The beauty of messing up

Posted on March 31,2013 by shansenmspp

In our Groups Theory & Process class last week, our professor reminded us of the importance of making mistakes. If we aren’t making mistakes, we are not challenging ourselves, and we are not learning. And, we are role models for our students, and part of life is messing up – and trying again. Schools often (perhaps subtly) foster an environment where making an error is frowned upon or to be avoided at all costs.

Students who speak up in class, and are wrong all too frequently feel dumb, stop raising their hands, or cease taking risks. I was a quiet student – more inclined to sit quietly unless I was completely sure of an answer – shying away from potential mistakes made in front of peers. I now tend to take the opposite stance – and sometimes I’m wrong.

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On Being Sure of Your Path

Posted on March 29,2013 by jackieqmspp

As I was rushing from my arrival gate to my departure gate on Tuesday, heading for a job interview in another state, I had my first moment of "I'm a professional right now".

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Networking is not a dirty word

Posted on March 29,2013 by msppjen

What a busy week! I've been working hard and playing hard and this past week has been no exception!

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Tagged Change of Career, Organizational Psychology & Leadership

Finding Encouragement

Posted on March 27,2013 by abrigovmspp

Since the start of my academic career at MSPP, the support and encouragement from faculty has never faltered. Whenever there is confusion with an assignment ,or students are just feeling overwhelmed and need some time to debrief, the professors have always shown sensitivity and understanding. One of the biggest risks we take is showing vulnerability in our writing assignments where we reflect on our interactions with clients and explore our growing skills.

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Spring Surprises

Posted on March 27,2013 by hmonkmspp

One aspect that really sets MSPP apart from other schools is the amount of effort the faculty put into their end-of-the-semester evaluations. At first, I was very frustrated by this process. Here we are at the end of March, and I still hadn't received my "grades" from last semester. (Note- last semester, we were on a Credit/No Credit system, but this semester we changed to a mixed system, where some classes receive letter grades and others are still credit/no credit).

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Tagged Clinical PsyD


Posted on March 27,2013 by cpembertonmspp

Last Thursday a small group of students, including myself, attended an event where we watched sections of the war documentary Restrepo and former Infantry Sergeant Brendan O’Byrne gave a moving recount of his experience in Afghanistan and an exploration of the unseen wounds that too often remain after combat has ended and the physical wounds have healed. Mr. O’Byrne’s frank and uncensored talk served as a powerful reminder of why I am pursuing a career in mental health. His insight and dedication to sharing his experience as well as his ongoing personal healing process serve as a beacon, for student-Veterans like myself, guiding us forward into a field that surely needs as many qualified and experienced (both academically and in the field) as can be produced. That being said, if you are a student –Veteran and you happen across this, I strongly recommend you take a look at the possibility of a career in mental health.

Finally, I would like to offer my personal thanks and appreciation to Gretchen Nash, Rob Chester, and everyone else that made this and every other event possible through their hard work and dedication to both the students at MSPP and the field of psychology itself; thank you.

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Tagged Personal Growth, Social Responsibility, Primary Care Psychology, Veterans

Traveling Girl

Posted on March 26,2013 by jackieqmspp

As I type, I'm sitting in my home city airport, awaiting a flight to Florence, South Carolina. It seems like I live in airports these days.

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Ain't No Party Like A Slumber Party b/c a Slumber Party Don't Stop (until you get too tired to play any more Scattergories...)

Posted on March 23,2013 by sdmosaligantimspp

Me and Asha :)

It's been a long - although productive - week. I feel like I finally "get" what I'm doing, at least in relation to my stage in the learning process. My sessions with clients feel rich and productive, and although I still have a lot to learn, I now feel pretty comfortable dealing with uncertainties that arise in session. MSPP's performance of A Memory, A Monologue, A Rant, and A Prayer, which I am co-running, is coming along. We had our first group rehearsal on Thursday during which each participant performed their monologue, and we all provided feedback and discussed the overall theme of the event. As the event also features a silent auction, I was successful this week in collecting many gift donations from local businesses. Lastly, I had to perform a case presentation at my practicum site, and it went well; my fellow interns and supervisors provided excellent guidance and suggestions regarding my work with the particularly client.

