A Very Long Minute

Posted on September 30,2011 by sthurstonmspp

DIBELS…. The first test. One of many curriculum based measurements we as first years will learn to administer this year. There is a test booklet, a timer, a student page, specific markings to be made while scoring, and a child who does not have all the right answers. While DIBELS is not actually rocket science, for many of us it is the first time we will be interacting with a child in a very meaningful way. Our ability to provide this measurement will help teachers decide whether or not an intervention may be necessary to help the child to develop solid reading skills.

So, no pressure.

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Tagged School Psychology

Rain, rain go away...

Posted on September 29,2011 by spitchermspp

Coming from Idaho and California, I have never seen so much rain in my entire life! I'm used to wearing flats all over the place; but after drowning my feet today, I realize why everyone out here wears rain boots. I came out the doors of my practicum site with rain that felt like someone had picked up the Atlantic and just dropped it on us!

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On your mark...

Posted on September 29,2011 by shansenmspp

The kid on the scooter sidled up to me with a smile on his face.

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Let's talk Doc Project

Posted on September 28,2011 by mmosesmspp

Ah...the Doc Project. Sometimes referred to (affectionately?) as the DP. I'm just beginning to form a relationship with my DP and I would describe the connection as tenuous at best. During the second year of the PsyD program, we all take a course on Research Methods. Many of my fellow students talked about being in a constant state of anxiety throughout the two hours class, overwhelmed at the idea of coming up with an idea, much less actually producing...something.

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Tagged Clinical PsyD

Weekend in Residence

Posted on September 27,2011 by jgarciamspp

I love school so much that I decided to spend the weekend there. Just kidding. Well, I did spend the weekend there but it wasn't because I have an unhealthy attachment to my school. (Go, MSPP! Woohoo!)

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Qwelled Fears

Posted on September 27,2011 by kgottschmspp

With about a month of classes behind me, I feel like I have finally gotten into the swing of things at MSPP. My courses are going really well and my practicum site has been so informative and exciting. Last week, however, I encountered a challenge of graduate school that I had been worrying about for some time. I gave my first in-class presentation.

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Brownies and the Brain

Posted on September 25,2011 by shansenmspp

Last Wednesday, we studied the brain in our Lifespan Development course. This meant squinting at pictures of neurons to locate the axons and dendrites, and coming to understand that we should conceive of the brain as a series of pathways rather than specific sections. Mmmh…. All this brain talk made me hungry. Luckily our esteemed program director stopped in during the break to encourage us to attend the prospective students open house that evening. The promise of food at the event was enough for me. As far I can tell, MSPP excels at two principal activities: preparing excellent practitioners in the field of psychology and offering delicious and plentiful food at campus events.

After class, two of my fellow first-years and I made our way to the main MSPP campus building at 221 Rivermoor. We convened in a conference room with four prospective students, the program director, and several faculty members. Suddenly, the tables had turned. We as the first year class have spent the past several weeks learning our way around MSPP, meeting the faculty and staff, getting lost in the hallways, trying to figure out how to have a social life in between homework, classes, and practicum, and asking lots of questions. Now we were in the position to be sharing our knowledge and answering questions, if only for a night. I found myself talking animatedly about the school where I’m working and people I’ve met at MSPP. It was astounding and gratifying to discover how much I have learned in the past month since orientation began– and to be able to share that with potential future MSPPer’s. This was a wonderful realization after spending three intense hours analyzing the brain. The brownies were darn good, too.

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Laughing, crying, singing

Posted on September 23,2011 by mmosesmspp

Today marks the end of week three at my internship. The staff was immediately welcoming, my supervisors are spectacular, and I love the other interns. I've already met with several patients. My site is a clinic that treats people with trauma histories. Painfully sad stories come with our profession; I am continually affected by the things that my patient's have endured and by how resilient they can be. In this profession, it can be very difficult to "leave work at the office." I try my best, but two weeks ago a patient entered my dreams - that I can't control.

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Tagged Clinical PsyD


Posted on September 23,2011 by spitchermspp

When I first heard about teachers emphasizing the importance of self-care, I kind of laughed. I've heard so many horror stories of grad school and how much it consumes your life; so, the idea of taking time out of that menagerie of a schedule for myself seemed impossible. The past couple of weeks has started to get a little intense with papers starting to be due and starting my practicum just last week.

