The Power of Meditation

Posted on November 19,2013 by falimspp2013

All Counseling Psychology students have to take Psychology of Diversity and Difference, typically in their first semester at MSPP, and the course focuses on teaching students how to become culturally competent therapists and counselors. Taking hands on learning to a different level, students have to immerse themselves in a community different from their own, to understand and learn about a particular population of their choosing. I decided to learn about Buddhism because I believed it is vastly different than Islam. This past Sunday, I headed out to a Zen Center in Rhode Island to attend a meditation service. Prior to this trip, I had little to no understanding of what it truly means to meditate, and partaking in such an experience was really eye-opening to me.

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Tagged Personal Growth, Around Boston

Sweet November

Posted on November 03,2013 by falimspp2013

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Tagged Personal Growth, Around Boston

Social Thinking, My Thinking

Posted on October 29,2013 by sthurstonmspp

There are over 400 people in this room, and yet it is quiet. We all sit enrapt and engaged with presenter Michelle Garcia Winner, nodding at the clear and concise expression of what we all know to be common sense in our line of work. Then I hear the scratching of pencils and shuffling of paper as she walks us through a new strategy for developing the social competencies of our children and our groups.
What I have found particularly helpful is the way in which she has labeled and defined the various levels of social functioning and, more importantly, “social executive functioning.” It can often be a challenge for us to develop social goals that feel meaningful: yes, we want Tommy to learn to say “hi” to others, but what we really want is for him to know when it is appropriate to say “hi” or “hello” or some other greeting based on reading the social context. For that to become a SMART goal, we need operational definitions of Tommy’s current level of social performance, and a definition of where we’d like him to be. Enter Social Thinking.
On a personal level, this conference has also highlighted the way that this year of internship has already transformed my thinking from “student” to “professional”. I am listening to the presenters and thinking about how I will use these strategies to change this group, or how next year I will look to use this method of measurement for baseline and monitoring data. I am also thinking in terms of the educator evaluation and the ways in which these tools will enable me to write my own SMART goals for professional practice.
The change was sneaky, but it happened. Maybe it had to do with the fact that, for me, it was slipping back on an old pair of favorite shoes. I’ve been here before, employed and ambitious. This is still my “practice” year, but I am already feeling fully confident in my ability to venture out on my own next year!

www.socialthinking.com

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Tagged Personal Growth, School Psychology

Where's Waldo, and Why Should We Care?

Posted on October 28,2013 by snguyen617

During a slight bout of procrastination today I found myself looking for Waldo.

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Tagged Clinical PsyD, Personal Growth

The Root of Anxiety

Posted on October 27,2013 by falimspp2013

This past week at my practicum site, Jessica Minahan, a board-certified behavior analyst and special educator, directed a parent workshop on Helping Parents Help Kids with Anxiety. The seminar was aimed at providing parents and professionals with valuable skills and tips to help children with anxiety. This was my first seminar that I attended within the psychology field and it was a very beneficial experience. The speaker brought valuable insight about the matter at hand and was very engaging and funny.

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Tagged Change of Career, Personal Growth, Experiential Education, Counseling Psychology

2nd Star to the Right

Posted on October 10,2013 by sthurstonmspp

This week I have been thinking a lot about “normal” or “typical” kids. It can be hard to tell the “typical” from the “unusual” these days: everyone wears tiaras and tutus to school, wears the Ninjago sweatshirts and seems to have trouble listening in class. But in other respects, I am remembering how much effort needs to be put in to recognizing what a “typical” kid looks like, talks like, and learns like. It can be so easy to get wrapped up in the students who get sent our way that the definition of a baseline 3rd grader starts to shift.
So I am hitting the library- the children’s section- and checking out the books that the kids are reading. I have played many an hour of Poptropica. Occasionally I will flip on the television at home and watch an episode of the show that the 2nd grade boys are acting out on the playground. I may even suffer through an episode of Sofia the First for my kindergarten girls. And as I’ve caught up on who the good guys and bad guys are to today’s elementary school students, I’ve realized how much more I have been able to understand, guide, and contribute to the conversation that bounces around the lunchroom.
Pull up a chair! Check out Jake and the Neverland Pirates (totally watchable) or even a little Spongebob Squarepants for your kindergarteners and watch how excited they get to have an adult who has been a part of their world, even if it was only for a half an hour. And it just may make you feel younger, too.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bH1WeysYDdg

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Tagged Personal Growth, School Psychology

Let's talk about SELF, baby; let's talk about you and me; let's talk about all the good things and the bad things...

Posted on April 27,2013 by sdmosaligantimspp

This semester, I took my first-ever course on psychodynamic theory (Professor Weiner - what what), and it was the jam. I think I have always naturally gravitated toward a more psychodynamic outlook; this class, however, maximized my understanding of such theory, particularly adding more structure and dimension to my understanding of the relationship between early-attachment experiences and self.

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Tagged Clinical PsyD, Personal Growth

Going Clinical for Spring Break

Posted on April 26,2013 by hmonkmspp

Felix Trede is a 1st year student in the Clinical PsyD program at MSPP. I have had the pleasure of having clinical seminar with Felix all year. Our seminar class has become sort of a mini-family, and we often share both academic and personal triumphs with one another. When we came back from break, Felix told our class about a really incredible experience he had doing mental health work in Mexico, and I asked him if he would share his experience with our blog readers. He graciously answered my interview questions, despite us being in the middle of finals.

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Tagged Clinical PsyD, Personal Growth, Social Responsibility, Latino Mental Health

Moving On From The Marathon: Processing Trauma

Posted on April 25,2013 by hmonkmspp

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Tagged Clinical PsyD, Personal Growth

In Boston, It Ain't Easy Gettin' Somewhere, but We Always Get There in the End

Posted on April 18,2013 by sdmosaligantimspp

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Tagged Personal Growth, Around Boston