Professional Selves- and a Confession

I have a confession to make.

After I leave my practicum site I head across town to pick my daughter up from daycare. I cross the Merrimack River, guess which shortcut will be most effective that day, weave around slow-moving cars, and then….

I veer off course…
And end up here:

     So, my confession is that my daughter waits an extra twenty minutes or so for me to pick her up from daycare so I can wind down from the day and relieve some stress by ‘window-shopping’ to my heart’s content. I don’t usually have a plan of attack, so I usually just wander around. I rarely ever buy anything.

     Yesterday, as I was mindlessly cruising through the aisles, I found myself in the baby clothes aisle (makes me feel better about not immediately rushing to scoop the ‘little nugget’ after practicum). I fingered through the clothes looking for her size. My heart sank slightly when I saw this: mspp, clothes

     Her size wasn’t there! It wasn’t in the next rack either. or the next, or the next. Then, it hit me.

My little nugget isn’t a baby anymore. I’d have to shop in the little girl section now. Needless to say, this realization caught me off-guard.

Change and Development

Realizing how quickly my daughter is growing up makes me think about how we as students have developed in such a short amount of time. Coming from a research-based university, classes on clinical psychology were few and far between. This meant that before attending MSPP I had no clinical experience. When sitting down with the first patient I was barely anything more than a layperson with a B.A. in Psychology. I felt a bit of sadness for the person looking back at me, and tried to hide my inexperience as best I could.

Looking back at the layperson with a B.A. I was three months ago, I can’t believe how much my professional self has already changed, and how much experience I have gained. I’ve interacted with patients of various ages, ethnicities, beliefs, and backgrounds. I’ve done intakes, gathered information, run educational and recreational therapy groups, and (attempted) crisis intervention. I can feel something changing inside of me- something new is emerging. It must be this thing I keep hearing about- this thing they call my “professional self”.

By the way, I am no means in some sort of revolutionary state where I feel a new sense of being, or anything like that. I have a lot of work ahead of me before I can get any professional “street cred”. I guess it’s like discovering that my experience and knowledge no longer will fit in the “baby aisle”, and I now have to start trying things on in the “little girl” aisle instead. I’ve still got a long way until I can fit in to the “adult” section, but I’ve still grown, and that’s pretty cool.

So back to Target. I came to terms the best I could with the whole “my little baby is growing up” drama bouncing around in my brain and found myself humming “you are the sunshine of my life” as I moved in to the little girl section.

photo

Let’s face it- Friday mornings just wouldn’t be this relaxing without footy pajamas

I let out a sign of relief. It wasn’t so bad. There weren’t any onesies or anything, but they still had footed pajamas, so I was able to cope. The day that I can no longer easily find footed pajamas may be the day that I will have no choice but to face reality.

I’m slightly copying fellow blogger Bobby by doing this, but here is “You are the Sunshine of my Life” with Stevie Wonder and Diana Ross. Sorry, Bobby. I promise I won’t make this a weekly thing.

  • How did you change when transitioning from High School to College?
  • College to the Workplace?
  • College to Grad School?

About StephanieN

Stephanie is a first year clinical PsyD student at MSPP in Newton, Massachusetts. She graduated Cum Laude from Clark University with a bachelor's in Psychology. Her interests are in community mental health and homelessness, as well as chronic mental illness including severe depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia and psychosis. In her spare time, Stephanie likes to spend time playing with her daughter and (attempting) to cook new foods.
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