One of the most rewarding pieces of our Student and Early Career Professional workshop is learning about the participants’ work and the goals they hope to achieve. We enjoy hearing about what past trainees ultimately go on to do years after the experience. This workshop attracts students and early career professionals from around the world who work with populations with diverse needs, presenting problems, and experiences. Our trainees are able to adapt the models and ideas upon their return to work, and we’re always thrilled to hear about how the workshop helped facilitate application of CBT principles. The following account comes from Cristóbal Guerra, PhD, a scholarship winner from our 2013 workshop.
I earned a scholarship for the Student and Career Early Professional Workshop in 2013, while I was working on my PhD in Chile, where I am from. At the time, I didn’t have the resources to travel or attend the workshop without the scholarship, so it was a financial incentive as well as welcome recognition of my efforts as a doctoral student. Though I had already taken CBT trainings, the workshop allowed me to clarify doubts and see practical, concrete, and real examples of how to apply techniques in psychotherapy processes.
The experience helped further my career by providing me with high-quality academic activity and tools to support my practice as a clinical psychologist. I was working as a psychotherapist supporting children who were victims of traumatic events, so I was able to apply what I learned in my daily work and help my patients achieve their goals. It also helped me as a researcher, especially when we, the scholarship winners, presented our research projects to Dr. Aaron Beck. He very kindly gave us suggestions and answered our questions, which was an unforgettable experience. The advice he gave me has helped me in my various research projects.
Finally, the workshop served me in my career as a university professor. Dr. Judith Beck and the rest of the academic staff’s teaching style was very pedagogical and clear. Although English is not my native language, I was always able to follow the class and understand the exercises perfectly. Without a doubt, they were a model for me in my career as a university professor, and I continue to apply what I have learned and teach it to my students. Still, about seven years later, I keep reviewing my workshop notes.
I am currently working on a project that seeks to evaluate the effectiveness of group CBT with children who have suffered traumatic experiences. CBT has shown effectiveness in treating the consequences of interpersonal trauma; however, the effectiveness of this type of intervention has not been evaluated yet in Chile. I think it is important to assess the intercultural validity of the interventions. In our pilot investigations, we have found positive results that make us optimistic about the usefulness of the group CBT format to help Chilean children overcome the consequences of trauma.
Our Student and Early Career Professional workshop is an ideal first step for any graduate student or new clinician with under five years of practice. With a reduced cost and with no associated travel expenses, this live, interactive training is a wonderful opportunity to learn with other young trainees from around the world.