Interning with ACIPP last summer completely exceeded my expectations. I learned more about cross cultural practice and the client-therapist relationship than I could have ever learned in a classroom. Through my three month journey, I was able to uncover the challenges that Ghana is facing within the areas of mental illness, cultural understanding and social stigma. I was also able to gain insight into Ghana’s mental health regulations, standards of practice and implemented rehabilitation strategies. However, the greatest thing that I learned was that love, happiness and joy still exist when material goods are in short supply. I did my best to develop therapeutic activities when I had very little resources. When I had little to nothing to work with, I found that the greatest therapeutic strategy was to listen to the patient’s stories with an open heart and mind, and allow them to express the love and joy within themselves to create positive therapeutic change.
When I arrived in Ghana, I was extremely fearful of things to come. By the time I left, I had gained a family of individuals from all walks of life.