My final weeks at The Family Institute were the perfect culmination of a summer’s hard work. Ironically, I actually miss my once dreaded daily commute to and from Evanston in Chicago rush-hour traffic. Even more, I miss the work I was doing, the knowledge I was attaining, and the people I had the pleasure to work with.
During my final two weeks at The Family Institute, I was able to attend a graduate level course in marriage and family therapy, presented my literature review on the impacts of parental war deployment on child outcomes, began work on an independent project regarding how spousal communication style impacts war-time resiliency, and celebrated the summer’s accomplishments through a farewell ceremony.
The Family Institute offers graduate programs in Counseling Psychology as well as Marital and Family Therapy. I was lucky to attend a second-level marriage and family therapy course about group therapy. Specifically, the instructor addressed how to be an effective group therapist and run a group therapy session efficiently. The experience was interesting not only for the subject matter, but also helped me delineate my own career aspirations. I garnered a greater understanding for the populations marital and family therapists often serve, and the presenting problems of these clients. I left the course confident in my desire to pursue a Ph.D. in clinical psychology.
As mentioned above, I also began formulating my own independent research project based upon literature I read while conducting my assigned literature review. Fortunately, my mentor at The Family Institute, Dr. Knobloch-Fedders, agreed to work with me from a distance. Therefore, I will be conducting research analysis at Tulane during my junior year, using data that was originally collected and stored back in Evanston. My project is on the impact of parental communication style on resiliency. In particular, whether the way in which spousal reports of communication can be a predictive factor in PTSD diagnosis. My goal is to present any significant findings on a poster at a psychology conference of my choosing in the coming year.
My final day in Evanston comprised of sharing memories from a great summer. As each intern shared his or her favorite experiences, I fully realized my gratitude for the wonderful opportunity I was presented with. I know The Family Institute will always be a home to me, and I look forward to my next psychological adventure!