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Linda M. Buskala

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 Summary of Internship Experiences

 

Linda M. Buskala

 

Western Washington University 

 

I began Internships through the Western Washington University Human Service Program in the Winter Quarter of 2005 at Skagit Valley College Student Services Counseling Department working under the auspices of Field Instructors Mary Darden and Carol Funk. Through two quarters, winter and spring of 2005, I re-tooled Power Point presentations for group advising and developed a new Power Point presentation for the Skagit Valley College Nursing Program.

Researching on the internet for Field Instructor Carol Funk I spent many hours on current work being done in the field of various disabilities. This work remains one in progress, as the plethora of information germane to the students Carol sees every day was greater than either of us could have imagined. The information gathering not only will be information used by Carol, but copies are being made for all counselors and others who may express a need or interest. Additionally, I also will reap personal benefits from the information gathered through the research, which will add to my storehouse of knowledge for future counseling of various people groups. 

With Carol in attendance, I was able to counsel several students in one-on-one counseling. Each of these opportunities provided me with another learning experience through the diverse problems presented by the various students. I am also reminded of several areas of growth during my time at Skagit Valley College. The greatest of these was the opportunity, in the guise of a challenge, to change how I viewed working in isolation versus working within close proximity to the heartbeat of an office and its inhabitants. I began to see a change in myself from needing the social interaction and exchange to enjoying it when opportune; but also finding great enjoyment in the work of research that by it’s very nature must be done within an environment of quietude and reflection.

            In the fall of 2005, I began a new Internship with Living Hope Church as a Counselor and Family Ministries Coach. Although there were a few opportunities for counseling students on personal issues at Skagit Valley College, the counseling was predominantly academic in nature. Therefore, working through the Church would begin to give me the experience of practicing my skills as a personal counselor. I have been with Living Hope Church for three (3) quarters continuing to do personal counseling on issues ranging from marital and family relationships to death and dying. In addition, I was able to develop a congregational survey to aid in developing future Church programs and publish a guide of community resources for church staff and members. My final project is to develop a program for peer counseling and mentoring within the men’s, women’s, and youth ministries.