November 18, 2021 –When you hear the word intern, you typically have a picture in your mind of a student working for free, just doing the things that professionals would not want to do. That is not the case with our clinical interns at Children’s Advocacy Center of Collin County (CACCC). Clinical interns are a necessary component in our ability to serve all clients in need of therapy services. Additionally, we make a positive impact in the community by training interns to work with trauma. This skill will be something they continue to utilize wherever they choose to practice. Our clinical interns are composed of students who are in their final semesters of graduate school. They have therapy sessions with clients while attending school and sometimes working a full-time job. When an intern comes to CACCC, they come with a passion for our mission. They tirelessly juggle their work, school, and CACCC schedule to help victims of sexual abuse with their healing process.

When the pandemic hit last year, our internship program did not slow down. Current interns, along with staff, were sent home but were trained in telehealth within the first week to allow us to continue serving clients. They did not miss a beat. Telehealth is different and sometimes scary for a new intern, but they did not complain and rose to the task. Zoom became our friend. Interns and staff both discovered just how many therapeutic activities could be administered online. Since we did not have access to a gym to use for some of our younger clients to play basketball in a therapeutic manner, we pivoted and would ask a client to make a ball of paper and shoot baskets in their trash can. Sure, it looked different, but it achieved the same goal. The client was able to continue doing something fun while talking about something not so fun.

While our interns and staff are happy about being back in the office together and face to face with many clients, we are still utilizing telehealth to overcome barriers that might have kept some out of the therapy room. It is still working!

Our clinical interns, while doing heartbreaking work at times, continue to show up at the center with such a willing spirit to serve. The pandemic did not break their spirit. It just showed them that they could indeed do hard things and succeed, which is an incredible lesson for their clients.

For more information about our internship programs, click HERE.

Written by: Michelle Rachui, M.S., LPC-S, Clinical Supervisor

Michelle Rachui is a Licensed Professional Counselor-Supervisor and holds the position of Clinical Supervisor at the Children’s Advocacy Center of Collin County.

Michelle earned her Master’s in Counseling from Texas A&M Commerce. She is trained in different modes of therapy including Trauma Focused-CBT, Dialectical Behavior Therapy, Moral Reconation Therapy, and EMDR. Michelle completed her internship at the Children’s Advocacy Center of Collin County in 2013 and now supervises our practicum students as well as LPC Associates.