Come for the Professors, stay for the coffee.

Posted on January 30,2013 by sthurstonmspp

Over the summer I moved. I had been living with my husband (then fiance) in a rented house, one with a large kitchen and small yard, but the kind of place where bright paint seeks to hide old cracks, the heating bill for the old oil furnace is outrageous, and the faucet continually leaks despite all variety of handy work. My new home, our new home, may not be bright and shiny new but the yard is huge, there are multiple bathrooms, a gas heating system, and no cracks in the walls.
Over the summer MSPP also moved. The new building is immaculate: it is bright and shiny, infused with modern technology and trendy furniture. There are four microwaves on every floor, touch pads at every classroom door which allow you to look at the schedule of each space and book rooms as needed. The lights in the lounge on the third floor are whimsically reminiscent of fireworks, or the seeded head of a dandelion poised for a young child’s wishing breath.
Recently, my cohort and I had reason to reminisce and fully understand the change the new space has had on the perception of MSPP. In the spring of 2011 we all arrived to Interview Day, excited at the prospect of finding our place in the world of graduate study. For myself, I was determined to make the transition from working back to schooling as painlessly as possible: I wanted a program that focused on the practical, that allowed me to be in a school system starting my first year, and whose faculty were actually doing the work rather than just talking about it.
All of my classmates and I shared similar versions of the same story: dressed to impress, rehearsing potential interview answers, we faithfully followed the GPS which lead us down the VFW, enticed us behind the Home Depot, and down a road that hadn’t seen a new paving job in at least 20 years. And directed us to stop in front of a used car dealership. WIth a drop of the stomach that accompanied the thought “Of course this program was too good to be true” we ventured further down the road, arriving at a lot of cars pooled by a bend of the Charles River. A low slung building, blending into the dreary landscape of early spring, had one bright spot of color: a blue awning that boldly proclaimed “MSPP”. There were thoughts of turning back, wariness inspired by a less then awesome facade. Entering the building was a great leap of faith. We fumbled through the entryway, gathered name tags and a green folder, and tried to stifle the new set of worries as we spread cream cheese on a bagel.
Within 5 minutes I forgot the tumultuous journey, the road that spoke of strangers and dark alleys, and the unassuming building. Other green folders came and joined me at a small round table. Current students sat with us, the president sat with us. Conversation came easily, the way it does when you have found the people with which you share not only hobbies and interests, but values and goals. By 10 minutes into the welcoming breakfast, and certainly by the time Bob had finished his spiel on “Why School Psychology, Why MSPP” I was newly convinced that I had found the program best suited to me, one dedicated to creating a well rounded, well connected and high quality school psychologist. Here were the people who were not only working in the field but who were changing the field, the movers and shakers of the world.
So, to all you interested parties: MSPP is a wonderful place to come and learn. But as you walk through the glassy hallways and marvel at the art brightening each step don’t forget the real reason you have come knocking at the door. You are looking for a great program. You are looking to roll up your sleeves and get involved. You are looking to open your textbook and find footnotes about your professors and the contributions they are making to the field. The microwaves and free coffee machines are just the icing!

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Tagged School Psychology, Applying to MSPP

How did I get here?

Posted on January 30,2013 by hmonkmspp

At 22 years old, sometimes I wonder how I ended up at one of the best clinical PsyD programs in the country straight out of undergrad. Here I am, sitting next to people with years more experience in life and/or the field of psychology, learning from incredibly knowledgeable and well-known professors. How did that happen?

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Tagged Clinical PsyD, Applying to MSPP

Unprepared: Our Noreaster and My Experience Coming Straight From Undergrad

Posted on November 09,2012 by hmonkmspp

Lately, I've been feeling really unprepared for life.

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Tagged Clinical PsyD, Applying to MSPP

What is a School Psychologist?

Posted on November 07,2012 by sthurstonmspp


There are a lot of answers to this question. The answer not only depends on who is asking the question, but of whom the question is asked.

