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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.

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Reflecting on the Present Moment

7 Jun

Reflecting on the Present, Importance of Grounding

This image and quote from the Dalai Lama holds a lot of meaning. In stressing over the future or worrying excessively, many develop anxiety responses. In focusing on the past, trauma and pain from the past can prevent enjoyment of present. In being consumed with pleasing others or being “perfect,” the individual can neglect self.

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.)

CSI officially accepted!

15 Sep

I’ve been officially accepted into Chi Sigma Iota (CSI), the international honors fraternity for professional counselors:)  I also followed up with my potential site supervisor and should (hopefully) have her half of the paperwork before I leave to go to my second residency:)

In preparation for conferences and professional/academic residencies, there some steps I like to take to help improve the odds of being able to network:

  1. update my digital portfolio which can be found HERE
  2. order more business cards – I use a site called MOO.COM  (they are very professional looking and have tons of fun themes)
  3. review my wardrobe – (if there is anything I need to replace so as to have suitable outfits for a professional event…it’s better to know in enough time to go shopping)
  4. skim over post-residency course requirements – for instance after the residency for Capella, we will have to complete a separate Digital Portfolio…(it always better for these big projects to NOT be a surprise)

I can’t emphasize this enough.  Whether working toward a degree, pursuing a competitive position, or managing a business…”following up” and taking personal responsibility is essential.  It does not matter if it was the “school’s” fault that “you didn’t know” about a big course catalog requirement in enough time to complete it – especially if five minutes spent looking ahead in that catalog could have prevented the issue to begin with.

Another semester…survived!

23 Jun

Well, I’ve finished another semester…which means I’ll have until July 11, 2011 to write as many blog posts as possible:);) It’s looking good so far, although I’m still waiting on a few grades to be turned in.  This semester I took (1) Principles of Psychopathology and Diagnosis, (2) Addictive and Compulsive Behaviors, and (3) Group Therapy.

Next semester I’ll be taking: (1) Human Sexuality, (2) Child and Adolescent Counseling, and (3) Mental Health Counseling Residency Track 2.

Last semester was awesome, I may post a slideshow I completed for Group Therapy as well as some excerpts of papers completed either on here or on my digital portfolio (or both)…I haven’t really decided yet.  Anyways, right now I’ stressing out trying to line up a future practicum/internship site for my experiential learning component required for graduation.  Counseling jobs are a bit scarce in Louisiana at the moment (giving me a somewhat not-so-mild panic attack); however, one thing at a time:) 😀

Remember! Keep on Swimming!!! (Watch the video below, it makes me smile when grad school gets tough!)

Randomness and Life…Myfitnesspal, a tool 4 self-awareness

7 Apr

Ok, this has nothing to do with counseling in a traditional sense.  In counseling, the counselor seeks to promote “mindfulness” or awareness of cause/effect.  Awareness can relate to eating habits, sleep patterns  (as in the ZEO product I discuss HERE), and/or mental/emotional awareness (through meditation and reflection), etc.

My fitness pal is a website (and an Iphone app) that lets users keep track of caloric intake, nutrition, and water consumption.  It also calculates (based on height/weight/activity level) the suggested calorie consumption to promote weight loss.  It’s completely free.  I was not contacted to review their site, and am not receiving compensation.

Physical health is tied to mental health and can influence depression, high blood pressure, anxiety, and dysfunctional coping strategies.  Since joining I’ve lost 7lbs:) (and goodness knows I haven’t hit the exercising/dieting hard).  Having the Iphone app also makes it easier to make decisions when eating out at fast food places (as you can see the values and select one based on your plan).  Unlike other programs (that will not be named), it is free.  Which makes it not so much a diet, as a change in behavior/habit.  Lifestyle changes are sustainable.  Diets, are not.

Counseling is about making small lifestyle changes that build to make larger impacts.  For myself, this meant using an Iphone app as a tool for mindfulness.  It makes me wonder what other resources to promote mindfulness are available that could be used to support client/individual interventions.