After handing out resumes to a variety of counseling centers in the Lewisburg area, West Virginia University senior Kristen Thacker landed an internship that allowed her to apply what she learned in the classroom.

A psychology major from Renick, Thacker has spent the summer interning at Pyramid Counseling Center. The center conducts a variety of rehabilitation and addiction counseling. They have offices in Beckley, Charleston and Lewisburg.

Thacker has two main duties at the center. She travels to local businesses, in both Lewisburg and Beckley, to market and advertise the center, and she conducts psychological assessments when people are involved in the local drug court.

I took a health and behavior psychology course, where I learned how and why people become addicts, and how that in turn affects the body both psychologically and physiologically,Thacker said.

Before her internship, Thacker had never conducted psychological assessments. She received on-the-job training, learned how to score the assessments and from there was able to conduct assessments while supervised.

One time I was with a client for four hours, I had to read the questions to her. Seeing her interested in talking about her addiction and getting to help her was a turning point, because it really hit me that people are benefiting from my work,said Thacker.Its great to be able to help people who are seeking out help.

Thackers internship with Pyramid Counseling Center has convinced her to search for graduate school programs in rehabilitation counseling.

I wanted an internship that would give me experience but also help me to narrow down graduate school programs,said Thacker.