The Student Becomes the Master – A Practicum Experience at Together We Can

I began my Master of Counselling practicum placement at Together We Can (TWC) in September 2017, and from the first week onwards, I was impressed with the genuine care and understanding that staff consistently demonstrated towards clients.

Celia Yeung, MC, Together We Can

By Celia Yeung, MC
Together We Can – Masters of Counselling Practicum 

I was also moved and inspired by listening to clients share their personal stories, including what led them to make the courageous decision to enter an addictions residential treatment program to change their lives for the better. Moreover, I had excellent supervised opportunities to develop my skills in counselling clients both individually and in groups.

In my eight months at Together We Can, I gained a lot of knowledge while working under the exceptional guidance of Courtney Nichols, my practicum supervisor.  Courtney was very supportive in my practicing from a client-centred, strength-based approach in addressing client concerns, which may include clients coping with grief and loss, mental health issues, relationship challenges, and improving self-care.

Courtney modelled a highly ethical practice and provided me with a safe space to explore any area I wanted to improve on in counselling clients. She offered constructive feedback, provided ongoing encouragement, and shared many professional resources to help broaden my knowledge base and enhance my counselling skills.

I also learned to effectively integrate interventions from various theoretical orientations (e.g., cognitive behavioural strategies, mindfulness practices), when relevant, to facilitate positive client change. I highly value the collaborative, positive supervisor/supervisee relationship that Courtney and I built over the course of my practicum.

Furthermore, counsellors and other staff were readily available to assist me when I requested more information or resources related to clients’ treatment programs. Together, we worked effectively to empower and support clients on their paths to recovery that are culturally and personally responsive.

I am very thankful for the opportunity to complete my graduate counselling practicum at Together We Can. I worked with a dedicated team of professionals and an outstanding supervisor. It has been an enriching and unforgettable learning experience.

About Courtney Nichols – MC:AT, RCC

Registered Clinical Counsellor, Art Therapist

Courtney Nichols obtained a Master’s degree in Art Therapy in 2003 and is a Registered Clinical Counsellor in B.C. She is also Certified Cognitive Behavioural Therapist for anxiety disorders with additional specialty training and experience working in the areas of depression, PTSD, OCD & psychosis.

Often suppressed memories can play an integral role in addiction and identifying this through therapy can help unlock traumatic memories to aid in recovery.

She also uses her extensive knowledge and experience to counsel clients in Individual Mental Health Session regarding issues such as self-esteem, trauma, grief, and loss.

Courtney is an expert at investigating how feelings, thoughts and behaviours are influencing an individual’s current behaviour. She helps clients find patterns of negative self-talk and identifies how they are impacting the client’s self-esteem and sense of self-worth.

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