Jennifer Williams is an intern at Catalyst Life Services. This private non-profit company focuses on providing outpatient services to adults and children in the area. They strive to rehabilitate, help with crisis intervention, have transitional and residential programming, have communication services, and provide vocational rehabilitation and training.
Tell us a little bit about your internship placement.
Catalyst is a huge organization that contains a lot of departments. There's the Rehab Center, the Adult Unit, the Children's Unit, New Beginnings (a facility for individuals with substance abuse problems), and more. The building I am in primarily is known as the Center, which houses the Adult Crisis Stabilization Unit, our alcohol and drug program, and all of our adult mental health services.
What are your job duties at your internship? What sorts of activities have you been involved in?With an agency as large as Catalyst, I have had the opportunity to do a ton of different things. I spent a lot of my time with the SAMI team, which stands for Substance Abuse and Mental Illness. It is a dual diagnosis group, which means that all of the clients that the team works with have co-occurring substance abuse and mental health conditions. I have also worked quite a bit with our alcohol and drug team and the individuals back on the Crisis Unit. During this placement I have had the opportunity to sit in on therapy sessions with a couple different therapists, work on mental health assessments, and observe as well as lead group activities for both mental health and alcohol and drug groups. I have also been able to visit MedCentral to do pre-screen assessments and step down requests from the psychiatric floor, go to felony Drug Court, and even visit the state hospital. I also have the opportunity every week to sit in on treatment team meetings with our clients in Mental Health Court.
How has Ashland University’s Social Work Program prepared you for your internship?I had no idea that I would feel so prepared for my internship placement. My education provided an amazing foundation for all the things I am doing and observing in the agency on a day to day basis. Everything I learned in classes over the years has truly been put into action. I feel like, as college students, there is always the fear that we won't succeed after we graduate, and having the opportunity to complete this practicum has definitely reassured me that I made a great choice when I picked social work.
What have you enjoyed most about your internship so far?I love getting to know our client base. Whether it's in therapy, treatment team, or group, I love the interaction of building up rapport with clients and even the people I work with. They are all really supportive of each other and you can tell they really care about the clients and about each other.
For more information about Catalyst Life Services, please visit their website.For more information about Ashland University’s Social Work Program, please visit their website.