Kicking Off the Second Semester

After an incredibly restful and relaxing break, I feel refreshed and ready to take this coming semester by storm.  After one week back I already feel in the swing of things and I’m looking forward to getting settled into my new schedule.  I am most excited that I have FINALLY secured a new practicum placement!  My original placement didn’t end up working out, as it was a new site for MSPP students and they weren’t able to meet the practicum requirements.  After searching high and low I have finally finalized my new placement and I’m super excited about starting this week.  I will be splitting my time between two sites: a trauma clinic for children and a group home for adolescent males.  At the trauma clinic I will be doing in-home therapy with a master’s level clinician and at the group home I will be working with adolescent males who are transitioning from the foster care system to independent living.  While it is unique that I will be at two sites, I am looking forward to the range of experiences I will gain and the diversity of exposure I will receive to working with different populations.  I must say, I am most excited about working with children at the trauma clinic as that is a population of great interest to me, but I think working at the group home will be a very rewarding experience as well because it will definitely be a challenge as I have never worked with adolescent males before.  More to come on how these experiences go!

Also, now that I have completed my first week of classes I am really excited about starting a new course load.  This semester I am taking Substance Abuse and Treatment, Psychological Appraisal and Assessment, Adult Psychopathology, Expressive Arts Therapy, and my Seminar.  While I am excited, I am nervous about the workload.  I am actually taking Adult Psychopathology blended to accommodate for my practicum, which means that I will primarily be taking that course online over the span of seven weeks.  There is a lot of material to cover for that course, so I’m a little apprehensive about taking it blended, but after meeting with my class last week to go over the syllabus I feel a little better.  I took all traditional courses last semester, so blended courses are new to me, but after speaking with several classmates who have taken blended courses I feel encouraged that I will be fine.  It will be a lot of reading and I will definitely have to buckle down for the next seven weeks, but after that I will have one less course for the rest of the semester!

For now, I’m going to hit the books, finish applying for second year internship placements, and get ready to start my new practicum this week!  So far this semester is off to a great start!  Also, I thought I would share a picture with you guys from an MSPP night out this weekend.  To celebrate being back and starting the new semester a bunch of us hit the town on Friday and had a blast!

About agareaumspp

Hi! My name is Ashley Gareau and I am a first year student in the Master’s in Counseling Psychology program at MSPP. I graduated from Lafayette College in May of 2009 with a B.A. in Psychology and moved to the Boston area shortly thereafter. Following my undergrad years I assumed a position at Children’s Hospital Boston working as an Administrative Assistant for one of the physicians. While working at Children’s I spent a lot of time volunteering with patients on the organ transplant unit and discovered a passion for health psychology. Alas, I decided to attend graduate school for counseling and I have hopes of applying to Psy.D programs when I am done with my master’s. When I’m not studying or doing work (which is rare these days!) I can be found doing yoga, knitting, playing with my dog, or spending time with my family and friends. Also, I absolutely love the outdoors and try to ski, hike, and bike as much as I can! Welcome to my blog and I look forward to sharing my journey through graduate school with you all!
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5 Responses to Kicking Off the Second Semester

  1. BudB says:

    It’s good to see people thinking outside the box to help troubled teens.

  2. Hi Ashley,
    The Google entry mentioned you playing with your dog and your post made me think of someone very determined to achieve and doing good to others and I can just imagine you discovering that you found a connectedness with patients in the transplant unit… I have a son, now already a dad himself, who received a kidney transplant…. reading your piece, I wondered if there was a specific transplant that draw you more ( ie you are more aware of / bump into more often etc ) certain type of transplants than another..? If so, is there in your mind a possible reason for that, perhaps relating to your family’s, your own or even your dog’s medical history? If not, why not? ….a few more rhetorical questions and a bottle of (virtual) wine later and we’ve solved all the problems in the world!

    Keep up the good work and keep us posted.

  3. I LOVE this post. And not to mention Ashley, your a very VERY beautiful young woman. I must take you out sometime. ;) I enjoyed this post very much. Looking forward to your continued progress and updates on this blog.

    Mesothelial Cells

  4. agareaumspp says:

    Hi Alan! Thanks so much for your comment! While yoga certainly has its benefits on physical health and is a nice relief to brake up my workouts to really stretch out, I must say that I mostly do it for the meditation and relaxation. I find that by really focusing on my body and my breathing, I can really connect with myself and in this regard it is a very centering and grounding experience, all of which help me to focus better on my work with clients.

    That’s wonderful that you have been doing yoga with troubled teens. I’m curious how receptive they are and how you think it is benefitting them? I am working with adolescent boys at one of my practicum sites and I would love your feedback before introducing some yoga at my site!

  5. Windsor Yoga says:

    You certainly have your work and courseload cut out for you. In your Bio you mentioned yoga. Do you do it mostly for the physical benefits, or do you find it helps you clear your mind so you are better able to deal with your patients (clients?).

    I have introduced yoga to some troubled teens I work with and it seems to have really benefitted them. All the best and good luck on your studies!


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