Art as Self Care

Posted on March 31,2014 by aliatmspp

This weekend, despite struggling to overcome a wicked stomach bug, I took some time out to stroll through the Museum of Fine Arts (MFA) with a friend who was visiting town. Historically, I had considered taking in art as a luxury; currently, however, I am beginning to approach art viewing as a mode of self-care. It may not be the traditional example of “art therapy,” and I do love a good finger-painting session when possible, but for those of us who do not consider ourselves artists beyond Painting by Number, having the opportunities to delve into art as an observer (and by extension, an active participant) can be a healing and fulfilling process.

There’s something about walking around the MFA that is relaxing to me. I think it’s partially the quiet, the fact that visitors whisper when communicating, the absence of cellphone rings, along with the architecture itself – high ceilings grounded by stone upon which my boots made a hollow thud. And then, there’s the art. The number of pieces is overwhelming to me, so I try to have a plan of attack each visit. Most recently, my friend wanted to look at art of the ancient times, most specifically Greek and Roman sculptures. To me, there was an indulgent quality to getting lost in the marble, following the lines of the sculptures’ draperies. In a way, it’s a bit like an exercise meant to instill appreciation for the “here and now” by forcing me to focus on exactly what I see before taking a click out and thinking about the piece in historical context.

Read More

Tagged Personal Growth, Around Boston

Can You Spare Some Change?

Posted on March 19,2014 by jeanc2013

Change. It happens to every single one of us every single day.

Read More

Tagged Change of Career, Personal Growth, Organizational Psychology & Leadership, Executive Coaching

I guess that's why they call it the blues

Posted on March 07,2014 by sthurstonmspp

Read More

Tagged Personal Growth, School Psychology

Where, oh where, is Spring?

Posted on March 06,2014 by falimspp2013

When I got into my car this morning, the temperature read 10°. That’s right, 10° on March 6. What is going on? I mean, shouldn’t it be warming up by now? Where is Spring!?

Now don’t get me wrong, I may one of the few people out there that love Winter. Autumn is my absolute favorite season, and Boston is beautiful in the fall. But Winter is a close second in my books. However, at this point, I am sick of it. I don’t know about you, but I need some sun in my life.

Read More

Tagged Personal Growth, Around Boston

An Afghan Adventure

Posted on February 20,2014 by jeanc2013

So, I spent the past 10 months at a Marine Corps base in Afghanistan.

Read More

Tagged Change of Career, Global Mental Health, Personal Growth, Online Education, Experiential Education

It's all a balancing act.

Posted on February 17,2014 by falimspp2013

Read More

Tagged Personal Growth

Pearls of Wisdom... no, really!

Posted on February 06,2014 by sthurstonmspp

Among the myriad of Facebook posts (Side note: Facebook is 10?? Really? It makes me feel old to remember a time [high school!] before Facebook existed) there was the all too familiar link to a quasi-deep post that makes my eyes roll before I even finish reading. Then, however, I noticed who had posted it. Not a typical person to go in for the Oprah-like messages of transcendent learning. So I checked it out. And, I have to say, you should too.
One the reflections offered was the following:
Do not carry broken people who are not in the process of rebuilding themselves.
There have been a lot of professors who have said this in a lot of different ways. One metaphor that has stuck in my mind was shared by a man who taught us counseling: “As school psychologists we are flashlights. We can shine a light on a person’s growing edges, show them the way to bettering themselves, but it is up to them to change, to want to change.”
I truly believe this. You can lead a horse to water, and all that. But in some places, such as schools and courts, our clients are not seeking us out for change. They are assigned to us, or mandated. The real task, then, lies in guiding the person to desire change as if it were their own idea. I have been struggling with this for almost 3 months with one of my students, until today when she finally said “I wonder why I don’t have as many friends as Sarah.” Bingo, a way in! Wish me luck!

Read More

Tagged Personal Growth, Counseling Psychology, School Psychology

Work Self versus Non-Work Bangkok

Posted on December 08,2013 by jeanc2013

Letting my hair down at the Full Moon Party in Koh Phangnan, Thailand.

Some of us have a distinct Work Self separate from our Non-Work Self. You know, the driven, straight-laced person you are at work juxtaposed against the person who lets their hair down in appropriate settings outside of work. I personally see the benefit to nurturing both, and it strongly aligns with the notion of "work hard play hard."

Let's preface this by saying that in my day-to-day life on a military base in Afghanistan, I work very, very hard. I'd like to offer you a snapshot of how I maintain a globe-trotting life abroad whilst attaining a master's degree.

This week I'm on R&R, tending to my Non-Work Self touring Southern Thailand.

I landed in Bangkok where I stayed two nights at the Lebua State Tower, a lovely four-star hotel that you may remember from the Hollywood hit The Hangover: Part II. I met so many interesting people; ate so many weird things; saw so many beautiful places; and saw some things that I’ll never be able to un-see (i.e. “the ping pong show” that I was unwittingly hoodwinked into buying a ticket for).

I’m still processing some of it, which could explain why I wake up some nights in a cold sweat huddled in the corner.

Just kidding.

My unique experience in Bangkok left colorful imprints on my mind. It’s a mind-blowing city with an intricate culture that has something to offer everyone.

Next I flew to the beautiful, quiet island of Koh Samui, where I unwound for a couple nights at a reasonably priced luxury resort with hi-speed Wi-Fi that kept me connected to MSPP. The Tangolux Beach Resort. I’d stay there again in a heartbeat. I had a great view of the Buddah temple that lit up with the backdrop of each sunset.

After some much-needed relaxation, I hitched a ferry to Koh Phangan where I engaged in the slightly hedonistic, ultimate international beach bash that is “The Full Moon Party”. That was an experience-and-a-half. I admittedly, most likely, shed some brain cells that I could have otherwise reserved for my studies. Alas, when in Thailand…buckets up.

You may think that this sounds like a post that is not particularly complimentary to the calibur of student that MSPP accepted in my case. Well, my real point here is that it’s completely possible to successfully undertake graduate-level psychology work, travel the globe, and have a great time doing both. I engage my Work Self when it's time to get work done.

The fact that I am able to enjoy such enriching experiences abroad while simultaneously seeking higher education means that the future is now. MSPP technology is enabling us to get smarter no matter where we are…or what we drank last night.

How does your Work Self differ from your Non-Work Self? Do you know anyone who struggles differentiating the two?

Read More

Tagged Personal Growth, Online Education

Tis the Season to be Thankful

Posted on December 03,2013 by sthurstonmspp

Read More

Tagged Personal Growth, Experiential Education, School Psychology

Professional Selves- and a Confession

Posted on November 22,2013 by snguyen617

I have a confession to make.

Read More

Tagged Personal Growth