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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

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.

To Do List – before start of spring 2011 semester

25 Mar

  1. treat cement around house
  2. pressure wash house
  3. update resume
  4. create a linkedin account
  5. email field work adviser – ask about site requirements in greater depth and paperwork required from those sites
  6. purchase binder/tabs/sheet covers for portfolio
  7. find out about eportfolio and what can/can’t do
  8. get shelving for guest room – organize guest room
  9. tidy bedroom – (it’s the worst b/c no one sees it):P
  10. laundry…lots & lots
  11. work on fun writing/stories

Graduate School Pursuits….to M.S. or go straight for the PhD.

15 Mar

Not everyone going to graduate school realizes that you do not necessarily NEED to pursue a Masters prior to going for a PhD.  In fact, in some cases (career goals etc.) the PhD may be necessary “end-goal.”  However, before you run straight to the college entrance people to see the requirements for your degree of choice, there are some pros and cons to bypassing a Masters.

Pros:

1) Shorter time in school and therefore less debt

2) Higher pay due to level of education

Cons:

1) Graduate work is VASTLY different than undergraduate (and this is coming from someone at the Masters level), don’t overwhelm yourself with too much too soon or you may not complete the degree.

2) A PhD or PsyD takes longer to complete than a Masters (4-5 years instead of 2-3).  Having the ability to sustain pace and to financially support the completion of the degree should be considered.  If you get halfway through the PhD and have to dropout due to a financial crisis, you will have no degree to show for it.  On the other hand, if you complete the M.S, some of your courses may transfer to the PhD (if they are in the same field).

3) If you are making a career change, it would be better to get a M.S. and work in the field for a year or two to be sure you enjoy the work.  No matter how much you think you know about a job, it never compares to actually doing the work.  It would be horrible to spend 5years (post undergrad) only to find you despise your new vocation.

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Personal preference is to go for the Masters first.  The only instance in which I would have felt comfortable bypassing the M.S. would have been if money was no object.   The household would have to be 100% secure without the potential graduate student’s income so that if the student could not work the degree would not be at risk.  Additionally, the individual should have experience in the field he or she is pursuing, so there is knowledge about the career that will result from the degree.  Finally, the person bypassing the Masters must be prepared to work harder than ever and to play catch up on academic writing.  The PhD dissertation process is much more involved than simply writing a “long” paper.  Research that process before making a decision.