Books Don’t Prepare You
I have been given the immense privilege to intern as a clinical therapist in one of the best drug and alcohol rehabilitation centers in Florida; ‘The Shores Treatment and Recovery’. I came in on my first day not really knowing what to expect and armed with just my knowledge I had gathered and learned from the textbooks at school. I thought I had all the answers within these texts, how wrong I was. I have been here over 3 weeks now and I think it’s safe to say everything I have learned in the books and classroom don’t prepare you for life at a drug and alcohol rehabilitation center.
Friendly and Knowledgeable Staff
The team has been very accommodating, super friendly and many have taken me under their wing to guide me on how to become a good therapist. They have not only given me sound advice on how to deal with certain clients and their individual needs but they have also taught me how turn my mind off from what I experience at work to when I get home. As I mentioned previously the textbooks don’t prepare you for what you really experience when you are in these situations head on. There isn’t a lot of focus or education so to speak on the powers of addiction, which is strange considering it is so prevalent, especially in South Florida. The Shores has allowed people like me to help addicts, and gain invaluable experience you wouldn’t necessarily learn in the classroom.
A Relaxed Environment
I first arrived at The Shores in a very relaxed and friendly atmosphere where staff members and clients were quick to introduce themselves. I believe they were more concerned that someone they didn’t know was wondering around, so they were checking whether I was checking into rehab or a new employee which caused a lot of laughs. The whole setting of the center is very welcoming, calming and relaxing which makes going to work each day enjoyable and comfortable. The staff made me feel part of the team right away and were more than willing to help in any way they could.
A Hands-On Approach
Almost instantly I was able to experience a hands-on approach with professional clinicians and therapist, not only in group settings but individual settings. The first few days there was a lot to take in, as I hadn’t experienced anything like it. I was shown the procedures of first intake of new clients, what their addiction was, what therapy treatment would be best for them, what medication they needed as well as who was their assigned therapist. In my first group meeting I was extremely nervous, however the clients and staff made me feel welcome and were more interested in my English accent than why I was sitting in on one of their group sessions.
Thank You For the Great Opportunity
The Shores has given me the opportunity to not only hone my skills I learned at school but also gain confidence from outside an academic environment and experience first-hand what it is like in a drug rehabilitation center. The staff have welcomed and encouraged me to sit in on their meetings with clients, so I am able to gain a different perspective from each person. Each therapist has a different approach yet they are equally effective. This exposure will allow me to develop and grow into my own therapist.
Ali Giammattei is currently a student at Keiser University studying Psychology. He is from Brighton, England and has been in America for 4 years. He has been given the amazing opportunity of doing an internship here at The Shores, where the hands on experience is giving him invaluable involvement with clients, and training he wouldn’t have gained in the classroom.