Intern Testimonials

I am so grateful to have been with New Leaf Behavioral Health (NLBH) for my practicum and internship experience. NLBH has a well-developed intern program that facilitates the application of educational knowledge to the clinical setting with ease, while working with clients from diverse backgrounds. I am honored to say I worked with clients from NLBH’s Reduced Fee program, which provides affordable mental health care services to those who otherwise may not have access. From beginning practicum to ending my clinical internship, my professional relationship with NLBH has been wonderful.

Settling in with the uncertainty of actually “doing therapy,” I was never given more than I could handle with my caseload, and always provided with resources and guidance when needed. The supportive and structured environment offered by NLBH was imperative as I was beginning the clinical journey to becoming a therapist. The administrative staff is attentive and provide constant support, which is beneficial for interns as they are developing their clinical writing skills. Their diligence in handling the detailed essentials, allows interns to focus directly on professional development, case conceptualization, and client needs. Dava and Patrick are both extraordinary directors and supervisors that are thoughtful and encouraging. Also, Augie, the office pup and my pal, was there to provide furry hugs and cheer throughout each day. My supervisor, Patrick, provided context in supervision that was equally as supportive as it was fundamentally challenging, to enhance professional growth and development. Patrick’s feedback encourages interns to think beyond their current capacities and move from their comfort zone into an ambitious scope that deepens insight and professional development. After each weekly supervision meeting, I left with a greater sense of both clinical and personal awareness and a smile on my face. Patrick helped me unveil my clinical challenges and aided in my ongoing evolution as a beginning therapist, which has positively shaped my role as a clinical therapist and professional identity.

One of my favorite aspects of NLBH is their focus on Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) as the primary framework for interns to implement with clients. CBT provides an evidence based format that new therapists can easily apply and build upon session after session to design treatment plans and sessions tailored to each client’s unique needs. Finding the right fit for students’ clinical experience is a crucial component in their educational and professional endeavors. Each semester, NLBH exceeded my university’s program requirements for clinical experience and hour requirements with ease. With NLBH, I was able to fully immerse myself into the clinical experience without doubt or hesitation. My time with NLBH has been invaluable and I am truly grateful to have had this opportunity. I am looking forward to continuing the relationship once I am licensed. I highly recommend New Leaf!

Jessica Griffin, Clinical Intern 2020-2021

University of the Cumberlands, Clinical Mental Health Counseling Program

 

I am so thankful that I had the opportunity to complete my practicum and internship at New Leaf Behavioral Health. My experience at New Leaf has been positive from beginning to end. The structured and supportive environment eased my nerves as a new intern who was beginning to work with clients. Prior to beginning my practicum, Patrick and Dava provided training and resources that helped me feel ready to start helping clients during sessions. The Cognitive Behavioral training that was provided helped give me a roadmap on how to structure sessions and conceptualize clients. My supervisor, Patrick, was a huge support to me and was always available to answer any questions that arose.  Patrick is an excellent supervisor, and the atmosphere he created in weekly supervision was a nonjudgmental, supportive learning environment that helped me grow as a counselor.

 NLBH taught me how to apply what I learned in graduate school to effectively help clients. I was able to maintain a caseload of diverse clients that provided me with invaluable experience. During my graduate experience, I heard many stories from classmates about the troubles they were experiencing at their site due to lack of support, difficulty reaching hours or struggling to work with clients and grow developmentally. These concerns never arose for me at New Leaf, as I was given opportunities for growth while feeling supported along the way. This internship was the best training ground I could have asked for in gaining clinical experience while growing as a professional. Being an intern at New Leaf is an experience I will always be grateful for, and I would highly recommend NLBH to any graduate students seeking an internship site.

