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Blog: Productive week as a substance abuse counseling intern

I had a very productive week at my internship site. Outside of doing my normal screenings and group session, I did a few case notes, and did my very first intake session. I had no legit screenings this week resulting in appointments, but I did screen a guy, giving him information of what he needs in order to obtain an appointment in the future. Even though I have eight more weeks left at this agency, I still strive to learn everything while I’m here because it will only make me better as a screener in the future.

As for group session, I was slightly disappointed with how the group went last week, with the topic being the avoidance of triggers that lead to substance abuse use. This week, I allowed the clients to explore how they live their own lives with the topic being “self care”, asking them how do they feel of their approach with caring for themselves. The clients seemed more open to discussion this week compared to last which next week I will come up with a different topic.

And lastly, I was excited to do my very first intake session, yet slightly nervous because I did not know what to expect, plus it was my first hands-on experience with the agencies paperwork and legit one-on-one with a client. In order to keep my client at ease, I informed him that it was my first intake session, and that I am in the learning process which the client understood very well. I think that calmed his jitters or any built up tension as well because most of the clients are treated as criminals by everyone they encounter upon meeting with the person whom will assist them with treatment. He encountered a new, smiley and friendly intern who was very excited to hit the milestone of his first intake session.

Overall, I was very satisfied with how this week went and would hope that next week would be similar because there are so many areas for improvement with only eight more weeks left at this agency.

#substanceabuse #mentalhealth #Chicago #internship #counseling #drugs #alcoholism

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Written by Thomas Gouard

I'm a military veteran, a Direct Support Professional for adults with disabilities, and a college student pursuing a career as a substance abuse counselor. Outside of that I'm a runner, cyclist, blogger, writer, and fashion lover. I fell in love with writing during my second semester of college, and have found joy's in expressing myself with it.

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  1. Glad to know that you had a productive week. Our department is also tasked to monitor the implementation of programs related to drug abuse. We see to it that councils from the provincial down to the village (barangay) level are organized and functional. But the treatment and counseling part is being taken care of by the health department.

    I wish you more success in your career.

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