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  • Monica Flores de Valgaz

Intern, What?!

If you are not familiar with what an intern is or does in their role, I am here to help you out. While there are lots of different internships, at Honeybee I take on both clinical and non-clinical roles to develop my skills in becoming a professional counselor.

First and foremost, I, like many interns, provide a low-cost therapy option that allows more people to have access to mental health resources. This is a benefit for those who may not have health insurance or are unable to use their insurance for a variety of reasons. Even though the cost to see me is relatively low, it comes with a lot of additional benefits.

For example, as an intern I’m required to attend 3 hours of supervision weekly. During these supervision hours I have the opportunity to consult with several fully licensed professionals who guide me on how to best serve my clients. I recognize I’m learning as I go - as most interns are - so I am ready, willing, and eager to ask questions to learn from my supervisors to provide the best support, care, and interventions for my clients possible.

When I explain this process to my clients I always say “Essentially you’re getting the brains of my supervisor, for the cost of me!”

Both my program and Honeybee emphasize the importance of evidence-based practice, so I do a lot of work to stay relevant with the most recent research. For me, schoolwork is sometimes the last thing I want to do, and yet, I see the value in staying up to date with the most relevant research and utilizing evidence-based approaches.

As a result, whether I am facilitating sessions, groups, or doing other activities for Honeybee, I am constantly getting pushed out of my comfort zone- just as I ask my clients to do.

For me, that means doing things like taking over the Honeybee Tik Tok account after saying “I’d never be on Tik Tok.” Never say never. I also have worked hard to redesign the website for Honeybee- all while balancing a full caseload of clients and courseload of schoolwork.

At the start of my master’s program I was told I would need to complete several hundred hours at a clinical placement site where I would provide individual and group therapy services. As I come up on my last several classes for school and the last few months of being with Honeybee, I look back and think about where I started.

For me, in all honesty, it’s an honor to grow alongside my clients. As we both go on this journey together, it feels sacred. Thank you for sharing your trust and stories, and I am proud to be a part of your process of healing and development.

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