All the same, the week left me cognitively zapped. Given that my fellow girl friends also conveyed this sense of work-induced over-tiredness, we decided that our late-twenty-something-year-old (non-eight-year-old-school-girl...) selves would throw a slumber party. Before you get confused or throw out some "pillow fight"-focused wise crack, hear me out. The "event" was held at my friend Asha's place in Back Bay. Asha, who works in finance, actually lives in a nice, normal apartment complete with real furniture that she picked out herself. I live in some rundown-ish Allston apartment, one that serves the basic function of "providing shelter," filled with furniture attained through Craigslist, the same website through which some crimes have been committed; most of my student friends live similarly rugged existences. So, yeah, I love being at Asha's place; it always feels like being at some museum exhibit regarding "how non-student people with an income live." My friends Meredith and Jackie showed up as well, and clad in pajamas, we spent the night drinking wine, eating, playing board games, and having spontaneous sing-alongs to Jeff Buckley and Fiona Apple tunes. No one mentioned work. Although it was weird to have a "sleepover" that didn't involve building a fort, playing truth or dare, or braiding hair, the gathering was an awesome way to end the week as it really served to undo that work-induced stress.

So even though I have transitioned back into normal, non-slumber-party life filled with regular seven-to-11-pm parties and school work to do at coffee shops, I have officially denied and gone against the idea that people over the age of 15 cannot have slumber parties. So now the question is: how long do you have to wait to ask your friends to have another slumber party?

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I can't get up!

Posted on March 22,2013 by shansenmspp

"No, I can't get up...." my classmate mumbled in a muffled voice, as she turned her face to avoid eating carpet. Another classmate leaned over her, restraining her arms, while a third classmate held back her legs. The rest of us bit our lips to refrain from giggling at this demonstration.

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My Body is Screaming for HELP!

Posted on March 21,2013 by cpembertonmspp

Even as we cross into “spring” there is news of more snow on the way. When I hear this I hear my internal voice giving me another excuse to not run or workout in the morning. What I don’t hear, or what I refuse to listen to, is my body telling me that I am messing up. While I focus on my studies and everything that goes along with grad school I have been neglecting the very part of my total health that will allow me to maintain the intense pace of life that grad-students endure; my physical health.

During new student orientation and multiple times throughout the school year we students are told that we need to exerciseself-care”, and I think that most of us have managed to include at least a little self-care into our routines. My problem is that what I have been calling self-care hasn’t really been what I need (at least not all I need). I have allowed myself to fall back on watching a movie or having a drink with friends to become my go-to for self-care and have neglected to actually take care of my physical form. Well the results are becoming clear, I am becoming mentally and physically sluggish and it is becoming increasing harder to rise to any task at hand.

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Tagged Personal Growth


Posted on March 21,2013 by msppjen

What I've been doing lately:

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Tagged Organizational Psychology & Leadership

Work While I Play

Posted on March 20,2013 by jackieqmspp

As I mentioned in my last post, I'm currently in Spring, Texas visiting my husband's family during his spring break. We arrived on Friday and leave this Sunday, so it's a pretty long vacation. Long & well needed.

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Reflections on a Snowy Day

Posted on March 19,2013 by hmonkmspp

So tomorrow is the first day of spring, and MSPP is closed for a snow day! Don't you just love New England weather? Well, since I have a lot of work to catch up on, I definitely appreciate the day off from classes. It's also really nice to take a day to reflect on your life.

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Tagged Clinical PsyD, Personal Growth

Less Termination Anxiety

Posted on March 18,2013 by abrigovmspp

At the end of last month, I wrote about how one of my clients walked out of our session declaring he would not be returning. I've seen him twice since then. During the last session we met, we ended on a very playful note. He declared, "You are kicking me to the curb today! You made me wait and we started late because you were with another client. Now I realize you forgot my paper work we were supposed to fill out..." I responded playfully, "Okay, ________. Lay it on me. How do you really feel?" I was relieved when he put it out in the air: "You don't care about me. You're abandoning me." That, too, was still said in a playful way. The only thing to do was to admit that terminating therapy with him is not going to be easy for me either. We talked about how it's normal to be upset about ending the counseling relationship. We exchanged thoughts on how hard it is to get to know someone and essentially make yourself vulnerable to that person only to have them walk away from the experience. He wanted to know what the "plan" was for him and I was thankful I had already talked to my supervisor about it. I assured him that a clinician was lined up to receive him for ongoing counseling, a permanent, non-intern clinician who wouldn't be leaving at the end of the next school year.

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Mock Session Time

Posted on March 17,2013 by fjeanfelixmspp

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Tagged Primary Care Psychology

How It's Done

Posted on March 17,2013 by cpembertonmspp

When I consider the vast amount of different tasks I had to accomplish over the past week, I wonder how in the world I did it (okay, so maybe a couple items on the to-do list still need to be checked off). Between transcribing mock session video, fulfilling Train Vets obligations, participating in interview day, and having Drill at my Army Reserve unit on Saturday and Sunday, not to mention practicum and normal coursework/readings, I am so completed drained that I only put half a tank of gas in my car because I was too tired to stand there and wait for the tank to fill.

