Before studying at BGSP, alumna Leila Karam directed a group home for adults with a broad range of psychiatric diagnoses. But, she says, “Even though I had a master’s degree in criminal justice with a concentration in substance and alcohol counseling, I did not feel equipped to handle the various issues that I was facing with the residents and the staff at the group home which I had been directing. My prior training did not equip me to deal with the emotional issues of the patients.”
Then, Ms. Karam earned her Master of Arts in Psychoanalytic Counseling from the Boston Graduate School of Psychoanalysis. “My training at BGSP,” she says, “prepared me to work successfully with patients with a variety of diagnoses, including the emotional life of the patients as well as the feelings they arouse in the people who treat them. This is important for working in such a fast-paced environment.”
Ms. Karam is currently the Director of the Adult Partial Psychiatric Hospitalization program at Arbour HRI Hospital, a comprehensive outpatient program serving adults with major mental health issues. As Director, she supervises clinical coordinators and doctoral candidates from different training backgrounds. She comments, “As a BGSP student, I began my internship at Arbour. As soon as it was completed, I was offered a staff position working on their inpatient and outpatient units. In less than a year, I was offered a supervisory position.”
In addition, Ms. Karam directs an evening Intensive Outpatient Program, a group-based therapy program that attends to the psychiatric needs of college students. She is often invited to speak at college counseling centers to discuss with their staff the most common issues facing college students and how to work with them. She also serves on the board of a non-profit organization that runs group homes for adults with mental health issues. Ms. Karam is continuing her studies at BGSP and is currently pursuing the Doctor of Psychoanalysis degree.