Internships a Pathway to Success

When asked how valuable internships are for students interested in the field of behavioral health, LICSW Dominique Wells doesn’t hesitate to affirm their importance. She should know: she is the Program Supervisor of Intern Learning for CHD’s Outpatient Services.

And she also was a CHD intern herself at our Outpatient Behavioral Health Clinic in Greenfield when she was earning her MSW at Westfield State University.

“During my internship, I learned how to problem solve,” she said. “I learned how to think on my feet, connect with my colleagues, and build rapport with the individuals we serve.”

Wells, in addition to her role as Program Supervisor of Intern Learning, is also an Internship Supervisor at our Greenfield Clinic, where she helps aid in communication between the interns, their field instructors, and their college advisors and facilitates monthly intern seminar meetings.

Internships, she said, open opportunities to learn the ins and outs of the behavioral health field beyond the walls of a classroom. “You learn so much more hands-on, in-person,” she said. “There’s only so much a classroom can prepare you for.”

Reflecting on both her career and her internship, Wells said that internship students learn not only about the field, but also professional communication. “You’re learning how to communicate with so many different people—how to communicate with clients, parents, community partners like DCF and probation, and how to speak in such shared group spaces as integrated support team meetings and DBT [dialectical behavior therapy] meetings. You’re learning how to interact with so many different people in so many different roles on the job.”