Jennifer Pearce, Clinical Intern 2020-2021

Liberty University, Clinical Mental Health Counseling Program

 

I am so grateful for the opportunity to complete my practicum and internship and New Leaf Behavioral Health!  NLBH gave me such an organized and supportive learning experience that allowed me to develop my own autonomy as a clinician. I was provided the fundamental tools to learn cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) and implement it into sessions with clients. In my first few weeks I began providing individual sessions and conducting psychosocial assessments with clients. My supervisor, Patrick Malloy, was a huge support to me in providing care to my clients as well as developing me as a professional. Patrick always made sure to prioritize my supervision and be available for questions when I had them. He also guided me during supervision to develop my skills in conceptualization and taught me to “become comfortable in feeling uncomfortable.” As a new therapist, there were times when I was unsure of myself or really feeling the imposter syndrome – through my experience at NLBH I learned to embrace those feelings because it means I am learning!

During my time at NLBH, I was able to work with clients from a diverse background and gain experience in treating a variety of presenting problems such as depression, anxiety, OCD, and ADHD. Oftentimes, I would hear from my classmates that they were struggling to reach hours or get the experience they needed and that was never the case at NLBH. I would highly recommend New Leaf to any upcoming practicum or intern student and I cannot say enough great things about my opportunity.

Hailey Morris, Clinical Intern, 2020-2021

University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill, Clinical Rehabilitation and Mental Health Counseling

 

During my time at New Leaf Behavioral Health as a practicum student and intern, I gained great experience both clinically and professionally. From the beginning I felt that I was equally supported as I was challenged. New Leaf allowed me the opportunity to work with the reduced fee program which offers affordable mental health services to the surrounding community. Being at this organization has further enlightened me of the necessity and importance access to affordable services is. When I began, New Leaf provided me with extensive resources, guidance and practice in applying Cognitive Behavioral Therapy as well as encouraging the exploration of other evidence-based treatment approaches. Shortly after starting, I was scheduled to complete individual sessions on my own with client’s. Although not fully confident in myself, this allowed me to have direct learning and experience. Throughout my time at NLBH, my supervisor, Dava, always ensured that we met for weekly supervision and was readily available to attend to my nervous questions and clinical interests. Not to mention, the cute and personable pup, Augie, joining in for meetings. Dava encouraged me to be myself and find comfort in my own personality as a therapist in addition to pushing me outside of my comfort zone. These pushes resulted in great opportunities of self-reflection, clinical experience and new learning.

Although my experience began in January 2020, in March, the unfortunate circumstances of the COVID-19 pandemic began and certainly altered how I predicted my experience would be. NLBH was always ahead of the questions and concerns in providing efficient teletherapy services, keeping interns and other staff informed and up to date with technology, and providing me with a learning experience I will never forget. Throughout my graduate experience, I have witnessed other individuals in my cohort have unsettling and insufficient experiences at other sites due to lack of supervision/support, ethical concerns, and difficulty obtaining clinical hours. At New Leaf, none of these issues were ever present for me and I felt well taken care of as a student in training. I would certainly recommend New Leaf to any upcoming practicum or intern students, as it has been an opportunity that I am highly grateful for. 

Lily Graves, Clinical Intern 2020

East Carolina University, Clinical Counseling with an emphasis in Addiction

 

I am beyond grateful for having the opportunity to intern at New Leaf Behavioral Health. I was with NLBH for a little over a year and completed my practicum and internship for the Mental Health Counseling program and the practicum of Substance Abuse Counseling program at NLBH.  I had a great experience with the site and supervision – Patrick and Dava are great supervisors! Don’t hesitate to ask for help. They are always open to questions and suggestions. My supervisor was Patrick. I enjoyed the supervision of Patrick. He is very knowledgeable, understanding, and provides a non-judgmental learning environment. 

Everyone in the office was very supportive, professional, and provided a positive environment. The office was always cleaned and well organized. I admired that NLBH offered affordable services to clients. All clients were treated equally with respect. NLBH cares about the well being of their clients and team members. I also enjoyed Augie’s company! He’s the sweetest pup. 

I learned the application of CBT treatment strategies and motivational interviewing. I remember on my first day, I was so nervous. I had my first transfer client. At first, I was uncomfortable with the idea of not being able to shadow someone but now, I am truly appreciative of being allowed to grow independently as a professional and develop my own counseling identity. 

