Monday, August 10, 2009

Volunteer Spotlight: Josh Ellow, Alpha Program Intern

Hello! My name is Josh Ellow and I have been volunteering at the Alpha Program since January.
Back in 2005 I crossed paths with Mark Lanyon, the Site Director of the Alpha Program. In talking with Mark, I learned about BCI and its goal to aid those in recovery. Four years later I decided to expand on this brief introduction, as I needed to find an internship site. Accordingly, I hopped on BCI’s website. Needless to say I was impressed with what I found because I have been dedicated to BCI ever since.

As mentioned above, I chose to volunteer so that I could gain hands-on experience to compliment my schooling. Presently I am a graduate student at Chestnut Hill College in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. While my degree is in Clinical and Counseling Psychology, I chose to concentrate on addiction studies. Because of this specialization, BCI was a great choice as it offers individual, group, psychiatric, and family counseling.

After beginning my internship in January, I have had the opportunity to gain practical experience in countless areas. My favorite task would have to be group counseling. The Alpha program offers various groups including Addiction Education, Relapse Prevention, and Life Skills. Also, a Recovery Bound Group is offered on Saturdays, which allows clients who work during the week to acquire their needed group time. I have been assisting with this specific group since I first started. Over time, I have helped clients through education, counsel, and conversation while developing a solid therapeutic relationship with many. Because of the varying themes, each group tends to evolve in a different manner. Consequently, my ability to facilitate these sessions has grown immensely.

Additionally, BCI has taught me the importance of interdependence among staff. In other words, I have learned that some things are difficult to do alone; and sometimes one must look to others for assistance. Within the Alpha building there are over a dozen professionals, all with different specializations, working together for the good of the client. This has been a novel and welcomed approach from the previous individual counseling I have done.

Looking back on all that I have done and all the people I have worked with, I am extremely thankful for my experience at BCI. Because of my dedication to the weekend Recovery Bound groups, I have been hired to take over two of these groups per month. As a part-time employee at Alpha, and a dedicated behaviorist to adolescents, I know I am gaining skills to aid my career as a counselor specializing in addictions.


Anonymous said...

The only way to fully appreciate a person is through communication and the understanding that every individual is just that; an individual. An individual is a person independent in their ideals, behaviors, patterns of speach, and forms of thought used in solving problems and combatting the struggles of everyday life. However, Mr. Ellow is quite the expert in being able to remove himself from the restraints of his own "Independence" in order to firmly grasp and perceive the tribulations in which the persons looking to him for answers are enduring. Be respectful and you shall be respected.

Anonymous said...

We need more people like Josh!

Anonymous said...

Josh,I was a client of yours a little over 2yrs ago.Our sessions unfortunately were cut short.I just maxed out a 1-2yr prison sentence up state in PA.I thought alot about you, your words of advice, and obstacles you have overcome.I hope to successfully contact you in the next week or so to continue counseling. I've never felt as comfortable w/ any other counselor as w/ you.-JamesAdams