June 9, 2016

Name: Adrian Orozco Blair
Program: MA in Counseling Psychology with concentration is Somatics
Place of Practicum: Living Arts Counseling Center
Current Status at CIIS: 3rd Year Student

"It's in the living experience of being in the room with clients that I have been able to discover the beginnings of myself as a psychotherapist."

What point are you at in the academic/practicum process?
I work at the Living Arts Counseling Center. I did my practicum at this Center and, after finishing the year of practicum this past December, I am now completing one semester of post practicum at this same site.

How did you get to the point you are at, process-wise?
My process of choosing a program was mostly influenced by what I found to be effective in my personal healing process. A huge part of this has been discovering my disembodiment and learning how to become a more embodied person. Because of this I ended up choosing programs with embodied approaches - a year in the Drama Therapy program and then transferring to the Somatic Psychotherapy program, which I am about to graduate from. This is some of the core of what led my choice of program and practicum, and has led my professional interests and goals.

What are your professional goals?
My current professional goals are to transition into an internship once I graduate. I plan to continue working at this site for the beginning of my internship time.

How does your practicum experience prepare you for your career?
Practicum has been the most significant experience so far in my development as a psychotherapist. It's in the living experience of being in the room with clients that I have been able to discover the beginnings of myself as a psychotherapist. This is the space where I have gotten to experience working with clients for the first time. The practicum experience is what allows a significant step in putting theory into practice.

Do you have any advice for someone who is a step (or a few steps) behind you in the practicum process?
For anyone who is in the practicum process or is thinking about applying to a practicum site, I recommend building a conscious relationship with self-care. For myself, the experience of being in practicum has been one of accepting not knowing.

What challenges or fears did you have going into your practicum? How did you deal with/overcome them?
Going into my practicum I was afraid of choosing a site that was not going to be good for my professional development. I was aware that the quality of the supervision I was going to be given was critical, especially at this beginning stage of my development. I felt like I was getting married to something without knowing it that well, even though I already had a sense of the center I was going into. The quality of supervision, especially trust and connection with a supervisor, is core to the value of practicum in my eyes. This process is not as much about getting things right and much more about being able to evolve and learn from what we like and what we don't like.

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