Becky Benedict: Mental Health Intern at the Counseling Center


Rebecca (Becky) Benedict is a Mental Health intern at the Counseling Center. After graduating from Syracuse University in 2010, Benedict returned to Syracuse to complete a professional program in Clinical Mental Health Counseling to become a licensed counselor.

“I really have an interest in mental health. I always have throughout my life even though I haven’t done it on a professional level, but [I have fostered the interest] by learning about it and educating myself about it, especially in regards to people I know. A lot of people I know have struggled with mental health,” Benedict said. 

Benedict began her internship with Colgate in Fall 2020. She also works part-time with individuals with developmental disabilities. As an intern, Benedict has gotten to learn about different specialties, theories and interventions to inform her personal approach as a counselor.

“Especially with a lot of the things that are going on with the pandemic, I’ve been focusing a lot on CBT and DBT. CBT is cognitive behavioral therapy and is focused on how thoughts influence behaviors and emotions. And then DBT is dialectical behavioral therapy which is focused a lot on grounding and pulling out of that emotional mindset into a middle ground mindset where you can ground yourself and be able to make clearer decisions,” she said.

Additionally, her work at the counseling center has molded her own interests.

“I’m also very interested in the connection of the body with the mind and how they influence one another. It’s easy for people to kind of feel like their mind is disconnected from their body, but I believe that a lot of the times our anxieties present themselves in the body.  I also think, in ways, it can be the reverse. [For example,] if you have a stomach ache and it can sometimes make you anxious. It is important to recognize the way we can treat our body in order to help our mental health,” Benedict said.

Benedict’s work at the Counseling Center has a large training focus as she is working towards her license.  

“I meet with people the same way counselors do, but I have different requirements for myself. For my program at Syracuse University, they are very strict about us recording our sessions because we need supervision for certain things,” she said.

Benedict is in her last year of her professional program and the clinical experience with her internship has been an opportunity for her to apply her coursework to practice.

“You can learn so much, but until you actually experience it, I feel like you don’t learn as much. Until I actually see the theories come out in session is when I really start to learn it,” she said.

Benedict expressed some of the challenges she has faced in her internship as well as what she has enjoyed about the experience.

“I never expected my internship and counseling to be during a pandemic so there are definitely some things that stand in the way of connecting more, but what I really love is the staff [in the Counseling Center]. They are very cohesive and communicative and everyone is available for support at any time. I really enjoy building relationships with the students I meet with and to see how the counseling relationship plays out,” Benedict said.

Colgate has a formal internship program for counselors in training, and currently employs three Mental Health interns. 

“I was really lucky to be placed here in the counseling center because they are not only providing services to students, but they are actually very committed to training other counselors for best practice and are very committed to taking time to train you on different therapies, interventions, or other related topics. The counseling center treats you like a professional as well, so you really get into that professional mindset,” Benedict said.