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updates etc…

16 Feb

I know it’s been a while and I have a LOT of posts to catch up on.  First things first, updates

Since I last wrote, I have (1) graduated from Capella University with my Masters in Mental Health Counseling, (2) gotten hired on at my previous pre-graduate internship site, (3) taken and passed the National Counselor Exam, (4) Applied for and been accepted as a Counselor Intern (C.I.) with the Louisiana Board of Examiners, and (5) begun researching the National Health Service Corp.

When working on graduating, taking the licensing exams, and networking in a down economy it is essential to minimize distractions.  Any one of these activities could be considered a full time job in and of itself, so my recommendation is to not be too hard on yourself and to pick and choose.  It’s importance to balance professional pursuits with self-care.  While I have done a “lot,” there is also a “lot” that has had to take a second place to self-care (or risk personal overload)!  For instance, the article I am working (and hoping to publish) has been untouched since things began getting hectic (as has this blog).

I’m sorry I haven’t been writing/updating the site.

My number one recommendation to Counseling graduate students is to put every effort into putting your best foot forward at your pre-graduate internship site.  Now this does not mean that one should feel pressured to be “the best most empathetic intern ever!”…in fact, far from it!  The goals that one should set for oneself at a pre-graduate internship site may seem simple and include the following: (1) be 5-10min early for your scheduled shift, (2) call in advance to speak with your supervisor if you will be late or absent, (3) be willing to WORK (and I mean get down and dirty, do whatever goofer work is asked of you type work), (4) try to be proactive with your work rather than re-active (the site will expect you to make mistakes – making it easier for a pre-graduate intern to make a “mistake,” revise and learn from it…so RISK it)!, and (5) show gratitude to the rest of the work staff team (admissions, the nursing staff, doctors, and counseling in a multi-professional environment all work together and their work affects that of each other!…a box of doughnuts on a busy Wed morning can go a long way to meeting the rest of the team and to increase communication/learning opportunities which could later bridge into career opportunities).

I’m hoping to continue updating weekly and will have more details to come.:) Thanks everyone for all your patience while updating/catching up.

The Versitile Blogger Award

27 Jun

This award was granted by AnxietyAdventures over at Anxiety Adventures: The Chronicles of the Anxious  – this is an excellent blog expressing thoughts/emotions surrounding anxiety and panic attacks.  I’m especially thankful for this award, because it exposed me to this blog.

For this award you must share seven things about yourself:

  1. I am a “Gemini” and was born in the Chinese Year of the “Rat”
  2. My favorite color is Blue
  3. I get every single geek joke in “The Big Bang Theory…”
  4. …making me an uber geek
  5. horror movies still get to me sometimes – to the point of sleeping with the light on:)
  6. I like reading Fantasy/Fiction/Romance novels for fun – and am a big fan of George RR Martin
  7. I have 2 stuffed toys (Dr. Seuss’ “The Lorax” and “The Cheshire Cat”) on the dashboard of my car

Then you must nominate 10 blogs you admire:

  1. TherapyTales
  2. risablairlovitz
  3. Listverse
  4. Charly CONCHITA Carlyle (warning NSFW)
  5. ShrinkThings
  6. WritingForOurselves,WritingForOurWorld
  7. Book of Words
  8. Enjoy Life For Once
  9. SimpleTerapia
  10. The World of Mismatched Socks

Change as a Process – Role of Client Resistance

12 Jun

One thing I like to say is that change is hard!  If change was easy, there would be no need for therapists, counselors, social workers, etc.  Furthermore, change is a process that is difficult and can be a lot of work and/or painful (Polcin, 2003).  It is therapeutic change, and a break down of client resistant behaviors that therapists strive to engage.  Moreover, resistance has multiple purposes and causes depending on the nature of therapeutic involvement (voluntary or non-voluntary) or extent of content to be disclosed (Sommers-Flanagan & Sommers-Flanagan, 2009).  Some examples of resistant client behaviors can include:   (1) too much talking, (2) lack of talking, (3) late/early arrivals, (4) lack of preparation or too much preparation, and (5) too much or lack of emotional control (Sommers-Flanagan & Sommers-Flanagan, 2009). (See below for References)

Lynn Shallcross wrote an excellent article on client resistance and the role of client resistance/managing that resistance as a counselor.  Click the text to go to the full article!

“You can’t change anyone else; you can only change yourself. Many counselors have used this common bit of wisdom to help clients overcome problems, but it’s crucial that counselors internalize that idea themselves, says Clifton Mitchell, a professor and coordinator of the community agency concentration in the counseling program at East Tennessee State University.”

References:

Polcin, D. L. (2003). Rethinking Confrontation in Alcohol and Drug Treatment: Consideration of the Clinical Context. Substance Use & Misuse, 38(2), 165.

Somers-Flanagan, J and Somers-Flanagan, R. (2009). Clinical Interviewing. 4th. Ed. Wiley & Sons, Inc., Hoboken, NJ.

Sleep Therapy and Tweaking Your Sleep Habits With Technology

8 May

Ok…as a graduate student (or working stressed out human being in general) sleep quality is not always the best.  However, psychologists as well as others have begun experimenting with ways to increase sleep quality through the use of smart phone alarms as well as through dream manipulation. The following article on LifeHaker discusses some of these apps.  I’m currently using the DreamOn app.  I’ve only been using it for a week or two, and would like to wait a bit longer before going into depth about the app; however, my experience so far has been (a) increase in vivid dreaming and (b) more restful/higher quality of sleep – leading to increased energy/mood during the day.  Now if only I could use this app to help me study for the NCE. 🙂

(Click the Quote to Go to the Rest of the Article)

Sleep. It’s the one thing we all do and the one thing that few of us are willing to screw around with—if only because a bad night of sleep can ruin an entire day. Still, hundreds of sleep tricks, hacks, and dream induction techniques exist that are supposed to give you a better night of sleep, and they’ve all been ported to your phone. But do any of these really work? If so, are these apps worth using? We’ll take a look at the science supporting various sleep apps, and then see how it really feels when your sleep and dreams tinkered with.

Bully the Movie…(Better Late Than Never)

8 May

For anyone that doesn’t know, I’m a big advocate for awareness concerning the lasting effects of bullying.  Bullying is more than children being “just kids”…rather it can be a sanctioned form of harassment enabled by the actions or in-actions of adults/culture/etc.  The documentary Bully, which aired last month, really embodies the true depth of Bullying and it’s effects.  Bellow is the Official Trailer for the Movie.  I highly recommend that if you haven’t seen it, you go see it.  It is impossible to change something that is not acknowledged.  For an earlier blog post I did on Bullying go HERE.

Therapist-In-A-Box

29 Sep

Now you too can start a “Psychiatric ‘Lemonade’ Stand” Like Lucy in Peanuts.  Impress your friends and family, treat that obnoxious anxiety triggered by late night graduate school papers…

CLICK ME TO LEARN MORE

(Note: This product is meant for amusement only…not to be taken seriously.  Avoid counter-transference, multiple roles, and use at your own risk.)