Some challenges that I faced at the beginning of my practicum were developing my own professional identity and showing empathy. At the beginning of my practicum, I struggled in developing my professional identity because I wasn’t too sure of the counselor’s role in “Do’s and Don’t”, but then I later learned that it’s important to be yourself as long as you are professional and provide ethical services.  I also learned how to show empathy. Coming from a family with low emotional intelligence, it was difficult working through those uncomfortable feelings of expressing empathy. I learned to push myself with the help of my supervisor.  In which, I believe it has made me a better person.  I can freely express my emotions as well as provide a comfortable environment where clients express themselves. 

Oneyda Garcia, Clinical Intern 2019-2020

Nova Southeastern, Clinical Mental Health & Substance Abuse

 

The reason I initially chose to intern at New Leaf Behavioral Health was because I loved their message – to provide all members of the community access to affordable and effective mental health services by offering a sliding scale program (and they had a cute dog). My experience here over the past year has been positive. I would highly recommend NLBH to other interns looking for a site. They provide a very structured and supportive environment for learning, while simultaneously fostering autonomous growth. As a supervisor, Dava makes you feel comfortable and provides helpful insight. No matter how many tasks are on her daily to-do list, her door is generally open and she is available to help when needed. I liked that she focused on my professional development beyond internship as well as improving counseling skills.

I learned the acronym SOLER in graduate school when practicing working with clients: face Square to show you are involved, Open posture to make clients feel engaged and welcome, Lean forward to show you are involved and listening to what they have to say, use good Eye contact to show you’re listening and not distracted, and Relax to show that you’re focused. I remember attempting to apply SOLER in my first sessions with my clients at NLBH and one of my first supervisions with Dava. Watching the video back together, she noted that I looked physically uncomfortable (modeling some immediacy). And I WAS uncomfortable: sitting in chair like a statue to ensure that my face was square to the client, while still trying to be open yet leaning in, hyper aware of any fidgeting to show I was focused. She told me that all clients want to see is that you are genuine and encouraged me to get comfortable in my office and just be myself. It was invaluable advice.

NLBH helps you take what you learn in school, adapt it for yourself as a developing clinician and apply it to work with clients. It has been such a rewarding experience to see so much growth in myself as a counselor, but also to be a part of real change in client’s lives. I am so grateful to Dava and Patrick for donating their time and expertise to myself and other interns. 

      Madeline Lynch, Clinical Intern 2019-2020

      Liberty University, Clinical Mental Health Counseling

 

My experience as an intern at NLBH was very positive. I was with the agency for 15 months, from practicum through three semesters of internship. From the start, I felt very supported and was nervous but excited to be able to start seeing clients within my first week. One thing that I know can be a challenge for interns is getting enough direct hours, but that was never an issue at NLBH. I had a consistent caseload with a diverse client base that provided me with the opportunity to gain experience working with various needs. There were plenty of resources available to me, included a dedicated office, computer, and books. My supervisor, Dava, ensured that we always met weekly for individual supervision and was readily available outside of our dedicated time. She was great as a supervisor, pushing me beyond my comfort zone as needed and helping me grow as a counselor. Looking back, I feel like I was never “just an intern,” but a member of the NLBH team. I had the opportunity to gain valuable professional experience that has prepared me well for the next steps in my career. 

      Allison Yost, MS 2018-2019

      Seton Hall University, Professional Psychology Program

 

I have really enjoyed completing both my practicum and clinical internships with New Leaf Behavioral Health over the past year!  This internship site provided a beneficial glimpse into what I believe my life as a professional counselor will look like.  Through intensive paperwork, access to Cognitive Behavioral Professional resources, helpful guidance during supervision, and extensive clinical experience, I feel like I have come out of this program significantly more knowledgeable and prepared for the professional landscape.  I was given the opportunity to learn how I can mature into the best professional that I can be while being guided by evidence-based theories, techniques, and practices.  I worked with clients with depression, anxiety, PTSD, OCD, ADHD, and more throughout this year and feel grateful to have had meaningful exposure to such a diversity of clients.  I’ve considered it such a gift to work within the reduced fee program because it has provided me with insight into the necessity of continuity of care, access to resources, and access to mental health services for those who do not have insurance and need these services.   

