Summer internship in Psychology for senior students

Posted by on Jul 10, 2020 in School News | Comments Off

The class 11 students of Psychology at our School attended the summer internship programme at Moolchand Hospital. The internship consisted of three online sessions with the first session being held on 10 June 2020 and the last on 19 June 2020. The resource persons for the internship were Ms Geeta Mehrotra (Senior Resource Faculty, Expressions India), Ms Aprajita Dixit ( Child & Adolescent Psychologist, Institute of Mental Health) and Ms Rekha Chauhan (Senior Resource Faculty).

The internship was extremely informative and inspiring as it provided a deep insight into the subject of Psychology. Through the course of these sessions the students learnt how mental health refers to the emotional, physical and social well being of a person and also what young persons like themselves can expect from a career as a mental health professional.

In the first session the students learnt how the current situation of the pandemic can amplify mental stress amongst the population and prove to be fatal. They also learnt about normal and abnormal behaviour in society and how something that is considered normal in one society may not be considered the same in another society or in the same society in the future. They were taught about the RPWD (Rights of Persons with Disabilities) Act and how one should break the common stigma about mental illness and treatment. They learnt the 4 Ds (Distress, Deviance, Dysfunction and Danger) and also how one should be empathetic rather than sympathetic.

The resource persons asked the students to consider the following points if they aspire to become psychologists or psychiatrists.

• Breaking the stigma in society is important as it encourages more people to come forward and talk about their problems without hesitation.
• It is normal to not be okay and if stress persists, then it is important to seek professional help.
• Students of Psychology have to be role models and spread awareness about better mental health practices.
• Students must learn to accept individual differences and not try to judge everyone by the same yardstick.

In the second session, the students learnt about the mindset of a therapist. They were told about the job of a mental health professional along with the differences between neuro and psychotic disorders. Tips on how one can build rapport with a patient were also shared in the session. The skill of observation was termed a very important skill for the mental health professional and students were advised that it is critical to always carefully observe a patient. They were told to check the following things in their first meeting with the patients.

• General appearance and behaviour
• Speech
• Mood and effect
• Thought
• Perception
• Cognitive function
• Judgement
• Insight

Students were told that it is important to keep the details of a patient confidential and acquire information about the patient’s pre morbid personality. It is also important to find out the duration of the stress experienced. The details to be obtained by a mental health professional were also discussed. These were:

• Personal information ( name, father/husband name, socio-demographic profile, source of referral etc.)
• Chief complaints of the patient
• History of present illness
• Personal history
• Family history

The third and the last session focused on the different types of disorders amongst children as well as teenagers. The students were provided some basic information about these disorders. They were taught that young children are usually plagued by behavioural and development disorders which are either birth defects or due to stressful events. The disorders that were discussed are
as follows:

• ADHD (Attention-Deficit/ Hyperactivity Disorder)
• ODD (Oppositional Defiant Disorder)
• SAD (Separation Anxiety Disorder)
• Childhood depression
• Conduct Disorder
• Autism Spectrum Disorder

Lastly, the resource persons spoke about depression amongst teenagers and the tell tale signs that should be looked out for in cases of
suspected depression. Those signs are:

• Sleep loss
• Interest loss
• Guilt
• Energy loss
• Concentration loss
• Appetite increase/decrease
• Psychomotor changes
• Suicidal thoughts

They said that it must be remembered that the difference between normal stress and a mental illness is that the symptoms of the latter consist of a set of symptoms and persist for a longer duration. The symptoms directly affect a person’s interest in daily activities.

Overall, the internship was a great experience and the students participated enthusiastically. The resource persons were very helpful and answered all the questions posed by the students in regard to Psychology.

Aarushi Menon, XI-D
Gauhar Gupta, XI-E

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