Saturday, August 30, 2008

A lot has happened lately

Marcos and I started school last week, and it's been cranial jelly again for the first time in forever. Oh the joys of being full-time students.

My main source of jelly is not my classes though, it's my internship. I have been working three days a week at the Exchange Club's Family Center in Durham, and so far it's been 100% drinking-from-a-firehose type training. Today by the time 5pm rolled around, the other intern Michelle (who is also my friend) and I were hysterically laughing at ourselves because our eyes had glazed over and we had lost much of our frontal lobe functioning. What a week!

But it is soooo worth it! I have been learning the ins and outs of a research-based parenting therapy for at-risk families (meaning, at risk for abuse because of high stress, poverty, young age of parents, etc.), called Parent Child Interaction Therapy. When I'm fully trained, I will visit the homes of families in Durham County, and teach parents how to bond with their children through play therapy, as well as teach parents norms and milestones of child development, and healthy discipline strategies. It is a great, intuitive program, and I am really excited to go into homes and tell struggling parents about programs that have proven to be effective. Sometimes I joke that my job is all about the blind leading the blind because I am not a parent, but after 40 hours of training, extensive supervision, and ten video-taped sessions I plan on feeling really comfortable with the model and how to teach it.

The best part? I have already been using the strategies we are learning. Marcos and I babysat last night for our friends who have a nearly 2-year old, and I invested in toys for the occasion. I practiced my play time with the little one, and she ate it up even though she's not yet fully verbal. I think that in the future I'll put some parenting tips in my entries... I would be interested to hear feedback on whether the principles of the program seem obvious to you who are parents, or if some of it seems insightful and different...

No comments: