Archive | Reflection RSS feed for this section

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.

Advertisements

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.

Step 4: Communication & Initiative

5 Apr

In graduate school “effective communication” and demonstrating “initiative” are more than mere personality traits driving successful academic completion.  These particular traits, developed, can save a student from unnecessary stress and workload – and goodness knows graduate students have enough stress/work as it is.  How can doing more work actually make for less work?  Sounds like an oxymoron at first, but let me provide an example.

The school I’m attending is making some changes to their Professional Portfolio requirement and Residency curricula – they are going from a hard copy portfolio that was supposed to be turned in at the next residency to a digital portfolio that will be completed after residency. Moreover, they apparently forgot to tell the students.  Our class was still under the impression that they were completing a hard copy portfolio.  So we were all getting ready to work on it.

If I had not called to double check requirements for the portfolio we would have (1) never realized there were changes we needed to prepare for, (2) had to re-do all the work on the portfolios – we’re talking hours and hours of work, and (3) not completed the work that was actually required.

Communication in graduate school is more than communication with one’s teachers.  It involves taking the initiative to keep up with course/curricula requirements, and maintaining contact with one’s advising center (whether you go to school online or in a traditional setting).  Never ASSUME you know something.  If your curious, ask.  Now I know it can seem petty to ask for every “little” thing.  Some things, seem more important than others….it’s tempting to think “well it will all work out” or “the school would let me know if…”

Never assume a school/adviser will let you know anything.  If the question(s) seem petty, make a list of 2-3 questions and call/schedule an appointment to ask them all at once.  If an advising session (meeting with a counselor face-to-face) seems like overkill for the situation, try just calling.  The original question I had was about a form that was listed as a requirement for the hard copy portfolio.  I called about that “form” and instead discovered the whole portfolio had been scrapped.

Summary:

  1. know your course/program requirements – is there other components to the program outside of coursework or are there courses that will require work as part of their curricula
  2. if you have a question, ask
  3. make a list of minor questions and curious concerns – call and ask about them all at one time to minimize having to call back repeatedly
  4. colleges are businesses, they won’t hold your hand especially in graduate school – never assume an important email will go out to update appropriate information

Hiatus is over:) I’m back!!!

9 Dec

Well, I know it’s been forever since I’ve blogged:) I went to Chicago in November for my residency with Capella University.  After that, I spent the next few weeks playing catch up and finalizing my big end of the semester papers:P

I promised lots of goodies after I came back from hiatus!  Enclosed is a link to my Chicago residency album:). Our professor was awesome, and our group was very open.  I really enjoyed meeting everyone, and hope we can all keep in touch…even after our journey through the Master’s program ends.  

Next track we have to create a portfolio.  I’m toying with the idea of a digital version to complement the physical one.  There is a site ( wix.com ) that allows individuals to create custom flash websites.  (It’s a lot of work though, and flash isn’t visible by all Internet capable devices.  So if I use flash, I’ll also need to create a site using basic capabilities …or just tweak my wordpress portfolio a bit.)

Link to residency photo album is HERE!!!

Also, I’ve been toying with ideas to make my site more fun! Next week look for more funny posts, articles, and open discussions about future plans for coffee counseling !!!