      Lauren McKenzie, MS 2018-2019

      North Carolina Central University, Clinical Mental Health Counseling

 

I am so grateful to have been able to complete both my practicum and internship at New Leaf Behavioral Health. Before starting clinical work at NLBH, I had little experience with actually applying theories and concepts that I had learned in the classroom. At NLBH, I was taught how to conceptualize client issues through various theoretical orientations. My supervisor, Patrick Malloy, provided me with resources on the fundamentals of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), and guided me in utilizing CBT with clients. I was able to work directly with clients across the lifespan with various presenting problems related to depression, anxiety, and PTSD. I had the opportunity to conduct psychosocial assessments and provide weekly individual therapy sessions. I feel that my internship experience allowed me to gain an understanding of what working as a professional counselor is really like. I am incredibly thankful for my experience as an intern at NLBH, as it has given me the tools and resources to confidently enter the professional workforce as a new clinician with New Leaf!

Lauren Vandemore, LPCA 2018-2019

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Clinical Rehabilitation and Mental Health Counseling

 

I had the opportunity to spend both my practicum and internship at New Leaf Behavioral Health (NLBH) in Raleigh, NC. I spent 1 year and 4 months at my clinical site (NLBH) in order to fulfill the requirements for a Master of Arts Degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling, with the ultimate goal of becoming a Licensed Professional Counselor. During my time in the program, group supervision at my University as well as consultation with peers at my clinical site has allowed me to see into the world of LPC clinical internship sites. Needless to say, I quickly realized how fortunate I was to be given the opportunity to begin my counseling learning experience at NLBH.

When I started my practicum at NLBH, I did not have any clinical experience outside of a few role plays we had performed during our Graduate program during class. Upon interviewing and being accepted for a practicum/internship at NLBH, I was given a copy of Judith Beck’s Cognitive Behavior Therapy: Basics and Beyond. This reading provided a review of material that spanned beyond what I had been taught during my classroom time and it grounded me in the fundamentals of CBT prior to my starting to work with actual clients.  I was also given training by the Patrick Malloy and Dava Muserallo on how to write case notes, treatment plans, discharge summaries, initiate referrals for additional services, make emergency contacts, deal with a client crisis and a they reviewed general office procedures/expectations, etc. prior to me actually starting my clinical experience.

Soon after starting my clinical experience, I was given the autonomy to conduct sessions with clients on my own, even though I was still anxious and not really sure of myself. NLBH provides a teaching environment through and through, as I was able to video any sessions I chose, I was consistently provided with 1 hour of supervision/week with Patrick Malloy, I was encouraged to consult with not only Patrick, but also Dava if needed, and I was scheduled with a diverse case load of clients with a variety of clinical pathologies. Patrick always encouraged me to be creative, try new interventions if they were appropriate and could be helpful for the client, and not be afraid to fail or make mistakes. Although CBT was the primary theoretical orientation I was introduced to, I was also given the opportunity to learn more about other theories/therapeutic orientations during supervision, such as interpersonal process therapy, dialectical behavioral therapy, motivational interviewing, attachment theory, trauma-focused therapy, and Adlerian therapy. I was given access to a professional office equipped with computer, video camera, telephone, and a front office staff that helped manage my schedule. Overall, my clinical experience at NLBH far exceeded any expectations I had coming in, and was far superior to any experience my peers spoke of during my time in the program.

