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Intimidated to have my own clients with NO experience

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I have 2 clients, an adult (expressive aphasia) and a child (artic/basic language) that I will begin to see in the next few weeks. I'm SO nervous and have no idea where to even begin with treatment! I know I will be guided by my clinical supervisors, but I'm so afraid that they're going to think I'm dumb because I literally have no idea what to do. HELP! 

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Don't worry too much! I'm an out-of-fielder and I also have no experience, also getting my first client (fortunately just one!) in less than three weeks. Have you seen your clients' charts? If they've had therapy in the past there will be a case history which shows prior treatments, so you can get a sense of what has been done, what they still need work with, and even preferred treatment activities. I highly recommend checking out the ASHA practice portal, which gives basic information, EBP guidelines for treatment, activities, etc. Research, research, research! Scour the internet for activities, treatment objectives, and any other helpful information. I'm guessing you'll meet with your clinical supervisor before your first session. Present what you have found and provide a rough game plan--you should get some feedback so you can revise it before the session. 

And even if you totally bomb the first session, I'm guessing most other people in your program will too. Mistakes are learning experiences! How else are we supposed to get better? 

Yeah, I know, I'm freaked too. I'm just good at pushing off my panic until later, so we'll see how calm I am in a couple weeks!

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  • 1 month later...

New graduate here. I just started my real adult job in July and even though I've gone through the pearly Master's degree gates, I still felt like I had no clue when I started. When I first started clinic, I relied a lot on what previous clinicians had done with the clients. There's no shame in keeping the status quo as you get your bearings and allow the clients to get to know you. Don't reinvent the wheel! Your supervisor is a great resource and they expect you to ask questions, they expect that you don't know a lot about working with clients you've never worked with before. My advice would be to ask about what the treatments have looked like in the past, do some research on those, and go in with questions for your supervisor. I've had clients with articulation difficulties and clients with aphasia so if you have any specific questions that you'd like to ask, feel free to PM me! Good luck and remember, be kind to yourself, you're learning as you go!

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