My Own Exposure and Response Prevention

My Royal Psychology Experience at McLean Hospital has been remarkably rewarding and surprisingly challenging. This summer, I drafted my book chapter on mindfulness in schools, observed clinical interventions, and been trained to administer two clinical assessments. While I enjoy honing my research skills, the most rewarding part of my experience has been forging relationships with staff. Each staff member has shared his or her experience with and advice on graduate programs and career opportunities. The treatment team’s transparency and approachability has made them a valuable future resource.

Though rewarding, my tenure at McLean has been challenging. We only have four patients and are currently training new staff members. Staff observe interventions before delivering them independently, and because some patients are uncomfortable with multiple observers, I have fewer observation opportunities currently. My inability to participate in treatments has proven more challenging than restricted observation access, however. As a research assistant, I am forbidden from delivering clinical interventions to patients, but I often find myself wanting to participate in treatment administration. In the future, I will seek opportunities that provide hands-on experience with similar techniques.

Overall, my work on the unit has enriched my understanding of OCD and the disorder’s impact on clients. Following my Royal Psychology Experience, I am more confident in my decision to pursue a career in mental health and more aware of the various opportunities available in my field.

Bobby McGowan
Philosophy & Psychology

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