As the beginning of fall semester approaches, I am overcome with bittersweet emotions. The start of my second year in the Marriage and Family Therapy program is an exciting time. I feel relief knowing that most of my coursework is behind me, I feel proud that I have made it thus far, and I am eager to finish the last half of this journey and begin my career. However, by the same token, the second year is the most challenging part of this adventure as it is when practicum begins.
Depending on the site you are placed at, you may start Practicum during the summer or the fall. I was placed at Phoenix House, an outpatient drug recovery center for adolescents and started in June. It has been exhilarating, to say the least, to finally be able to execute all of the skills and knowledge I have accumulated thus far in the program. I have loved Phoenix House since day one, but it was not easy to transition from full-time student to full-time intern. After three months, I have finally found my balance, which according to my professors is something that all practicum students will go through. Some of my classmates have just started at Phoenix House and I love being able to show them the ropes and help them get acclimated.
Now, I will have to transition back to student-mode, while still putting in 20 hours a week at my practicum site. This semester will be less difficult than ones from the past as I am only taking two academic classes and the class that is taken alongside practicum. However, I will have to find my balance in doing both. Although it will not be a cinch, it is comforting to know that my professors, supervisors, and fellow classmates are always there for support and to help me get through.