Julie D. is getting her master’s degree in clinical psychology from UAA and completing her internship requirements at ACMHS.

Back to school

Julie is on her third or fourth career, depending on how you count – she worked as a hairdresser, at a bank, and in IT for 25 years before deciding to become a therapist. She says she realized over her time in IT that her favorite part of the job was working with people one on one, hearing their stories and getting to know them.  When her husband finished his master’s degree, they decided it was her turn to go back to school.

First real-world experience

Julie says community mental health was a little intimidating, as her first “real-world” experience in counseling.  UAA students do their initial practicum hours in UAA’s psychological services center, where the clients tend to fall into a narrower demographic with more straightforward life problem mental health needs.  Her clients at ACMHS have higher rates of serious mental illness (SMI), substance use and more severe symptoms.

But she loves it.

“I have a new appreciation for what people go through, and what they struggle with; it is real.“  Julie feels very honored that clients place their trust in her, and calls it a “rewarding, eye-opening, humbling” experience.

Welcomed and Supported

Her first day at ACMHS, Julie attended group supervision with the Adult Outpatient clinician team. She says several came up to her afterwards, introducing themselves and offering help.  And she’s been learning ever since. “I thought I learned a lot on campus, but here it feels like the sky is the limit. It has just been a great experience.”

ACMHS has increased the number of colleges and universities we partner with for internship placement. For more information, please visit our Student Opportunities page.