I completed my doctoral residency in Clinical Psychology at the Student Wellness and Counselling Centre (SWCC), as a requirement of the PsyD program of Memorial University of Newfoundland.
The SWCC has been a very good match for me, both personally and professionally. I am originally from Newfoundland, so the opportunity to remain near to my roots, while given diverse opportunities to learn and develop as a new clinician, was an ideal experience. During my year here, I've developed my skills in managing a large caseload within the SWCC’s stepped care model, improved my confidence in crisis management and have improved my ability to use single session therapy sessions appropriately. I have also been given the opportunity to grow my abilities as a supervisor; supervising students in clinical work as well as research - both of which presented their own unique challenges and rewards.
The exceptional supervision during my placement, including individual, group and peer supervision, was invaluable. I can say with confidence this was one of the highlights of my time here. I’ve really appreciated the independence fostered by faculty; my supervisors were consistently open to the various approaches and techniques I wanted to explore with my clients, and were helpful in guiding my navigation of professional and ethical dilemmas.
Working at the SWCC afforded me the opportunity to gain important experience in many areas of practice. I worked with clients struggling with various types of presenting concerns (e.g., trauma, personality disorders, anxiety, depression, addictions issues), and in both individual and group settings. I was also able to practice from an integrative perspective, utilizing a combination of client-centred, emotion-focused, interpersonal process, psychodynamic, cognitive-behavioral, and solution focused techniques. The SWCC encourages creativity in practice and is open to residents exploring their own interests. This, in turn, allowed me and another resident to create and pilot a Walking Mindfulness group during the summer, which was a unique learning experience.
Having completed my placement here, I can now better appreciate and understand all the hard work and effort that goes into running a residency program. In addition, the relationships I built with the faculty, staff, but especially the other residents, will having a lasting, positive impact on the way I will look back on my residency at the SWCC.