Integrated Practice Experience

Justine Mental Health and Addictions 0 Comments

So something that my course offers that made Stenberg a top choice for me is a part of our curriculum called our Integrated Practice Education. So ever Wednesday we go out into the field and spend a few hours actually experiencing what it is like to be working in the environment we are going to be hopefully getting jobs in upon completion of school. We go for 3 rounds of 8 week sessions in one organization. Once that’s done we will go on to a second organization for another 3 rounds. Each round you are sent out to a different program within the organization. Once that is all complete we will be heading out for our practicum.

For my first placement I was in a woman’s shelter. At first when starting my placement I was a little unsure of how I would be able to help out there, I had never been in a shelter nor did I know how they worked. Even with having previous experience working in a treatment center I was a little uneasy about my abilities and my value. Luckily I had a wonderful supervisor who help me learn all that I need to know working there, who encouraged me and even recommended me for another program in the building. So while I was doing my placement I was also asked to go help run a support group on another floor every other week. Which I absolutely loved because that was something had done many times at my old job. I loved talking with the woman about all sorts of things from traveling to life to TV shows, I also got to spend time with some of the children that lived there and they are so sweet and so much fun to play with. 

Over the 8 weeks that I was there I got to open up with a few of the girls and share some of my personal experience with them the real stuff. Things like my recovery and what it was like for me fighting to get well again. I think that was one of my strongest assets there. That placement showed me that even though I’m young and educationally inexperienced I still have value and bring worth to all that I do just by being real and being me. Right now I am half way through my second placement. I am currently at a facility for women who are out on parole. I don’t get to see the woman too much while I am there because as part of their integration back into the community they are required to attend programs and find employment so I usually see them when they are heading in for dinner our out to a program, but I have got to have a few really good one-on-ones with a few of these women and man I tell you, they are so strong. I couldn’t imagine going through what half of them have been through. They are amazing and to watch them grow and stand tall and move forward with their lives it amazing. 

For anyone who thinks there is no hope left in this world I dare you to spend time with people like the woman I have met during my placements. They are shining examples of hope, courage and strength it takes a lot to stand back up on your feet and keep fighting when the rest of the world says give up. My heart goes out to all the woman I have met and will continue to meet. Every class I take every day I spend at my placements, they just reaffirm to me why I am doing what I’m doing, there is no doubt in my mind that I’m in the right place for all the right reasons. The hope and the love, the growth and the joy in this job is what reminds me that this life has something beautiful about it that’s worth fighting for. This is worth all the struggles you may face trust me. You won’t regret it. If you have any questions fell free to leave them at the bottom and I am more than happy to do my best to answer then for you,

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