Jen's 2012 Wrap Up

Posted on December 31,2012 by msppjen

2012 has been a busy year for me. I started the year off on vacation in Ohio with close friends. After that, it was back to the grindstone. In the spring, I started to think about going back to school, applied to grad school, got in, and decided to attend MSPP- all within one month!

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Tagged Personal Growth, Organizational Psychology & Leadership

Thoughts from India

Posted on December 29,2012 by sdmosaligantimspp

I have been in India for the holiday break, currently in Hyderabad, a major city in the southern state of Andhra Pradesh. As you may have heard, India has been in an uproar in reaction to the violent sexual assault and death of a 23-year-old female student in Delhi. Despite the somber circumstances underlying the pandemonium, I have been inspired and even empowered by the extent to which the people of India have raised their voices in reaction to this tragedy.

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Tagged Personal Growth, Social Responsibility

The Last Day

Posted on December 20,2012 by mintakaori

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When All Else Fails...

Posted on December 19,2012 by jackieqmspp

Bake! Or rather, don't bake. These graham-cracker-chocolate-peanut-butter-balls are no bake and they're super easy for a quick little break in between writing papers and holiday parties and all that jazz.

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I Interrupt Your Regularly Scheduled Blog-Reading...

Posted on December 19,2012 by msppjen

To bring you this important announcement...

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Response to Sandy Hook Tragedy from an MSPP Faculty Member (Dr. Modesto Hevia)

Posted on December 19,2012 by msppblog

December 14, 2012

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What If We Don't?

Posted on December 18,2012 by jackieqmspp

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Tagged Personal Growth

A Very Pink Christmas

Posted on December 17,2012 by sdmosaligantimspp

This weekend I got together with my Boston-based family for some early rockin' around the Christmas tree (When I say "rockin' around," I mean "sitting around eating eggplant parm and lasagna" and when I say "the Christmas tree," I mean "while we all have to repeat everything we say over and over again because my uncle can't hear anything"). I was particularly excited to see my older cousin Pam - Pam was recently diagnosed with (very early-stage) breast cancer and is about to undergo treatment. This is where the pink comes in. With my pink lacy Euro-hip top, pink Indian bangles and scarf, pink socks, and pink moccasin-ish shoes, I looked like an ad for a trip around the world, but all in the name of celebrating my cousin and the family as they endure the process of surviving this painful disease.

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Holiday Fun: Procrastination? Or Self-Care?

Posted on December 17,2012 by hmonkmspp

I know you haven't heard much from me the past couple weeks, but you shouldn't take it personally. It is finals time, so there is school stress. It is application time to new sites, so there is practicum stress. It is holidays and everyone wants to take vacations so there is work stress. And of course, because nothing is ever easy, someone in my house has decided to move out at the last minute, so there is life stress. Are we sensing a common theme here?

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Tagged Clinical PsyD, Around Boston

Facing the Facts

Posted on December 17,2012 by abrigovmspp

Tonight my mom asked me, "So just how much do you really know about what happened in Connecticut?" I admitted to her that really I didn't know too many details because I kind of tried not to find out. After telling me about a lot of what there was to know, she paused and reflected, "Can you imagine what it must've been like for those First Responders?" I felt like she wanted me to give her some kind of answer, like a tangible reason for why and how such tragedies can occur. Obviously there was nothing particularly comforting that I could say to my mom in that moment, but then I remembered something from my consultation and collaboration class from just a couple of weeks ago. I found out that there are debriefing processes that can take place within a few days of a tragic event. A trained person would facilitate this critical incident stress debriefing to help individuals process their experiences and feelings surrounding the event. I tried to explain this idea as best I could. As I said those words, it occurred to me that some day that may actually be one of my responsibilities as a clinician in the field. As much as I wanted to shield myself from knowing some of the details of Friday, it seems necessary to find a way to become informed about the harder-to-process events of the world. As graduation approaches, I realize just how many skills the counseling program is equipping me with to be able to face day-to-day challenges, not just as a clinician but as a member of society. I feel that when the school releases me out into what I call the "real world" it will be time to fulfill my responsibilities of service and dedication to whatever community I live in... even if it means pushing myself to purposely know what is happening in the world around me.