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Tagged Personal Growth, School Psychology, Applying to MSPP

Just Getting Started

Posted on October 10,2012 by hmonkmspp

Hello everyone! My name is Hannah and I am one of the new bloggers. I thought I'd use my first post to tell you a little about myself and fill you in on my undergrad -> grad school transition so far.

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Tagged Clinical PsyD, Around Boston, Applying to MSPP

My Journey to MSPP

Posted on February 04,2012 by agareaumspp

In my last post I wrote about some of the reasons why I chose to attend MSPP. I thought it might also be helpful to share my journey before deciding to apply to counseling programs, as I can recall the days when I was contemplating what to do with my life and I found it incredibly helpful to read about current students’ experiences. So, without further adieu, here goes my story of becoming a student in the Master’s in Counseling Psychology program at MSPP…

Once upon a time, in a far away land, I was on the premed track and I had hopes of attending medical school after college. For as long as I can remember I have been fascinated with medicine and I always envisioned myself becoming a doctor. I think this was in large part due to my personal experience with illness, as I endured a very traumatic hospitalization at the age of twelve as a result of a perforated appendix. Ever since then, I was dead set on becoming a doctor to help sick children like I had been helped by the wonderful staff of doctors and nurses at UMASS Memorial Medical Center.

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Tagged Counseling Psychology, Applying to MSPP

When I met MSPP

Posted on February 02,2012 by sthurstonmspp

Studies have shown that only about 30% of people have had a midlife crisis. We all know the urban legend: 40something year old goes out and buys a canary yellow sports car, starts referring to himself as “the Dude”, and regresses back to his younger, more immature, self.

When I look back on my mid 20s, I am reminded of my impulse to avoid the looming major life decisions. I was happy in my job, doing good work, provided with health insurance. Maybe I wasn’t contemplating a quarter life crisis, but I certainly was tempted to “coast” for the foreseeable future.

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Tagged Personal Growth, School Psychology, Applying to MSPP

Why MSPP?

Posted on February 01,2012 by agareaumspp

I would say the two main reasons I decided to attend MSPP were because of its sense of community and field placement opportunities for first and second year students in my program. From the first time I visited MSPP I could immediately sense that it was a close-knit and supportive community where faculty, staff, and students, truly cared about the well-being and success of one another. This proved to be true during all of my interactions with admissions staff and faculty during the application process and I was continually impressed with how sincere everyone seemed to be. I actually applied late so I didn’t go through the group interview process, but I did interview with a faculty member and this experience confirmed MSPP was where I wanted to receive my graduate education. Not only was my interviewer incredibly welcoming but I got the sense that she truly wanted to know who I was as a person. Following my interview she actually called to let me know that it was nice to meet me and to see if I had any questions. Shortly after I received my notice of acceptance and I was thrilled about my admission to the program.

The other reason I chose MSPP was because of the opportunity to do a first year practicum as well as a second year internship. Not all of the programs I looked into included a first year field placement, but I personally feel the best way to learn is by practicing what is being taught in the classroom. With that being said, it was important to me to receive clinical experience both years to supplement my education. Despite the fact that there were some glitches with getting started with my practicum, now that I am settled in my new placements I can truly attest to the benefits of gaining clinical experience in addition to course work.

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Tagged Counseling Psychology, Applying to MSPP

The Murtaugh List

Posted on October 26,2011 by sthurstonmspp

Do you know what a Murtaugh List is? No? The concept, of course, comes from a How I Met Your Mother episode. Educate yourself here.

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Tagged Personal Growth, School Psychology, Applying to MSPP

Dr. Cynthia Lucero

Posted on October 11,2011 by jgarciamspp

Dr. Cynthia Lucero is a name I have heard over and over again since my arrival at MSPP. In fact, her legacy was one of the things that tipped the scale for me when making my final decision about which graduate school to attend. The promise of becoming certified to work with the Latino population by way of an immersion program (in Ecuador and Costa Rica) was like a dream come true. I would be able to give back to my community AND learn to embrace my Hispanic heritage at the same time.

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Tagged Latino Mental Health, Applying to MSPP