Monday, October 27, 2008

Volunteer Spotlight: James Kennedy, Alpha Program

Hi, this is James Kennedy and I'm an intern with Brandywine Counseling Alpha. I first heard about BCI through a friend who is also in recovery. She recommended that I check into working here for my internship for Delaware Tech. I later heard more about it through my advisor at school, who recommended it to me to consider for my internship for my drug/alcohol counseling degree.

I decided to do my internship here for several reasons. I like the diverse and eclectic staff that offer such a wide range of skills and life experiences, from mental health to art groups, to provide a progressive approach to addiction treatment. I also like the tight knit family atmosphere among the staff. From the day of my interview and on, I felt welcomed and part of the team, and I feel it’s this attitude that makes the program so effective and beneficial to our clients.

Honestly, I didn’t know much about BCI’s program before I came in, except that it was an outpatient treatment program, but when I met with Mark Lanyon, I soon learned that it is more than just a simple outpatient program; it’s instead a resource for the clients to treat every aspect of their addiction, including their mental health problems, family problems, and even compulsive gambling issues.

In the time I’ve been here, I have been working on a wide array of projects, such as intakes and assessments, brief face to face sessions with clients, assisting with treatment plan writing and revising, discharge summaries, as well as facilitating several groups here, and at the North Wilmington site, the Plummer Correctional Facility, and the Webb Correctional Center.

I will take away from this experience a greater knowledge of how to treat addiction, how to connect with clients in a friendly yet professional manner, and a beginning knowledge of working with clients in the criminal justice system and those with mental health issues. But I will also be taking with me a better knowledge of myself and how my strengths can fit in with a team. It really is a terrific feeling to get involved and help people in need. It’s a greater high than any drug can offer.

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