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Thoughts on the unthinkable

Posted on December 16,2012 by shansenmspp

One of the major takeaways from my three semesters of MSPP classes and practicum is the following: complex problems require complex solutions. Challenges that are years in the making will also be years in the un-making. And so it goes with the horrific gun violence that has permeated the U.S. for decades. Perhaps this latest spate of killings – this time involving so many young children – will finally spark the dialogue and debate necessary to make meaningful change for our children, our society, ourselves.

Improved access to quality mental health services, destigmatizing mental health disorders, more restrictive gun laws, communities that embrace difference and diversity, a nurturing of boys and men to better cope with difficult emotions, and a conscious effort to steer children towards games that do not glorify violence are all pieces of the puzzle – and there are many more. There is no one avenue for healing a country inured to frequent mass shootings, a nation that hardly blinks at the stockpiling of guns in homes, a culture that normalizes violence in video games, T.V. shows, and sensational news headlines.

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"Never Worry Alone"

Posted on December 14,2012 by sthurstonmspp

Today’s tragedy stuns the nation. It generates conversations even as it breaks hearts. Facebook is plastered with personal statements. Statistics. Most of it is about guns, and gun control.

There is another important aspect to this tragedy: the access to mental health care.
We need to continue to cultivate a culture of acceptance around mental health services. And we need to have access available to all who need it.

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Tagged Social Responsibility, School Psychology

The Grad Student Gift Guide

Posted on December 13,2012 by jackieqmspp

If your family is anything like mine, all you're hearing lately is questions of what you'd like for Christmas. My family is one that loves to give gifts and while I love this about us, it can get stressful trying to give individual wishlists to everyone who asks.

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Posted on December 12,2012 by msppjen

This past Saturday, I went to MSPP for the first time ever. I know, I know... I am an MSPP student, I live in Newton, what's the deal? Well, with a busy work schedule and demanding classes, I never seemed to find the time to head over, despite great interest.

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Tagged Organizational Psychology & Leadership, Online Education

Survival Mode: A Strengths-Based Approach

Posted on December 12,2012 by abrigovmspp

Most folks probably have an idea of how a strengths-based model works: Rather than focus on the problem or what's "wrong" with the picture, you start with identifying what does work, or the sources of strength. Not only can this be a tremendously effective path to take with clients, it can also be helpful for us students who are feeling less than super as we approach the final page of each syllabus. Sometimes, as one pushes right along throughout the semester, "stuff" mysteriously builds up somewhere deep inside. Eventually it needs an outlet or else the energy and ability to focus start disappearing or going haywire. This is not conducive to productivity. But how does one counteract those inevitable feelings of stress and perhaps despair? This is where "practicing what you preach" comes in. I had to take a good long look at myself this week and say, "What am I good at? What makes me feel good that is a healthy way to put some sense back into my life? How can I clean up all of this negative energy to hit the refresh button?" I figured out that I needed a major de-stressing session so I found a convenient yoga studio offering a $5 community class. This was the most glorious thing I've done for myself all week. And yes, it's only Wednesday. But having the chance to sweat out all of my bad energies had a tremendously healing effect. When you're trying (fighting?) so hard to get into and maintain postures, there's no room to allow the "stuff" from the day/week/semester to penetrate your brain. The conscious mind simply can't support everything at once, and if I had let the negativity back in, I likely would have fallen over in my Trikonasana, or "triangle pose." Find what works for you and embrace it knowing it's your strength-based way to manage the stresses of the every day. No one can take that away from you!