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Tagged Personal Growth, Social Responsibility, Experiential Education, Primary Care Psychology, Veterans

Happy Women's History Month!

Posted on March 17,2013 by sdmosaligantimspp

In honor of Women's History Month, MSPP is putting on a production of Eve Ensler's A Memory, A Monologue, A Rant, and A Prayer. My friend and SCC Co-Chair Erika and I are organizing and running the event, an experience that has, thus far, been incredibly inspiring and exciting. As part of advertising for MMRP, Erika and I had been asked to provide quotes regarding our thoughts on the issue of gender-based injustices and female empowerment. Today I wanted to share the message that Erika had provided:

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10 Tips for Writing Capstone (and Surviving!)

Posted on March 16,2013 by mintakaori

So here it is: Ashley’s guide to writing your Capstone and surviving. If you’re a Master’s student, you’ve heard this term (“Capstone”) since you started. It’s the terrifying “thesis” project you have due at the end of your Master’s career. You might think: “40+ pages!? I can’t do that!” Newsflash: You can! It’ll be the most time consuming thing you’ve ever written, but it’s completely doable. I’ll tell you how!

1. Pick A Topic You Love

You’ll hear this a thousand times from your professors before you begin your Capstone, but it’s completely true. Make sure you pick a topic that is interesting and engages you. It needs to be a topic that you don’t mind 20+ articles on, because that’s the commitment you have to make. If you have a disorder/population that you want to specialize in, I suggest you pick something relating to that. You’re going to be working on this project for at least one semester, if not two. Make sure you can stand it, because you’re about to become a master of it.

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Tagged Counseling Psychology


Posted on March 15,2013 by jackieqmspp

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Lean on Me

Posted on March 14,2013 by shansenmspp

The well-known adage "It takes a village to raise a child...." has been running through my head recently. Although at my field site, it's more like it takes an inclusion facilitator, a guidance counselor, a school psychologist and her intern (e.g. me), a speech-language pathologist, a special educator, and a social worker to help many of the kids graduate high school. Some of the students I work with are balancing myriad challenges - chaotic family situations, mental health concerns (particularly anxiety), learning disabilities, asperger's, language disorders, etc. For these students to make it through high school academically and emotionally, multiple avenues of support are necessary. I feel privileged to work in a district that provides these resources, and ache for the students who face similar compounding obstacles but do so without a network of communicating, supportive adults. Two of the students I work with have been on the waiting list for outside mental health care for months; in the meantime, sometimes I start to feel like the Lone Ranger. But then I remind myself that there is a village (or at least a school community) that's got my back and we're all in this together.

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Taking Space

Posted on March 14,2013 by sthurstonmspp

I recently had cause to review my conflict intervention skills. Although the old IASSIST framework has gone the way of the dodo in favor of “Emotional First Aid”, the basic principals are the same. Space and time are the crux of almost any intervention with a child whose behaviors are screaming that they’ve left baseline.

We all use taking space as a go to strategy. Personally, I walk away from my troubled, overwrought brain and take a long shower. Other people I know go for a run (insanity!) or do yoga. When we fight with our spouse, our friends, or our coworkers we know enough to get some distance and let ourselves regain some perspective.

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Field Project Update

Posted on March 13,2013 by jackieqmspp

Two months ago, I first mentioned my HESPA field project to you guys. I've researched Residence Life programming at various 4-year institutions and next, I'll be diving into the programming that Monroe Community College is currently doing, taking the time to meet with Residence Life staff, talk to students, etc. I'm really focusing on what students want and need out of living on campus and how we, as Student Affairs staff, can meet those needs.

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You can take the girl out of MSPP...

Posted on March 11,2013 by msppjen

...but you can't take MSPP out of the girl!

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Tagged Organizational Psychology & Leadership

My First Blog Ever

Posted on March 10,2013 by cpembertonmspp

Who am I? I think I have been asked that question in one form or another more times in the past year than in all the preceding years combined. While I don’t think the answer to that question is the easiest for anyone to answer, I feel, though my answer may not be more difficult to arrive at, at times I feel it would take more to describe. Let’s see… I’m a son, a brother, a husband, a soldier, a student, an activist, a gardener, a hunter, a fisherman… … Well maybe I should back up and just start with the basics and hopefully, as I write more posts, I will get to know myself better as I tell you about me and my experiences at MSPP.

