agareaumspp

Recent Posts

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

AA

Posted on January 28,2012 by agareaumspp

Today I attended my first Alcoholics Anonymous meeting. As part of our Substance Abuse and Treatment class we were ask to attend a meeting and write a paper about our experience. Substance abuse is overwhelmingly prevalent in our society and the twelve steps have proven to be an extremely effective means to keeping millions of people sober. Upon attending my first meeting this afternoon, I sought to find out just what it was about the 12 steps and 60 minute meetings that kept people clean and gave them hope to remain in recovery. As I exited the church after the completion of the meeting, I left with a sense of understanding as to the magic of AA.

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Tagged Counseling Psychology

My First Weekend-in-Residence

Posted on January 23,2012 by agareaumspp

I survived my first weekend-in-residence for my Adult Psychopathology blended class. I must say, I was a little anxious going in- okay I was dreading it- as the sheer thought of two days back to back in class from 8:30-5:30 is exhausting. However, while I was pretty tired by the end of the day on Sunday, all in all the weekend was pretty good.

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Tagged Counseling Psychology

Call Me Tricia

Posted on January 20,2012 by agareaumspp

Today in my Psych Appraisal and Assessment class I assumed the role of Tricia, a 14 year-old girl plagued with a troubling family life. The topic of this week’s class was doing assessments with families and couples, and after going over the lecture we did some role-playing to enact what we had just learned. Unlike working with individuals, the focus of family therapy is to observe the interactions between all members of the family and the whole family unit is considered to be the client. Based on the sheer increase in the number of people you are working with, family therapy can be quite complex. We learned that the hard way today, as six of us assumed roles of dysfunctional family members in a therapy session with three additional classmates serving as the therapist.

Our family consisted of a full-time working father, a stay at home mother, three teenage daughters, and a six year-old son. The presenting problem for this family was that the six year-old son had been severely acting out in school and at home, and the parents were very argumentative. As we sat in a circle of chairs in the middle of class, playing out the session, it became clear how challenging it can be to conduct a session with so many dynamics at play. Once we got settled into our roles and the therapists were prompting thoughtful questions (with input from the rest of the class), the family’s dirty laundry started coming out and we got in the swing of conducting a family session. We had some fun with improvising…as in the middle of session mom dropped a bomb in front of the kids that dad had been having an affair. Our professor was very insightful in providing appropriate feedback for how to handle such situations and she referenced countless examples from her own experiences as a practicing clinical psychologist.

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Tagged Counseling Psychology

Kicking Off the Second Semester

Posted on January 15,2012 by agareaumspp

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!

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Tagged Around Boston, Counseling Psychology

One Semester Down!

Posted on January 09,2012 by agareaumspp

I have officially completed my first semester of graduate school and I am one night away from starting my second….time certainly does fly! I feel like it was just yesterday that I was sitting in Fundamentals Week, doing ice breakers and anticipating the work load that was to come! I must say, now that I have settled into the program I truly couldn’t be happier and I feel 100% certain that I am in the right place. From my very first day at MSPP I was taken aback by the warm, supportive community from both the faculty and students and I remember leaving orientation thinking to myself how nice it was to be surrounded by such a caring group of people. For the first time in my life I found myself surrounded with people who held the same interests and values towards genuinely wanting to help others, and my newfound inclusion in this community put to rest every question I had about where I was meant to be (I’m a bit of an existentialist!).

I truly can’t say enough about my fellow classmates as they have contributed to making my experience so positive at MSPP thus far. As the same twenty-something of us had four out of five classes together, with the exception of seminar where we were broken up into smaller groups, I have gotten to know this group of exceptional individuals quite well. The respect and support we all have for one another, both inside and outside of the classroom, is unlike anything I have ever experienced in an academic setting. Never have I felt so comfortable sharing my thoughts and opinions in an environment where I know I am truly being heard. Being at a school that places so much emphasis on diversity, it has been fascinating to learn about the unique backgrounds of my classmates and I have enjoyed the ways in which our discussions have been influenced by each of our individual experiences. While I’m sad that my schedule is slightly different this coming semester and I will not share all of my classes with this group, I am looking forward to maintaining these relationships and forming new ones!

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Tagged Counseling Psychology