Leah Mais, currently a Postgraduate Fellow at The Center for Effective Therapy, recalls joining Camp Baker as a counselor the summer before her senior year. The structure provided by the treatment services and programming, and the ability to individualize treatment for each child, made her fall in love with evidence-based practices for mental health treatment. After her experience at Camp Baker, Leah aimed to pursue a doctorate to continue her professional development as a clinician.
She ultimately decided to complete a Master of Science in Counseling Psychology. The program provided her with a knowledge of skills in counseling, but in practice, they were asked to use their judgement in formatting a treatment program individually. Her clinical experiences lacked the kind of treatment structure and supervisory guidance that she had admired about the work at Camp Baker.
Leah was seeking out a path to more training in evidence-based practices when she had the opportunity to begin working at The Center for Effective Therapy at The Baker Center. Upon onboarding, Leah completed the Modular Approach to Therapy for Children with Anxiety, Depression, Trauma, or Conduct Problems (MATCH) training. The training was a comprehensive avenue to learning a treatment implementation approach that has a strong basis in research and has been proven to be effective. With the guidance of an evidence-based practice, Leah feels more confident in her ability to implement skills at the appropriate times with clients.
Clinicians at CET conduct intake assessments for new clients weekly, and Leah feels that this is “such a strength” of the Center. Leah has gained familiarity with the childhood disorders in the DSM, largely through her experience conducting these intake evaluations. The opportunity to conduct diagnostic assessments at a master’s level is rare to find in the field, and at The Baker Center, clinicians are thoroughly trained in administering the K-SADS. Having the time in her week to conduct an assessment and write a report is a welcome difference from conducting treatment sessions, consistently exposing Leah to new families, and presenting problems.
Throughout her time at The Baker Center, Leah has received high levels of support and supervision, as do all our clinicians. Leah expressed that she has never felt alone in making her decisions here. Through assessment seminar, where clinicians present their most recent cases, evidence-based practice seminar, where we have discussions on weekly readings about different treatments, and scheduled individual and group supervisions, Leah has multiple avenues for learning and support on her own cases. Every week here brings opportunities for Leah to engage in supportive and engaging discussions centered around our treatment practices and specific case examples.
“Co-workers and supervisors are great about making time to consult with me about my cases and to provide me the support that I need.”
Leah shares that “having data from treatment sessions to show that what we’re doing with clients is working is incredibly helpful in my journey to becoming a more confident clinician”. For Leah, her work with children and adolescents at The Baker Center provides her with a strong sense of hope. She believes in the value of early intervention for mental health, to teach skills families can use for a long time to come. Knowing that treatment is skills-based and short term is incredibly motivating for Leah. Children can come in and get effective support quickly. Following their treatment programming, they will walk about with a toolbox that they will always have.
“We know that we are making a significant impact in their lives”
A part of Leah still aims to pursue a doctorate someday, but those plans have shifted further into the future as she hopes to take full advantage of all the opportunities that The Baker Center is affording her. She shared that “Working at the Center for Effective Therapy fits in really well with my goals to gain more exposure to research implementation, data analysis through progress monitoring for our clients, and practical experience implementing highly reputable programs.”
Before working full time at our Center, Leah shares that she “wanted to be a part of the Center for Effective Therapy so badly that [she] was willing to get a Ph.D to work here […], so it’s incredible to do this so early in [her] career with a Masters!”
“The Baker Center is a place that provides structure and support, and it encourages the use of research and data in clinical work.”
Leah was able to join The Baker Center as a staff member thanks to the training she received through our new post-graduate fellowship program. If you're a student looking to be trained in the use of evidence-based services for children's mental health, check out the links below to get connected with us today!
Social Work Post-Masters Fellowship
Camp Baker summer positions
Graduate Student Practicum Positions
Doctoral Psychology Internship