I still remember leaving the empty room in my sister’s new home after my online meeting with the internship manager, Nicola Falzon, who conducted the interviews with the applicants for an internship at Willingness. My family greeted me outside, asking how it went. I did not want to get my hopes up too high and all I could say to them was, “It was alright, if I do not get in it is fine as well. At least the interview was great already and it was worth it”. In reality, I so badly wanted to get this internship and I could not believe my eyes a couple of weeks later after I had received my acceptance e-mail.
Needless to say, I was on cloud nine and looking forward to the internship with burning anticipation. As a student, semesters can get utterly stressful. However, I am also the type of person who craves intensity and wants to do multiple projects at once, otherwise, I get bored easily. The transition between working for my degree and the start of the 40h internship was seamless and there was no holiday in sight. Nevertheless, I did not care about having little to no consecutive days of free time. The projects we were able to run as well as the insights we’ve gained and the participatory nature of the internship in the Clinic were extremely fulfilling and exciting. The team never ceased to surprise me, as an intern I was consistently met with care and trust.
Undoubtedly, it was not all sunshine and roses. We were faced with some challenges along the way. There were days where the workload felt a bit much. Naturally, finding oneself in a seemingly turbulent situation offers room for future improvement as well as an opportunity to communicate clearly with your teammates about your capacities and mental state. I am personally grateful for the high demands Willingness placed on us accompanied by their support, immediate guidance and feedback as well as frequent check-ins and encouragement to express one’s opinions and feelings about our work and strain. Another awesome and exhausting factor was the online format. While suffering from Zoom fatigue, I was able to do the internship from home, Hamburg and Berlin which fulfilled my need for travel and work perfectly.
Stepping out of that room after my online interview a couple of months back, never would I have guessed that I will be leaving that internship with two co-written scientific papers under my belt, eight soon to be published informative blogposts on sexuality and tons of insights and wisdom surrounding sex therapy, how a holistic clinic can be run as well as an understanding for the mutual appreciation and knowledge transfer that can happen between students and professionals. I felt seen as a psychology newbie, heard as someone with an informed opinion and supported as a future professional. If my path will lead me to become a sex therapist in some shape or another in the future is still up in the open. One thing I know is certain though: no one can ever take away my growth and what I have learned from interning at Willingness as well as the beautiful connections I have made to my fellow interns and professionals alike. And for that, I am forever grateful.
If you want to learn more about Willingness internships you can reach out here.
Sara Felber is a Student of psychology from Graz, Austria interested in a variety of issues concerning sex, relationships and LGBTQ+ topics. She is currently researching guidelines on the sexuality of psychiatric inpatients and is interning at the Willingness Sex Clinic.