Internship- REACH Child Program, Bridgeport Hospital
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Jenna Ebert

Majors: Psychology
Hometown: Newtown, CT

How did you learn about this opportunity?

A family member works at Bridgeport Hospital, where REACH takes place; she told me about the program.

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

I will be working in the Children’s Program at the therapeutic treatment center. In this facility, I will be training with the Children’s Program staff, helping children who are struggling emotionally, behaviorally, and mentally at home, school, and in the community. I will be sitting though the weekly reviews of patients, learning how to read patients’ charts, observing therapy, sitting in on family sessions, and helping the children apply therapeutic approaches to better the quality of their interactions. The program is typically a short-term experience for the kids, lasting between 4 to 10 weeks and includes weekly family involvement.

The REACH program is the last step before hospitalization for these children. The coping and therapy offered by the REACH program can change the direction of their lives forever, which will be very gratifying for them and their families. Since most of the children enrolled in this program are on medication, the treatment and therapy are expected to be extremely intense.

“This internship has given me the opportunity to have hands-on experience that has been similar to many of the emotional therapy techniques I will apply later in life.”

How did this experience impact you academically?

It is giving me hands-on experience about things that I have only heard about in lectures or read about in my textbooks. Seeing some of these abnormalities unfolding in front of me is so intriguing. It is an incredible experience that is undoubtedly incomparable to in-class learning.

What are your career goals and plans? How did this experience impact them?

My career goal is to become either an Occupational or Physical Therapist for children. The reason why I want to work with children is because on December 14, 2012, 26 innocent lives were taken in my home town, Newtown, CT. I realize the importance of mental health and the innocence of children at such an impressionable age.

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