hhaddadmspp

Recent Posts

A&P's: what they are and how to plan for them

Posted on May 10,2011 by hhaddadmspp

At the end of every year comes a special meeting at MSPP called the “Assessment and Planning Conference” or you’re A&P. As this is the end of my first year, I have never actually been to one; however, being the person that I am, I have been asking around about A&P’s since I began planning mine in March.

The A&P is a time for each clinical psychology doctoral student to receive a comprehensive evaluation of their performance and growth over the past year. In order to receive the most complete evaluation, the following people attend you’re A&P: yourself, your MSPP advisor, your supervisor at your site for this year, you supervisor for next year’s site, one MSPP faculty member, and one MSPP peer. I don’t know about you, but this sounds pretty intimidating to me! So, I asked some of the older students for their ideas on A&Ps, and the general consensus is that they are a “love-fest”. During A&P’s everyone present is extremely supportive and nice to you. I liked the sound of this, and so I eagerly began planning mine…

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Tagged Clinical PsyD

End of the semester stress!

Posted on May 10,2011 by hhaddadmspp

I admit, it is really easy to get caught up in the end of the semester stress, and this has definitely happened to me this spring!

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Tagged Clinical PsyD

Millennium Park

Posted on April 23,2011 by hhaddadmspp

Last time in my blog, I wrote about how great the location of MSPP is. Since then, spring has sprung, and I have been able to experience some more of the local greatness of West Roxbury. In particular, I am thinking of Millennium Park. During the dreary winter months, it is a natural decision to remain indoors unless it is absolutely necessary to venture outside. However, now that it is warming up, I have joined one of my friends on weekly walks during our break from classes.

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Tagged Around Boston

Making a Decision: Location, location, location!

Posted on April 13,2011 by hhaddadmspp

The deadline to make the graduate school decision is fast approaching, and many of you may still be making this important decision. In light of this, I have been asking some of my friends about their decision to come to MSPP. After talking to a couple of other first years, I have found out that many of my friends chose MSPP because of its location! Yes, much like real estate, apparently a key component to making a graduate school decision is: LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION…

MSPP is located conveniently in West Roxbury, a suburb of Boston. When I was considering committing to a four-year program, the location was important. And knowing that I would be able to spend the next four years in Boston was a delight. Indeed, many of my friends mirrored this perspective. Like me, my friends from the area (Massachusetts, in general) noted that they enjoyed being able to live close to home at this time in their life. For my friends from out of town, MSPP has the draw of a big city.

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Tagged Around Boston

MSPP professors are...understanding and flexible!

Posted on April 05,2011 by hhaddadmspp

I have been very happy to be at MSPP this past year, and every day I am reminded of why I picked the right school for me.

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Tagged Clinical PsyD

How I Made the Decision to Come to MSPP....

Posted on March 27,2011 by hhaddadmspp

The end of March is a beautiful time of year… Spring is in the air. I can hear birds chirping, and see flowers blooming…

But a more important sign of spring is in the air: acceptance letters from grad school! I know a lot of people think that the most stressful part about the application process is the interview, but perhaps equally stressful is making a decision once you have been accepted into programs. I was in that place only a year ago, and I remember what it was like…

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Tagged Clinical PsyD

March is Women's History Month!

Posted on March 23,2011 by hhaddadmspp

In honor of women’s history month, I have been thinking a lot about my place in the field of psychology (and the world) as a woman. Overall, women have made such huge gains in the area of personal freedom and rights. Being a young woman in the field of psychology, a field dominated by women, it is easy to take our freedoms and rights for granted. However, just looking at the history of psychology will remind us that our rights, including our right to pursue higher education in the field of psychology, are precious.

Take the example of Mary Whiton Calkins. She was a pioneer woman psychologist, who was never allowed to get a higher degree in the field of psychology. She graduated from Smith College with a degree in classics and philosophy. Her first job was as a professor of Greek at Wellesley College. Wellesley quickly offered her a position as professor of psychology, as long as she took a year long course in the subject. The two universities that would accept her (Yale and the University of Michigan) were too far away. She appealed to William James, of Harvard, to allow her to sit in on his classes. At first she was denied by the dean at Harvard. However, after letters from William James and her father, the dean agreed to let her in, as long as she was not considered to be a matriculated student. Despite all her work at Harvard (she even wrote a thesis) she was only ever considered to be a guest. And although her thesis committee unanimously approved her thesis in 1895, she was never granted the degree she earned from Harvard. She was allowed to teach psychology at Wellesley, which she did until she retired in 1927.

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Tagged Clinical PsyD

Summer classes!

Posted on March 15,2011 by hhaddadmspp

It’s hard to believe, but the semester is just about half way through. My second semester at MSPP has been flying by, and now it’s time to start thinking about the future!

And by the future I mean this summer…

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Tagged Clinical PsyD

Self-care can be anything!

Posted on March 08,2011 by hhaddadmspp

Self-care. Have you heard this term before? I know the first time I heard this phrase was during Fundamentals Week (orientation) at MSPP. For something so important to psychologists, it seems that I should have been aware of the concept of self-care much earlier than beginning the program at MSPP. I bet you’re on the edge of your seat wondering what exactly self-care means… Well, don’t worry, I’m going to tell you!

Self-care can be…ANYTHING! That’s right. Anything you do to calm down and relax. It may seem silly to emphasize the importance of doing calming activities, but it is really easy to forget that psychologists (MSPP students, included) need breaks too. Especially considering the fact that for some of us, this is our first time seeing clients.

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Tagged Clinical PsyD, Around Boston

Time Management: A Key to Success

Posted on March 01,2011 by hhaddadmspp

Grad school can be stressful. But there is a trick to success, and it has taken me a semester to get it perfect. I think that a month into my second semester here, I am getting that the key to success is NOT doing all the readings, stressing to understand every last sentence; it’s NOT about editing papers over and over; and it is certainly NOT staying up all night to study for anything. Two words have made my time at MSPP thus far successful: time management.

In the clinical psychology PsyD program good time management is a must, as you are required to balance classes (in your first year, most people take 5!), practicum (first year, its 2 days a week), and other outside obligations (including self-care- see below). At first this may sound intimidating, but never fear with multiple daily planners, wall calendars, and iCal my life has been simplified (and kept in order). Here are some tips that have significantly improved my time management skills:

  • At the beginning of the semester, I like to write all my readings into my daily planner. This way I know what is due each week for each of my classes. This also helps me prioritize my readings, an important step in saving your valuable time. Always read what is most important first, and work down the list.
  • In addition to the readings, I include all major assignments in my daily planner and my wall calendar. Having major assignments listed in two places really helps me keep track of when important things are due. I also try to make a schedule for completing parts of each assignment. Breaking down large papers into component parts reduces the stress induced by important assignments.
  • In my daily planner and my calendar on my phone I include all important meetings I have at MSPP and my practicum; this includes my scheduled weekly meetings with my clients in addition to any advisory meetings I have at MSPP.
  • Finally, I never forget to schedule time for self-care. At MSPP the phrase self-care gets used frequently, mostly because it is extremely important. As stressed out, super busy grad students it is easy to forget that it is important to take care of ourselves (by doing something fun every once in a while!). What is the one thing that makes you most happy and relaxed? Once you figure it out, make time in your schedule to do this activity. Even a little bit of time doing something fun can make it easier to face the busy (yet rewarding) schedules we all face as grad students!
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Tagged Clinical PsyD