Making a Difference: My Transformative Internship at CYMH
by Alanna Born, Counselling Student
Hello! My name is Alanna Born, and I am currently a senior student in CBC’s Counselling program. I had the opportunity to complete my internship at Child and Youth Mental Health (CYMH) here in Abbotsford, and it has been an excellent experience that cultivated my knowledge in the field.
Before starting my internship, I was quite nervous that I would be stuck doing volunteer work for an organization that didn’t suit my career goals. The internship orientation for students helped me understand what I should accomplish, but I was afraid that I might accidentally choose a placement that wouldn’t meet my needs. Completing 300 hours of volunteer work in an unfamiliar place sounded terrifying to my introverted self, but I knew I had to do it. Through some research, prayer, and vetting of the placements on the list of recommendations, I chose CYMH.
My time at CYMH proved to be exactly what I needed, and my experience there is a testament to the positive impact internships have on CBC students. My experience there accomplished all the things that the CBC program directors, supervisors, and leaders hope for when they send students off into unfamiliar territory. During my internship, I was able to shadow clinicians during intakes, help facilitate groups of children and their parents to learn about anxiety and how to mitigate it, and ultimately, practically apply a lot of what I have been learning from the courses in my program.
It was a delight to have the opportunity to live out the first steps of God’s plan for me, despite my initial fears. God showed me that if I trust in the direction He leads me toward, I am capable of more than I could have imagined. Columbia’s internship program was the stepping stone I needed to pave the way for an integrative and relevant learning experience.