Blog Section

5 Things I Wished I’d Known In Graduate School

Common Therapy QuestionsI feel very privileged to be an adjunct professor at Westminster and University of Utah.  I really enjoy teaching, it re-energizes me. I love the student’s thirst for knowledge and dedication to their field. I remember trying to juggle school, work, practicum, and family and how difficult it is but how excited I was to start my career.  I wanted to construct a blog detailing what I wished someone had told me. Although the advice is specifically for people in the counseling field, it has application for anyone in higher education.

  1. Worry less about grades and focus more about gaining knowledge/experience.  (Yes, this is coming from someone who literally freaked out when they got an A-).  I have never had a client or even a job ask about my GPA.  They wanted to know my skills and training.
  2. Interview your practicum placement.  If it isn’t a good fit, find somewhere else.  One of my internships was amazing the other placement was horrible.  I knew from the beginning that my second placement wasn’t good but I didn’t want to look like a “quitter.”  I didn’t realize that the interview process needs to be mutual and that I needed to take charge of my learning experience. There is no shame in saying it isn’t what you want.
  3. Attend as many professional trainings that you can.  Most trainings have a big discount for students, take advantage of it!  Even if that means using some of your student loans- trainings are a great investment.  Especially if the trainings have a certification or count towards a special licensure. This will distinguish you between other graduates and help you find your specialties/passions. They also are a great place to network and become involved in professional organizations.
  4. Find a mentor. You will need an advocate to help you navigate the field, for consultation and support. A mentor can be a professor at your school, your clinical supervisor or someone in your professional organization. A good mentor should support and challenge you at the same time.
  5. Start a professional case portfolio.  Some of the most difficult/interesting cases I worked was when I was a student.  I didn’t realize at the time that I would want to refer back to details and interventions (for training or evaluation purposes).  Keep notes in your personal files without identifying information.  Obtain consent to video-tape sessions and interventions.

Hang in there, it will get better.  Hopefully, you will look back on this experience with some fondness or at least relief that it is over.

-Holly Willard, LCSW

Cialis vs Viagra it is old dispute between two similar medicines which stand by the way almost equally. but here not a task how to decide on a choice and to start using one of them. Viagra vs Cialis much kontsentrivany cialis which is on sale in the form of powder and we use it as required emergency. but nevertheless what harm they neninut especially if the birch costs.

More

Why Am I More Awkward Socially Now?

This isn’t really a question about me, its kind of people in general (or well maybe it is just me, I dont know)….
So, ever since I started high school I have felt more awkward and stressed out about people than ever.  I think that’s normal though, right?

Anyway, its weird because before high school, I actually had less friends than I do now.  Why do I feel more awkward when now I have more friends? You should probably know that I now go to a high school for the arts, and everyone at my new school is super nice and accepting.

So… How do I get to be less awkward? Does everyone get awkward in high school? What changed between 8th and 9th grade that is making me so self-conscious?

A: Thanks so much for writing in! You bring up excellent questions and I’m very impressed that you’re so in touch with you internal experiences and feelings — that will be a great asset as a performer/artist. Did you go through any other family or life changes before starting high school? There may be several explanations for your feelings of awkwardness for you to consider.

You’re describing feelings that I often hear in my practice from new college students who have largely based their identity on being the best and most accomplished in their high school. In college, they are surrounded by hundreds of bright and talented students which challenges their sense of identity and worth. I wonder if this same phenomenon has happened for you, only in high school instead of college? High schools with a specific focus tend to attract highly motivated and talented students, like colleges. While fellow student are accepting and nice, they are also your “competition,” and their talents may feel more threatening to you than what you experienced with your jr. high school peers.

Attending a high school for the arts may also lead you to feel more emotionally vulnerable and unsure of yourself. Artistic creation and expression require you to access different aspects of your emotional experiences and that may be leading to feeling more awkward. As a performing songwriter, I can relate to feeling more vulnerable when I am “putting myself out there” creatively.

Big life transitions like changing schools tend to make everyone feel a bit more anxious and self-conscious. Moving on to high school is the next step toward adulthood, requires more homework, more responsibility, and new social situations and that may take some time to get used to. I suggest talking with your parents about your feelings, or consider talking to a school counselor. What you’re experiencing doesn’t sound out of the ordinary for a life transition. If your awkwardness doesn’t go away in a month or so, please consider talking to a therapist to help you get to the emotional root of what your experience and to look into the possibility that you’ve developed an anxiety disorder.

Cialis vs Viagra it is old dispute between two similar medicines which stand by the way almost equally. but here not a task how to decide on a choice and to start using one of them. Viagra vs Cialis much kontsentrivany cialis which is on sale in the form of powder and we use it as required emergency. but nevertheless what harm they neninut especially if the birch costs.

More