she

was going to see an older person and a doctor. Despite of these, the client answered all

questions and provided all requested information during the intake; a follow up meeting

was scheduled for the following week to which she agreed and upon her departure she

said "see you next week." However, the Monday we were scheduled to continue the

session, the client gave me a call to let me know that she had seek services elsewhere by

a referral from her physician. This incident represented a growth experience to me


Running Head: FINAL REFLECTION 3

because it made me realize a few things; the main one is that I as a counselor have to

understand that even though I may be excited as I was with this case to see the client's

evolution during therapy, the client may have a different feeling after an intake. I will

need to know not to keep it personal and I will also have to learn not to allow situations

like this affect my confidence as a counselor.

Another incident that has been a growing experience occurred with a client I have

previously mentioned in class. I am referring to the 14-year-old client who came to

session due to her need of developing social skills and gaining more friends. Her shyness

was preventing her from developing friendships in school, hence her mother decided to

bring her to treatment as a way to assist her. Everything was going well during our

sessions, the client was showing commitment to her treatment by always attending and by

completing the homework assignments that were given to her during our sessions.

However, after four or five sessions, the client stopped coming. I have tried to follow up

with the client and her mother by contacting them by phone but my calls have not been

answered. Being that she has already missed more than three sessions, I had to send her a

case closing notice to her home address and if there is no response within ten days, she

will have to be discharged. This experience left me wondering what happened and

wanting to know an answer as to why she just stopped coming to the sessions and why

her mother wouldn't even return my calls. However, this have made me realized that I

will probably have many other cases like this one where contact is lost with a client and I

will have to learn to let go of the thoughts and desire to know what happened and just

hope that the clients who decide to take this route will be fine eventually.
Running Head: FINAL REFLECTION 4

A positive growth experience that recently occurred to me refers to a client who

successfully completed the program. This has been my first substance abuse client that

has shown a significant improvement due to the treatments received not only by The

Bridge but also the Halfway House in which she has been residing for the past year. This

signifies a growth experience to me as it allows me to see first hand the significant

improvement a clients life can have thanks in part to the treatment received.

In terms of my relationship with clients, during the past weeks I have been able to

take into consideration and inquire about the clients thoughts and feelings in reference to

having to come to sessions and speak to someone about their situation. I have been able

to process how they feel about establishing a relationship with me as their counselor and

to inquire about what it means to them to do this. As I have recently become a client

myself, this has allowed me to understand better the dynamic between a client and

counselor as I have been able to experience first hand what they may feel when opening

their life to someone unknown. The relationship with my supervisor, other staff at the

site and interns remains the same as discussed during my midterm evaluation. I have

found that we, the interns have created a small family where we develop a support system

by helping each other in times of need. I also appreciate the environment of The Bridge,

especially during the staff meetings where there always seems to be support and

unconditional positive regard toward one another as counselors.

One specific challenge I have faced during my experience as an intern at The

Bridge, especially now that the semester is approaching its end relates to the amount of

paperwork that needs to be completed by the site. Due to the high volume of clients I

have been seeing recently, it has been a challenge to find the time to write the progress
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notes that are required after each session. However, this has been addressed by staying

past my time in order to complete this intricate part required by the site.

My growth in counseling skills is evident as compared to Practicum. My feelings

of inadequacy have nearly vanished as I am approaching the end of Internship I. I have

also learned to elaborate more on things such as reflection of feeling, reflection of

meaning and paraphrasing. I also feel more confident in what I am doing in sessions with

my clients as a counselor. In addition, I believe I have also been able to learn and

improve significantly the writing of DAP or progress notes. I recall that during

practicum, my knowledge of DAP notes was very minimal, however, after receiving

constant feedback from my site supervisor, I am confident I have improved this necessary

counseling skill. As I approach the end of another challenging yet rewarding semester, I

have come to the understanding that counseling does not have to be as structured as I

originally thought as each client brings to the sessions their unique ways, views on life

and specific needs, hence, this makes it impossible to follow a strict protocol, but rather,

the skills serve as an aide to direct the sessions while helping clients achieve their

treatment goals.