The internship has been a great success, with our three interns, James, Ciara and Zoe working closely with the psychology team to develop our new Reading Rooms programme for children and young people. It has been great having these three with us the last number of months, their enthusiasm, commitment and passion for the work they have been doing with our programmes has been a great support to the Verbal team. Our interns are now looking forward to the next step in their careers. James has now applied for the Master in Applied Psychology course with Ulster University! He has shared below some of what he has learnt during his time here at Verbal.

"Our psychological knowledge and skills were applied in creating annotations for the stories utilising a mental health curriculum based upon basic CBT principles. It was great to see psychology being effectively used in a very different environment. Our interpersonal and teamwork skills were greatly enhanced by delivering reading rooms and working within a very diverse and welcoming team who have taken us under their wing.

Our critical thinking skills were greatly developed by asking serious questions with positive psychological outcomes phrased in an understandable way to 8-12-year olds. As the team was so friendly and helpful, this created a motivational environment which helped us to improve these skills.

Our problem solving and decision-making skills were enhanced through critiquing each other’s work and deciding on the best themes and questions to be used. We also had the opportunity to do additional training through this internship, achieving an OCN in shared group facilitation which was a bonus from the other training we received.

This enabled us to go out and deliver reading rooms in Donegal to primary school children to test our annotations for the app we’ve helped to develop. Thanks to this internship, we now stand out from our peers with such a different and unique experience also enabling us to do evaluations and research furthering our knowledge."