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Tagged Personal Growth, Around Boston, Counseling Psychology

The Affirmation

Posted on September 23,2011 by jgarciamspp

OK. I promised you a joke in the event that my first (real) day at Stevens was not absolutely amazing. However, despite the fact that there were no dramatic or traumatic events that would trigger an "awesome" on my day-rating scale I did have a great time (which I will get into later). So, even though it was not a total bust I still feel like I telling you a joke. Here it goes:

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Tagged Forensic Psychology

Looks like someone's got a case of the Mondays!

Posted on September 21,2011 by sthurstonmspp

Dookershat. Best word ever. Apparently, the developers of a certain test believe that the ability to repeat back nonsense words can reflect on your intellectual abilities. At 6:59pm, however, I think the ability to maintain a straight face and say “Dookershat” reflects a very different skill.

My cohort always has a case of the Mondays... and it’s not even that we did not receive a piece of cake, its that the cake didn’t even make it to the party. The cake is off somewhere having a wonderful time with the red Swing line stapler while we all sit through 9 hours of class. 9 hours.

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Tagged School Psychology

Finding Time to Down Dog

Posted on September 20,2011 by shansenmspp

Up dog…down dog….I wonder how we’ll discuss cultural diversity within school systems….Half pigeon….what exactly does the hippocampus do?....Cat and Cow...Warrior I….will I have enough time to finish my paper on low-incidence disabilities? Sun salutation….Camel….Down dog!

With all of the demands of graduate school, my field placement work, and my work-study jobs, it’s a struggle for to find time for yoga. And in fact, in a recent yoga class, I found my mind wandering back to school questions, even as I recognized the need for mental health breaks from life as a graduate student. During orientation, MSPP emphasized the importance of self-care for mental health providers – ironically, those who are trained to help others improve their emotional and social wellbeing are often likely to not take care of themselves in the same way. Some days I just manage to wade through the numerous emails in my MSPP inbox, finish class readings, complete assignments that are due, and make it to my field practicum on time. Other days I am more able to find a sliver of time for myself, and go for walks, practice yoga, or even occasionally put down my assessment articles in favor of a novel. Despite my increasingly hectic schedule, I find that this is time well spent. Down dog!

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Where Did the Week Go?!

Posted on September 18,2011 by jgarciamspp

When asked by my uncle to describe the week that I've had I could only think of one phrase: controlled chaos. I've known my general school/work/practicum schedule for some time now but this was a random week. Because of other peoples' schedules I ended up revamping my entire schedule. I was fully aware of what the week was going to contain. I am also usually good at dealing with this sort of unexpected craziness. I just had no idea how intense and exhausting it would be. Interestingly enough... I love the feeling.

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Tagged Forensic Psychology, Around Boston, Latino Mental Health

32 and still writing papers

Posted on September 17,2011 by mmosesmspp

There are a lot of people who come to MSPP shortly after graduating from college - maybe spending a year or two working. And then there are people who come back after working for 5, 10, 20 years. Or more. I fall into the latter category.

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Tagged Change of Career, Clinical PsyD

First Day at Practicum

Posted on September 14,2011 by spitchermspp

So today was the first day of orientation at my practicum. At first I was afraid I would fall behind in the training since the orientation started Monday; but, I quickly fell into line with what was being discussed and I was getting really excited to start working with the kids.

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Tagged Counseling Psychology

A week of first days

Posted on September 13,2011 by shansenmspp

Last Wednesday was the first day of school for the first through sixth graders at my field practicum site. It was also my first day of school, as I began my fieldwork the same day, splashing through puddles in the parking lot as I made my way to the entrance. At 8:00 on Wednesday morning, I found myself wandering the school’s hallways in search of my supervisor, as students in crisp blue polo shirts streamed through these same hallways in search of their new classrooms. Despite the rainy weather, their enthusiasm at returning to school was palpable, and I, too, felt excited about being able to spend time in their school community this year.

Yesterday the pre-school and kindergarten students arrived for their first day. Their transition to school was not without tears and several emotional breakdowns – for many of the students, this was their first experience being in a school. I found that I could relate to their nervousness as well, as I continue to figure out my place in the school community. But just as I know these young students will soon feel at home in school, I too, will soon become comfortable working with the school psychologists, teachers, and staff there.

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“Holy strawberries Batman! We’re in a Jam!”

Posted on September 13,2011 by sthurstonmspp

Here I am, day two at “local elementary school”. First day went well. It was only the second day of school, so the majority of my time was dedicated to meeting teachers and trying not to get lost in this horseshoe shaped building. I trailed along with my supervisor and his other (3rd year) intern, trying to keep up and participate in the conversation of two people who have worked together long before I arrived, observing the Kindergarten assembly.