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[Insert trite, irritating title featuring the phrase "Who Let the Dogs Out"]

Posted on December 11,2012 by sdmosaligantimspp

The "therapy dog" Annie at Wheelock today. My own three cats and dog hanging out in my bedroom. :)

I chose a college counseling center for my second-year practicum with the intention of strengthening my psychotherapy skills (as mentioned previously, my first-year site was a psychiatry unit, which fostered a short-term, assessment-based "medical" model) - I have found, however, that a college site comes with a range of other perks. There's always so much going on on-campus: film screenings, performances, talks, dinners, people dressed cuter than me, and... dogs. Today was Therapy Dogs Day at Wheelock. That basically means that two dogs came in and everyone sat around poking at them and "awww"ing. And it was pretty awesome.

Most people I know, particularly many of my clients/students, report that animals serve as an effective stress reliever. As someone who has three cats and a dog, I can completely relate. I always wonder what it is about animals that promotes such a sense of ease. Sometimes I think that being with pets, given their lack of linguistic and social structures, allows us to default to a more basic rugged emotional way of relating and being. Or maybe they're just cute.

Overall, Therapy Dogs Day was a success (not that it took much for it to be a success). Just another day in the life of a college-counseling intern. If you're interested in further developing your psychotherapy skills, I definitely recommend pursuing a college counseling center for your practicum or internship as such a site gives you access to all of the playful and educational opportunities and resources available on-campus. You also get to learn all of the hip new lingo (I'm still in my twenties, but - I swear - the word "vibin'," a word I regularly use now like I'm some huge goofball, was not in the vernacular when I was in college). Anyways, below are some pictures detailing some other recent on-campus attractions in which we interns participated.

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How to Stay Motivated While the Rest of the World Has Holiday Fun

Posted on December 11,2012 by jackieqmspp

The thing about HESPA's online Master's program is that we go year round. Unlike literally every other college student in the United States, we don't finish up our semesters a few weeks before Christmas and then have a whole month of frolicking in the snow before we have to worry about homework and papers and professors again. Instead, we work right up until Christmas Eve, get a week off to enjoy the festivities, and then go right back to work on New Year's Eve.

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Fueling the End of the Semester

Posted on December 10,2012 by abrigovmspp

The semester is coming to a close and the brain and body are begging, "No more!" But shutting down this operation is not a choice. The group projects must be completed, the papers must be submitted and the assignments must be completed. Or else.

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Tagged Counseling Psychology

Speed limit to be determined

Posted on December 09,2012 by shansenmspp

We are hurtling towards the end of the semester. I am not ready for the final onslaught of papers and exams, but here they come. Our cohort only has one more semester of “full-time” classes after this spring. Around this time last year the school psychology program felt interminable – I can now glimpse the metaphorical light at the end of the tunnel – almost. In the meantime I will do my best to “enjoy the ride,” and power through until the holiday break. Final social-emotional assessment assignment, here I come!

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Ending up at MSPP

Posted on December 08,2012 by jackieqmspp

Last spring, in the final semester of my undergraduate degree, the last thing on my priority list was applying to grad schools.

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Tagged Online Education

It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year (until January 2nd)

Posted on December 07,2012 by sdmosaligantimspp

Beacon Hill's holiday night

Boston and the holiday season go so well together. The holiday lights and decorations nicely adorn the brownstones and storefronts and parks, and the cold weather provides a good excuse to snuggle up with hot chocolate and start a fire (of course, I sometimes wonder if this is all some sort of gigantic defense mechanism to deny how utterly miserable the cold can be). Given that the city is bustling with festive activity, I have decided to take time from my non-stop work life to explore the holiday scene.

Last night I went with some MSPP friends to Beacon Hill, a historic neighborhood featuring narrow, gas-lit streets, brick sidewalks, and quaint brownstone apartment buildings. To celebrate the holiday season, Charles Street, the main street in the neighborhood, was shut down to vehicles so that people could mingle and meander. Carolers were busting out some Christmas tunes on the sidewalks, the stores featured sales and served free wine and goodies, and horse-drawn carriages made their way down the street.

Meanwhile, tonight my roommate made some latkes for us to celebrate (early) the start of Hanukkah. For everyone celebrating the Festival of Lights, a big Happy Hanukkah!