My name is Coy Pemberton, I am 32 years old, and a first year Masters student at MSPP. Beyond that I am an Army Reserve soldier with over 14 years of service under my belt, and I am proud to count myself as part of both the military community and the Train Vets to Treat Vets program here at MSPP. When I applied and was accepted into school here I knew there was a supportive base for veterans and their families; what I did not know was how supportive and how focused on the issues that face many veterans the school and the TVets program was and is. In the short time (less than two semesters) I have been here I have seen a community form that I did not see in over four years of attending large undergraduate universities. I have also seen an incredible amount of good come from the school and from TVets. Not only do they support veterans and families at school, there is an outreach focus that connects with veterans in other schools and other areas, and I am very proud to be able to be a part of this.

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Why Spring?

Posted on March 07,2013 by jackieqmspp

Because of birds chirping in the trees. Because of driving with the windows down. Because of fresh flowers brought home by your husband. Because of blankets spread under the trees upon which to read. Because of Saturdays at the Farmer's Market. Because of daily bike rides around town. Because of the seasonal diet staples: fresh fruit and popsicles. Because of sundresses and bare feet and sunkissed skin. Because of hope for warmer days, brighter sun, and time on the lake. Because homework can wait until another day.

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Finally Settling In

Posted on March 06,2013 by hmonkmspp

The transition to graduate school and a new city is a difficult one. However, I was slightly cocky and full of "I-just-graduated-college" pride, and didn't think it was such a big deal. I was ready to tackle the world after my commencement ceremonies on May 27th, and moved my stuff from CT to Boston the very next day. I was ready to start my life as a graduate student in Boston.

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Tagged Clinical PsyD, Personal Growth, Around Boston

Mind your A's & B's

Posted on March 06,2013 by shansenmspp

The situation for evaluating students at MSPP is in flux. Previously all students received credit or no credit for a class, with “credit problematic” being the only intermediary option. Students had to obtain an average above 84 to pass a class. These vague classifications were supplemented with detailed qualitative evaluations from teachers.

This is changing of late – the clinical doctoral program is now giving students letter grades (A-F), or so I’ve heard. The school psychology program is in the midst of a (somewhat) heated debate about adopting a more traditional grading system. The arguments in favor of it include the ease of transferability of classes to other institutions, and the incentive grades will provide for students to do their best work (rather than merely “passing”).

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I Like School Work in June. How about You?

Posted on March 05,2013 by sdmosaligantimspp

Today was the first day of registration for summer classes. I signed up for Clinical Practice of Psychodynamic Theory and Positive Psychology for summer session I, official confirmation that I won't be able go with my college friends on their ridiculous Europe vacation. :( But whatever. I get a kick out of summer classes; although the material is more dense due to the time constraints, the atmosphere on-campus feels lighter and more carefree, and you sorta develop these "summer" bonds among fellow classmates.

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Tagged Clinical PsyD, Around Boston


Posted on March 04,2013 by jackieqmspp

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Putting the "Ew" in "Lit ReviEW"

Posted on March 03,2013 by sdmosaligantimspp

Actually, I kinda enjoy writing this lit review (it's for my Clinical Seminar class); I got a late start on it, however, and it's due on Wednesday, so.... "ugh," "ew," "boo," hiss, and whatnot. I have set up shop at a cafe with my friend who keeps distracting me with stories about this guy she likes who sounds like a sonofagun. (Love ya, girl)

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Tagged Clinical PsyD, Personal Growth, Around Boston


Posted on March 02,2013 by fjeanfelixmspp

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Tagged Primary Care Psychology

Pressing On

Posted on March 02,2013 by abrigovmspp

Every transition is anxiety-provoking. This latest one of transition from the awkward space of young adult to "Hello, you're in the real world now!" is pretty intense. On one hand there is pressure to get it all right now. I've told myself, "Whatever job you land after graduation is going to set the tone for your career." On the other, we're still young and we have time to still explore and see what feels right. I'm finding small ways to push myself to keep going out of that comfort zone of what I *think* I already know. My curiosity and need to be challenged will keep me motivated to keep trying new things. I hope that never, ever goes away!
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Next Steps

Posted on March 01,2013 by msppjen

It seems to be that time a year with a number of my fellow bloggers posting about finding jobs, etc... I am also thinking about what the near future holds for me. I turned in the last requirement of my degree TODAY and now I am finished. What now?

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Tagged Organizational Psychology & Leadership