I began working at CALM as part of my traineeship requirements towards my Master’s at Cal Poly in April 2014. My traineeship requirement was done after a year but I was enjoying the work and the environment at CALM. I chose to stay on past my traineeship requirement and I have now been with CALM for 15 months.
I work as a therapist mostly in the Child and Parent Psychotherapy (CPP) program, but I also take clients in the Prevention and Early Intervention Clinical (PEI) program.
One of my best CALM experiences was early in my time here at CALM, I was given a case of a young 5 year old boy who was extremely aggressive, he cursed, he broke mirrors and other things in his house when angry. We worked for 6 months on different coping skills and ways to express our anger, problem solving, and implementing structure and rules in the home for mom. At the end of our time together, he had not had an angry outburst in months, he had developed a coping skills of going into his room to calm down and coming out when he was ready. At our last session he brought me flowers and had rehearsed a speech to tell me how much I had meant to him, and to thank me for helping him “not get so mad all the time”
If I could do one thing to make kids’ lives better, I would… help the adults of the world understand that they may be small, or have small voices, but sometimes they really do have a big story and a lot to say and as adults sometimes we need to just listen.
The one thing I wish people knew about CALM is that we aren’t performing quick fixes for children, the changes we make and what we teach families and children are long term. The hope is that we can help these children far and long after they graduate from our program, and help them become better teens, young adults, and then parents someday.