Lifelong Learners: Introduction

An introduction to a series of blogs written by ATS psychology undergrad interns describing our summer experience acting as confederates in exposure therapy and learning about various career paths after undergrad.

By: Audrey Mason, ATS Psychology Intern 2019

Would you apply for a 30-hour per week internship that is completely unpaid, and even more, hope with everything you have that you get it? Many would immediately say “No, thanks,” especially with paid internships in the pool of optiBlog Intro 3ons. So why do so many undergraduates strive for the opportunity to intern at ATS, despite the lack of payment? The answer is clear; we hope to learn something about ourselves, our future paths, and the seemingly endless career options in the field of psychology. Is it really working for free if we gain awareness that will influence the trajectory of our career paths and potentially save us from pursuing a graduate degree that isn’t right for us, and as a result, possibly save us from thousands of dollars in student loans? This blog series, Lifelong Learners, reveals the challenges and realizations of four undergraduate students throughout their summer interning at Advanced Therapeutic Solutions (ATS), a clinical psychology practice founded by Dr. Carmen Tumialan Lynas. It is our hope that this series can give you a glimpse of our summer experience acting as confederates in exposure therapy sessions for kids with anxiety, share what we’ve learned about the various tracks available for graduate psychology degrees, and highlight the potential sacrifices those pursuing a degree in psychology must make to follow their dreams of helping the world.

The first blog in our series, “Jumping Into Your Fear,” describes intern Audrey Mason’s first time acting as a confederate in exposure therapy where she learned the true goals of exposure tasks related to anxiety and realized her own value in the session. Our second blog, “Bowl or Burrito?” explores intern Grace Kuna’s role in an eBlog Intro 2.pngxposure session at Chipotle, as well as her gratifying realization that ATS interns get to do more and receive more than what she initially expected. The third blog, “Does Graduate School Mean Putting Your Life on Hold?” relates intern Jeff Flinchem’s take on pursuing a Ph.D. in clinical psychology, and if the 6-10 years should truly be considered “putting your life on hold.” The final blog, “Different Degree, Same Ambition,” highlights intern Sydney Matteson’s realization that the decision to pursue a Master’s rather than a Ph.D. makes her potential contribution to the field no less valuable, and the most important thing is finding a career path that is truly rewarding and valuable to you. We will conclude the series August 17, to mark the end of our summer internship at ATS. Our series begins with our first posting tonight. Stay tuned!

About the Author:
Audrey is originally from Parkland, FL and is a rising senior at the University of Chicago. She is a psychology major with an English and creative writing minor hoping to pursue a Ph.D. in clinical psychology.

Interested in interning for a summer at ATS like Audrey?

College students click here!
Advanced Therapeutic Solutions is known for providing innovative and effective treatment for children, adolescents, and adults with anxiety. Call 630-230-6505 for an appointment.
Advanced Therapeutic Solutions | Clinic Website | Adventure Camp Website


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