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Serving a need

A week in the life of a clinical psychology doctoral resident

Part of a special feature highlighting the student voice, student experience and the range of student supports and opportunities available at Memorial.

By Ben Gould

Interested in a peek into the life of a clinical psychology doctoral resident at Memorial’s busy Student Wellness and Counselling Centre?

Follow along as Ben Gould shares what his days look like at the centre.

Monday morning

I’m usually in the centre on the fifth floor of the University Centre around 8:30 a.m.

As soon I get into my office, I review my schedule and “to do” items for the day and week. After that, all three residents at the centre convene for a debriefing led by our training director.

Here we discuss our schedules for the week and any challenges we are facing. It’s really a dedicated time we set aside for each other as practising clinicians and as human beings.

three people sitting at a table in front of a bookshelf looking at the camera
From left are Carolyn Zwicky-Perez, Ben Gould and Damien Dowd, clinical psychology doctoral residents at the centre.
Photo: Richard Blenkinsopp

Monday, Tuesday, Thursday daytime

These days are dedicated to individual brief-therapy sessions with clients and program planning for our work together.

In our individual sessions, clients and I work together towards goals that we have developed in terms of the challenges they are seeking services for.

I am also one of many people at the Student Wellness and Counselling Centre who offers same-day session opportunities for clients throughout most days of the week.

Unlike the brief-therapy service offered at the centre, same-day sessions take a solution-focused approach to help students with more short-term, immediate stressors, such as test-taking anxiety during exam period. This is a one-session service.

There are multiple different types of meetings and training sessions that happen on these days to better prepare us residents to work with students in need.

For example, we recently had an assessment workshop on administering various tools to address clients’ challenges with concentration and attention.

Wednesday mornings

On Wednesday mornings, a fellow resident and I hold our ACT group.

This is one of many different types of groups, workshops, and training that the centre offers to serve the specific needs of the clients.

In ACT, clients learn various acceptance and mindfulness strategies that allow them to demonstrate increased cognitive flexibility. This hopefully helps guide them to a quality of life more in tune with their values and goals.

Wednesday afternoons

On Wednesday afternoons I do my initial consults, which are interview-style meetings with clients looking to seek brief-therapy services.

These consultations serve to better understand client concerns and to identify a best fit in terms of the services and/or counsellors available to them. These meetings usually last about 50-60 minutes.

Friday daytime

I see clients for individual sessions on Fridays, but it is also dedicated to case conferences, administrative meetings, seminar training and research.

Ben Gould sitting as his office desk typing on his computer

My research is focused on mental health needs in diverse populations, specifically with Indigenous groups, and exploring technology’s role in mental health care.

Friday afternoons

At the end of the traditional work week, all of the residents have an end-of-week meeting as a way of debriefing and checking in with each other – a process of self and team care.

Evenings and weekends

Outside the office, I am sure to do a lot of self-care through physical fitness.

This usually entails weight training and high-intensity cardio. I’m a sports enthusiast, following many different types of sports such as basketball, baseball, hockey and football.

Not being a fan of the snow, I try to be outside as much as possible before it hits – taking in the sights and scenery of Newfoundland.

I’m also a family-oriented person and my relationships are a major driving force in my quality of life.

I hope this little look into my day-to-day life provides students a better understanding of the diverse services and opportunities accessible to them from the Student Wellness and Counselling Centre.

The centre has many skilled and well-trained professionals capable of providing diverse and broad services relevant to students’ needs.

The Student Wellness and Counselling Centre consists of counselling, health and wellness supports including primary health care, counselling, health promotion, disease prevention and wellness education. 

The centre provides inclusive care to enhance the emotional, physical, and personal well-being of Memorial students, including the achievement of their academic and personal success.

To learn more, visit online, call 709-864-8500 or visit the centre in UC-5000.

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