In December 2013, I was freaking out. At DTS, we have to spend two semesters working at a counseling facility, and so far, I’d been ignored or rejected by all the places where I’d applied. Then one day, I received a school-wide email suggesting people apply to The Vale, so I put in my application as a last-ditch effort to secure a position in the spring semester. When I arrived at the private practice, I immediately loved the calm atmosphere and the counseling philosophy of the man who interviewed me.
Fourteen months later, I am finishing my internship. I wound up staying there three semesters instead of two and spending an extra two months bringing my clients to a healthy close. I stayed because I absolutely loved it. Lois is a phenomenal secretary. Tyler was the best supervisor I could have asked for. Nancy was an encouraging fellow intern. My clients were varied, frustrating, enlightening, and educational. Looking back at my time at The Vale, I am so incredibly glad for that email in the midst of my confused sadness.
I grew so much during my time at The Vale. I became confident in my ability to listen to a person’s story and pick out the parts that carried the most emotion. I learned to stop giving advice and start sharing people’s pain. I tried out some classic counseling moves (empty chair technique!) with varying success. I laughed with clients, offered Kleenex to clients, and occasionally felt very angry with clients. I learned what kind of problems I felt comfortable dealing with and which hit a little too close to home. I became comfortable calling myself a counselor.
I wouldn’t trade my time at The Vale for anything, and I’m grateful for the friendships I’ve developed with my coworkers. I will definitely miss working there, and I wish them all the best!
If you’re interested in knowing more about The Vale, or perhaps are looking for a place where you can find amazing counseling, please check out their website!