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Taking A Stand

Posted on December 07,2012 by mintakaori

Today was a historic day for me as a counselor-in-training. "Why, Ashley?" You may be asking. I'll tell you. It begins with a story, starting a week ago (last Friday).

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Tagged Personal Growth, Counseling Psychology

Hora de Fiesta

Posted on December 05,2012 by hmonkmspp

Last night, some of has had the chance to have a little fun as finals loom over us. It was the Holiday Party for the Latino Mental Health Program. If you don't know what that is, you can learn more about it here. The holiday party was held in our fancy new atrium, with tons of delicious food, salsa and merengue music, dancing, adult beverages, and lots of socializing that some of us busy students aren't really getting at the moment.

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Tagged Clinical PsyD, Latino Mental Health


Posted on December 05,2012 by sthurstonmspp

When you hear hoofbeats, you are supposed to think “horse” not “zebra”.

Most of the time, that is sound advice. Sure enough, you turn to see a glossy chestnut or black stallion thundering across the field, not a black or white stripe to be found.

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Tagged Personal Growth, School Psychology

Building the Brain... and Muscles?

Posted on December 04,2012 by abrigovmspp

This semester I joined a gym and started to look forward to workouts to alleviate stress. For a while I was lucky enough to rely on massages, but honestly, the "Self Care" column of my budget had too many $$. When I was younger I trained as a competitive swimmer, typically 6 out of 7 days. The willingness to return to a physically challenging routine came from... well, I'm not really too sure! Whatever the case may be, it's thrilling to see even small results.

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Introducing myself

Posted on December 04,2012 by jackieqmspp

Hello there, fellow MSPP friends. I'm Jackie, the new blogger on the block and I thought I'd take a minute to introduce myself before jumping right into real blog posts, where you'd read them and go "wait, who is this girl again?".

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Tagged Online Education

Still Thinking Thankful Thoughts

Posted on December 04,2012 by abrigovmspp

According to my classmates, in less than 6 months from today, those of us that are full-time, 2nd year MA Counseling students will graduate. I will leave the creation of those nifty countdown clocks to my peers. The (unfortunate) truth is that I have been relying on others' Facebook status updates to get the bulk of my information about the "outside" world these past couple of weeks. Learning of the approach of graduation was one piece that brightened my weekend (along with special weekend plans) as I prepared to hunker down to write my final project for research class. The swamped-up-to-my-chin feeling has thankfully begun to subside. I can tell because I let myself go out for anniversary dinner and dancing on Saturday night. That's a true sign that there is plenty of room to breathe!

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Not Yes

Posted on December 03,2012 by msppjen

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Tagged Personal Growth, Organizational Psychology & Leadership

DSM-V and the Future

Posted on December 03,2012 by mintakaori

Today the DSM-V was confirmed by the APA's Board of Trustees. This means that, finally, the new edition of the DSM will be published and used by professionals. Especially exciting is the number of changes made to diagnoses or criteria, that supposedly makes our jobs as therapists easier. For instance, Hoarding is now a DSM diagnosis, no longer listed as an OCD diagnosis. PTSD is now added to Trauma and Stressor-Related disorders, a new chapter added to the DSM-V.

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Tagged Personal Growth, Counseling Psychology

Homework as Self Care from Socializing

Posted on December 02,2012 by sdmosaligantimspp

Given that the semester is winding down, all of my activities are picking up. At this point, between my practicum work at the counseling center, my Boston Area Rape Crisis Center supervisory duties, my work for MSPP's Student Coordinating Committee, my book-chapter editing gig, and my schoolwork, doing anything else that requires any form of energy is just tiring... and that sadly includes socializing. Don't get me wrong: socialization with, for instance, my roommates or partner or super close friends is a great source of self-care as such interaction allows for pajama-wearing and nonsense conversation and slumped positions in chairs and sassy comments. But going out out - you know, having to meet people and mingle - feels just exhausting, at least for the time being.

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Tagged Clinical PsyD, Personal Growth