My peers consistently spoke of experiences that no intern should be made to endure. Stories of being sent on home visits alone at night in areas of high crime and danger, not being supported in developing the fundamentals of counseling, chatting with clients but not focusing on actual therapy, performing unrelated staff duties such as cleaning bathrooms and running personal errands for their site supervisor and the list goes on. I was the only member of my cohort that maintained my original site throughout our program; whereas the other 8 members changed sites anywhere from 1-3 times as a result of various ethical/practical concerns. The Clinical Director of my University (she visited each site 1x per quarter for 6 quarters) also agreed that NLBH was far superior in the quality of experience and the environment they provide for clinical interns to learn healthy and ethical ways to practice counseling. I am very grateful for my experience at NLBH and I am leaving with the confidence that I have acquired more than just the basic skills needed by an up and coming therapist. I would, without reservation, recommend any clinical intern who has the opportunity to complete their clinical work at this facility.

Sherri Ford-Jacobs, MA  2017-2018

South University, Clinical Mental Health Counseling

 

During my time as an intern at New Leaf Behavioral Health, I significantly improved my counseling skills. I provided services for people in the community that desired help with depression, anxiety, and PTSD at various ages. I worked with clients from a thorough intake assessment to weekly sessions of therapy to discharge/transfer summaries. I also created fact sheets that could serve as client resources as well as many worksheets tailored specifically to my clients. Additionally, I got to attend a few sessions of the children’s social skills therapy group that is typically offered twice each year. My supervisor, Dava, was a huge support to me in providing the best possible care for my clients as well as developing me as a professional. This experience has improved my assessment skills, my use of therapeutic techniques, my professional writing skills, and my creativity.  

Emily Munier, 2017-2018

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Clinical Rehabilitation and Mental Health Counseling

 

I learned so much from my experience as an intern at New Leaf Behavioral Health! When I was looking for a site, they were willing and generous enough to fit me into their already full staff. This site afforded me the opportunity to receive direct counseling experience and conduct therapy one-on-one. Being able to do actual therapy with clients and practice the techniques and skills I had learned was essential for me to develop as a counselor. I worked with many diverse people and populations to receive a wide variety of experience. The core counseling skills that I brought into internship were  strengthened, and I was taught in depth about treatment approaches to use with clients such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT). It was also wonderful that I was able to receive one full hour of individual supervision every week where I could ask questions and present cases. I know that I am leaving New Leaf as a much better counselor than when I entered, and I appreciate the time staff took to train me.

Daria Siegel, 2018

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Clinical Rehabilitation and Mental Health Counseling

 

New Leaf Behavioral Health is fortunate to have the opportunity to work with many talented students from a variety of clinical programs.  To date, we have offered clinical internships to 50 students from a variety of disciplines, including counseling, psychology, clinical social work and marriage & family programs.  Each student is given a structured clinical learning experience, with weekly training, supervision and consultation to support their professional growth.  The following contributions came from students who were willing to share their experiences for the benefit of prospective interns.

I originally completed my practicum at a mental health facility that was not focused on the client or contributing to improving mental health services and was feeling frustrated about the unethical environment when I found New Leaf Behavioral Health.   I cannot say enough good things about my internship experience at New Leaf Behavioral health.  I volunteered at New Leaf before my internship began which allowed me to learn systems and operating procedures before beginning with clients.  New Leaf instantly showed their priority is the client, while reducing stigmas and barriers to accessing mental health.  New Leaf offers a reduced fee option and in-home services, allowing those of different socioeconomic backgrounds, disabilities, etc. access to counseling.  My caseload was diverse ranging from different ages, cultures, religions and sexual preferences which offered me a robust foundation to begin my career.  The offices are clean and make the client feel comfortable, the computer system was easy to access with a focus on respecting HIPAA policies in addition to my supervisor being accessible and helpful with questions I had.  The front office staff was diligent about ensuring clients were placed with counselors that could best serve them.  My experience at New Leaf rejuvenated my passion for the field and respect for how much work goes into providing an ethical, confidential and effective service for the population!