My supervisor and the 3rd year walk the halls with a purpose. They seek out kids they know, say “Oh, we should check on little Johnny, he always has trouble adjusting the first week of school.” I smile, nod, ask about Johnny and his mother, and sit next to them in the back of the classroom while they observe. I try to observe too, but I am more curious about why there are 4 adults in this classroom and who they all are there for. It feels silly to be asking my supervisor such questions when I used to be the person people sought out to get the answers.

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Tagged Personal Growth, School Psychology

Reflections on a Big Transition

Posted on September 12,2011 by kgottschmspp

Moving, starting a new job, meeting new people, re-entering the world of homework: For many (myself admittedly at the forefront) these are often cringe-worthy topics. Certainly, many transitions in life are accompanied by a certain sense of anticipation and excitement, but I want to be very candid in this blog, and in doing so, I must admit, I have spent the summer primarily overwhelmed, frightened, and anxious about any one of these tasks. I don't know if it was the prospect of uprooting myself from the life and friends that I had known for the past few years, or the looming task of driving halfway across the country with a motion-sick cat, or even just the general trepidation of having homework again after a (lovely) year-long hiatus. Whatever the cause, I was nervous, to say the least. I had spent the summer at home with my parents and my brother, surrounded by home-cooked meals, free rent, and cable television, and given my past experiences with "moving on" in life, I didn't have high hopes that what was to come would be particularly savory.

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Tagged Clinical PsyD, Personal Growth

"Fake it 'till you make it"

Posted on September 11,2011 by mmosesmspp

Shortly after I decided to attend MSPP and pursue a PsyD, I was offered these words of advice from a newly licensed psychologist: "fake it 'till you make it." I have thought about this off and on, and tend to interpret the saying as "act like a psychologist until you feel like one."

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Tagged Clinical PsyD

MA Sports

Posted on September 10,2011 by jgarciamspp

My schedule is certainly starting to pick up. However, between homework, practicum training, blogging, and now a job I've decided to take a little break and try to take a stab at getting a real feel for MA. Tonight I was at a Revolution (soccer) game. The Revolution beat FC Dallas, 2 - 0.

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Tagged Forensic Psychology, Around Boston

How eating avocados led me to school psychology...

Posted on September 09,2011 by shansenmspp

I spent most of last year in Santiago, Chile learning to navigate the maze-like peripheral neighborhoods of the city, folding myself into grossly overcrowded buses, and coming to appreciate the importance of eating bread smeared with fresh avocado at 6:00 p.m. tea time everyday (better known as once among Chileans).

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A First Year’s First Feelings…

Posted on September 08,2011 by sthurstonmspp

Here we go again… new school, new faces, how hard will this be? How much homework
will I get (by which I mean I really want to know if I still have time to watch
Castle!)? When college rolled around I felt so ready to jump in feet first, was
so excited to live away from home and to leave my little hometown in favor of
the experiences John Hughes would write movies about. Four years in college (of
which Adam Leff and Zak Penn did write about !) and four years out in the world
of work, and I find myself more reserved about this new thing awaiting me- even
my health insurance company refers to this as a “major life event”!

Having moved back to that little hometown, gotten a dog, a fiancé, and a job I have
remained passionate about for four years running I am returning to academics
because I need to know more. I have been working with children with emotional
and behavioral disorders in a last stand setting, seen the trauma take its
toll, and oftentimes wondered how these children spiraled so far out of
control. If I want to continue my work with children in this field I need the
appropriate education and training to make a greater difference in their lives.

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Hussle Bussle

Posted on September 07,2011 by spitchermspp

My word. Boston is quite the busy city, and not to mention all of the rain! Living next to the coast doesn't help either, but I've never had so much rain before. Idaho is pretty dry in comparison to this.

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Tagged Personal Growth, Around Boston, Counseling Psychology

Where Everybody Knows Your Name...

Posted on September 07,2011 by mmosesmspp

It is always sad to see summer come to an end; to say goodbye to lazy beach days, exciting travel adventures, reading for pleasure, running at daybreak, etc. But returning to MSPP feels a bit like returning home. In the two years that I have been here, I have grown accustomed to the art on the walls, the chatter in the library, the friendly faces that accompany me to class.

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Tagged Clinical PsyD

Shaking Up the Place!

Posted on September 02,2011 by jgarciamspp

This is my inaugural post and I am already excited.

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Tagged Forensic Psychology