I was a second-year social work intern at Trinity Boston Counseling Center (TBCC), which is part of Trinity Boston Foundation. TBCC was my ideal internship. At TBCC, clients are invited to determine what role, if any, spiritually might play in their therapy. In many cultures, psychological well-being and spiritual well-being are considered to be one and the same, however, many mental health agencies encourage clinicians to avoid issues of spirituality and religiosity which means that an important part of a client’s identity may be denied in treatment. TBCC challenges this division between spirituality and mental health. As a result of the bi-weekly spiritual integration training I received at TBCC, I started to learn how to integrate spirituality into my clinical work and how to more skillfully welcome the complexity of my client’s social and spiritual identities.
I was also blessed to work at one of TBCC’s off-site programs called Street Potential, a clinical program designed for court-involved young men. Street Potential is a program that provides vocational training, individual therapy, art therapy, and hip-hop production training through a trauma informed lens. The grace with which the Street Potential art therapist Jess Leffler and resident clinician Nate Harris navigated group issues with unwavering love and commitment was beyond inspiring. As an intern, I learned how to work with my clients in a variety of contexts; from an afternoon in a glass blowing studio, to an individual counseling session, to a serene rowboat ride across Jamaica Pond. Working with my clients in a variety of settings allowed me to develop a more textured understanding of who they were, to honor what they needed, and to gain the respect necessary to engage in meaningful therapeutic work.
With the help of extensive supervision, I started to learn how to apply trauma-informed practices in new and profoundly helpful ways. TBCC and Street Potential became sacred and transformational learning environments.
I encourage you to support Trinity Boston Foundation so that future interns can have this extraodinary training.
-A Trinity Boston Counseling Center/Street Potential Intern