Best Practices for New Therapists

Best Practices for New Therapists

Over the past few months at BZA, I’ve had the privilege of getting to know many wonderful
clinicians and staff that work together to bring quality care to the clients. I’ve set up informal
interviews with most of the staff here to discuss what brought them to BZA, past experiences,
interests, and advice they have for new clinicians. Although this was a small project for my
internship experience, I found that I naturally enjoyed connecting with others and learning
about the steps they took when first beginning in the field. This project has not only allowed
me to get to know staff that I do not necessarily get to work with on a regular basis, but it has
also brought me realizations that many of you come from different paths in life, some including
careers outside of the mental health field. Every person I interviewed with was different in
their approaches, their backgrounds, their preferred populations to work with, and their
various recommendations for myself as a new clinician. Despite the differences, it was
common across all that there is a true care and attention to detail in treating the various clients
BZA provides services to.

One piece of helpful advice I received while meeting with the clinicians was to gain experience
in a hospital at some early point of my social work career. Multiple clinicians shared with me
how helpful it was for them working in hospitals where they learned intensive crisis work as
well as various clinical skills and group experience. Another helpful piece of advice I received
was that although it is helpful to have knowledge and training in multiple modalities, it can be
especially valuable to pick one area of interest and become skillfully trained in that modality.
Many of the clinicians I met with provided me with trainings and resources specific to their
specialties. I have found emotion charts and zones of regulation to be especially helpful in my
work so far with children. Prior to this internship experience, I only had experience with adults.
This has been a learning curve and I appreciate all the help from those that work with children
regularly. In addition to advice, resources, and suggestions-I also received some great book
recommendations to enhance my learning.

Other than meeting with clinicians, I also took time to get to know the front office staff who
work hard daily to schedule clients with different providers based on need(s) and availability. I
have learned and witnessed the strong communication the front office staff has with clinicians
and appreciate their thoughtfulness and detail when scheduling. Some might even offer your
favorite candy unknowingly on a difficult day (shoutout to Kanzah)!

This project overall taught me how different experiences and personalities combined can work
well in the therapeutic world to bring a variety of services to clients with varying levels of
needs. I want to thank everyone who took time out of their schedules to meet with me and
share a little bit about who you are and what brought you here. I’m excited to continue to
work with many of you during my internship experience, and I’m always open to new
ideas/suggestions/clinical tools or just a simple conversation.

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