Nurturing Little Minds
Semester: Fall 2022
Faculty Advisor: Jim Martin
Field Site: EBS Children’s Institute of West Chester
Field Supervisor: Cristine Cappo
Praxis Poster:Abby Krauss_Poster_Final
The experiences one has in childhood can profoundly impact the rest of their life. In my professional career, I want to help kids build the skills to process their life experiences, cope with different situations, and advocate for themselves. I am a senior Psychology major and a Child and Family Studies minor and I have always had a strong interest in clinical work with children, which I will be pursuing once I graduate from Bryn Mawr. My Praxis Independent Study has helped me to actualize the learning I have been doing throughout my undergraduate career and has helped me learn more about practicing psychotherapy with children through both my coursework and my field placement. For my Praxis Independent Study, I worked with Cristine Cappo, LPC, from the EBS Children’s Institute of West Chester, and James Martin, Professor Emeritus of Social Work and Social Research.
The EBS Children’s Institute of West Chester is a multidisciplinary clinic that provides psychotherapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy, feeding therapy, and physical therapy to children. They use an interdisciplinary approach, and many patients see therapists from multiple departments to best address and support their needs. I was an intern in the Child Psychology and Counseling Department, in which therapists use a family-centered and solution-oriented approach to support their patients. My responsibilities as a psychotherapy intern were to observe and participate in sessions with patients and parents under the supervision of Cristine Cappo, and help determine objectives and plan activities for sessions.
To get the most out of my experience at EBS, Professor Martin provided me with the support and resources to supplement the work I was doing at EBS. I became familiar with many informative sources that bolstered what I was learning through my experiences and was also able to benefit from Professor Martin’s extensive experience. To guide my learning, I had three learning objectives. My first learning objective was to learn more about the therapeutic process when working with children, such as the development of a relationship with the child in a clinical context and how to approach psychoeducational work with children. My second learning objective was to strengthen my overall understanding of the expression of psychological disorders in children, including an understanding of symptoms presented by children at this clinic. My final learning objective was to develop a greater understanding of the barriers to clinical care such as SES, the effect of stigma, and familial situations like divorce.
My experiences at EBS not only helped me to reach my learning objectives but also informed my future academic/career goals. I was able to establish a therapeutic relationship with children at the clinic, gain a greater understanding of the expression of psychological disorders in children, witness the complexities of providing psychological care in this setting, and gain a greater understanding of some of the barriers there can be to treatment. I am coming away from this experience knowing a great deal more about the field I am going into, and with even more excitement about my future academic and professional career.