Chanel Marshall, 2017

Capella University, Clinical Mental Health Counseling

 

Completing my practicum and internship at New Leaf has allowed me to develop my identity as a counselor by providing me with an opportunity to utilize the theories and concepts I had been studying for so long. Meeting regularly with my supervisor and knowing that there were supports available when/if I needed them gave me the confidence to dive head first into seeing clients. Throughout my time here I was able to see a diverse group of clients for individual therapy as well as co-lead a social skills group for children and adolescents. Starting out using the recommended CBT framework allowed me to develop a strong theoretical foundation for my practice and I felt supported when I started to bring in additional skills. My supervisor was able to recommend and provide me with all different kinds of reading material based on my interests and my caseload. In talking with my classmates about their internship experiences, many of them simply shadowed therapists or worked on paperwork – from day one at New Leaf I was able to see clients and gain true clinical experience. 

Jordan Richards, 2016-2017

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Clinical Rehabilitation and Mental Health Counseling

 

I served as a clinical intern with New Leaf Behavioral Health for one year beginning May 2016. As a clinical intern at NLBH, I was offered a challenging environment that allowed me to explore my potential as a future clinician and discover my strengths through engaging with a diverse counseling population. NLBH provided me a healthy level of autonomy within my position as a clinical intern, while fully supporting and encouraging my professional development through expert-level clinical supervision and opportunities for personal growth. I am fully confident that the skills and knowledge I have gained through my time as an intern at NLBH has provided me an experience that will prove invaluable as I move forward in my clinical counseling career.

Katy Moyer, 2016-2017

Liberty University, Clinical Mental Health Counseling

 

Interning at New Leaf was a challenging and rewarding experience for me. I started seeing clients on my own during my second week on the job and I was given project assignments from day one. I never lacked for work to do or for clients to see. The position at New Leaf challenged me to think about my clients critically and conceptually, primarily using Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. Patrick was my supervisor and he encouraged me to not only learn all of these things but to also think more critically in general. He made sure that I knew exactly what I was doing and why I was doing it, again promoting purpose and intentionality in sessions with my clients. I met with him for supervision about once a week, plus he was always very responsive to emails and to any questions I had. As a currently licensed therapist, I can look back and say that my experience at New Leaf prepared me to be a therapist that is critically and actively engaged in the process of promoting positive change in my clients.

Tina Tuttle, LPCA 2014-2015

Johns Hopkins University, Clinical Mental Health Counseling

 

My internship at New Leaf Behavioral Health was hands down the best of all my clinical experiences. The staff was helpful and supportive and there was a culture of learning and empowerment. I was given ample clients to earn my required hours, both direct and indirect. I was also given the freedom of working with clients independently versus only shadowing, yet I also knew that someone would be there should I need guidance or support. My direct experience with clients was also diverse, and I was given the opportunity to work with clients ranging from children to seniors in individual, couple, and group settings. I was provided all of the supervision I was promised, plus some, as well as additional training and resources. I highly encourage any student seeking a high quality practicum/internship to reach out to NLBH. 

Jennifer Goodman, 2012

Adams State College, Clinical Mental Health Counseling

 

My time working with New Leaf Behavioral Health was a very rewarding experience.   It is refreshing to find a company that cares as much about its employees and clients as New Leaf Behavioral Health. The supervisors are very knowledgeable, caring, responsive and encouraging.  As a new professional, I was afforded a wealth of opportunities and guidance in exploring and developing my therapeutic foundation with a variety of clientele.   I look forward to collaborating with New Leaf in the future.

Adrian Boles, LPC, 2011

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Clinical Rehabilitation and Mental Health Counseling

 

I feel very fortunate that I was given the opportunity to intern at New Leaf Behavioral Health as a second year MSW student at NCSU. Unlike some of my fellow classmates in other placements, I was able to get some real hands on experience doing therapy while interning at New Leaf. I also got excellent supervision, which helped me begin to grow as a clinician during my time there. Looking back, New Leaf really helped me to develop the therapeutic foundation I needed as I entered my first job following graduation. I know I would not have been as prepared as I was without this experience. If anyone thinks they want to go into direct practice after graduation I definitely recommend applying for this internship. You can read and talk about clinical practice all day in the classroom, but I believe that it is the actual hands on experience you gain from field placements like this one that is going to turn you from a student into a clinician.

Katie Bryan, LCSW, 2010-2011
North Caroline State University, Master of Social Work