Rising senior Genevieve Anderle is one of eighty students awarded grants this summer from Bowdoin’s funded internship program, which provides them with a generous stipend to live on while they pursue internships or projects of their choice.
The psychology major (and sociology minor) is in Philadephia working at the Beck Community Initiative, which is run by the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania.
At ninety-seven, Dr. Aaron T. Beck is something of a living legend in the world of psychiatry, explains Anderle. “Dr. Beck is the founding father of cognitive therapy, which operates under the principle that an individual’s thoughts and existing biases influence the emotions he or she experiences and the intensity of these emotions.
“Dr. Beck, along with my supervisor, Dr. Torrey Creed, also developed an evidence-based practice, called cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), which clinicians can use to treat a number of mental health conditions, including depression and anxiety. Currently at the Beck Community Initiative researchers are working to test the effectiveness of their training and other evidence-based practices. The team works to improve the lives of many seeking treatment, so I’m very excited to be a part of such important work this summer.”
Part of the attraction for Anderle was the opportunity of pursuing what she calls a “great, well-rounded internship that mixed both clinical psychology and research, since I was not entirely sure which area interested me more.”
Anderle says she’s had various responsibilities so far over the internship and has learned a lot about the field of psychological research – but the learning doesn’t stop there: “The great part about my role in particular is that I am able to see both the research side and clinical side of psychology. I’ve primarily been entering patient-level data to examine the effectiveness of the training, but I’ve also gotten to witness CBT in action during a few sessions of therapy,” she explains.
By talking with the many members of the team about their experiences, Anderle says she now definitely has a clearer picture of what she might want to do after graduation. “My experience has been really enlightening so far,” she says, “and I feel much more confident in a research setting now!”