PRIDEful In What I Learned

cbtIt has been a busy couple of weeks in the office; we finished coding, began entering the data, and started the process of writing an academic paper. Needless to say, we as interns were running around like chickens with our heads cut off. Between trying to keep track of the data, entering it on time, and filing it in the appropriate manner, we also had to travel  around Massachusetts to observe cognitive behavioral therapy groups (CBT) for Roca, whose motto is “Less jail, more future.” We were trained in how the CBT groups should be taught, how to fill out an adherence checklist, and how to take general notes on how the class was conducted. Observing the CBT groups was gratifying, especially since I worked on Roca materials in the spring semester, it was nice to see some of the work I did as a finished product. The best part was, I got to witness how the young men, former inmates, were benefiting from the class -they learned so much from what we gave them.

However, it all made me realize I do not want to become a researcher. I want to be more hands on with my future career; being confined to an office from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. without much interaction with the population I am working with isn’t something I am looking forward to in a future career. I have learned that I want direct contact with those I am aiding, I cannot stay confined to an office all day, and ultimately, I enjoy working with children more. Although, my experience at Community Psychiatry PRIDE has been a learning experience in many aspects, it also made me hone my career path even more.

Written by Alyssa Savery, BC Class of 2017

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You Gotta Have PRIDE

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Monday, October 5th, 2015, I am sitting at my desk in Stayer Hall wondering what I am going to do with my life. I was 20 years old going through a mid life crisis! “What career am I going to have? Do I have a well written resume? I am interested in so many things, what if I choose the wrong one to pursue?” All of these questions were ricocheting around in my head like an uncontrollable rubber bouncy ball. After calmed myself down, I made a decision to pick my most loved class of fall semester, which at the time was research methods and analyses, and find an internship in that field for the spring semester. Hence, my journey began as I became a research intern at Community Psychiatry PRIDE (Program for Research in Implementation and Dissemination of Evidence-Based Treatments).

With the knowledge gained from my research methods class, I had a sufficient background in qualitative and quantitative data. I knew the very basics before my first day in the lab but had to be trained in Dr. Luana Marques’ type of research. I was trained in mixed methods research by a Harvard Catalyst program, cognitive processing therapy (CPT), and became familiar with Dr. Marques’ past and future projects. I gained and am continuing to gain insurmountable knowledge through the multiple training sessions that PRIDE has provided for me that has allowed me to learn a wealth of knowledge.

Since completing my training sessions I have been able to work with Dr. Marques’ current population, which include but not limited to, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) patients and former inmates. I am able to listen and participate in therapy sessions and track changes on if the treatment is effective. I am part of a team who creates and implements treatment programs whose aim is to aid those who need it the most. Listening to how life changing the therapy sessions are for those who participated in them,  makes all the hard work and challenges worthwhile.

Written by Alyssa Savery, BC Class of 2017