Posts Tagged ‘Integrative Seminar’


March 22, 2018

And screaming.

Ten hours.

Ten hours of baby who is teething two big molars.

Poor little guy.

Poor nanny.

The morning wasn’t so bad, I think I wasn’t as worn out from the constant yelling the baby was doing, plus he had a good morning nap.

The second nap was not so good, he was woken up early by the older kids and was pretty miserable for the last part of the day.

I went in early today to help out and stayed until my normal time.

I did ten hours and I can feel it in my body.

My head hurt when I was leaving.

It is really hard to listen to a baby scream.

It’s hard enough to listen to a baby cry, but scream.

My God.

I thought I was going to lose it for a little while.

He’s a really happy baby too, it’s not normal for him to be so upset.

I felt pretty pinned down by it and I was really happy to leave.

Then I got asked, as I was leaving to come in early again tomorrow and on Friday.

I sort of crumpled.

I really wanted to get a little bit more sleep tonight and to take a shower in the morning before work.

We compromised and I’m just coming in a half hour early tomorrow, I’ll still get my shower, although not the sleep I was hoping for.


I will have a half hour more than I did last night and that is something.

The day was actually lovely, despite the upset baby, I had a fabulous conversation with my best friend and we made some plans to spend time together and that always lifts my spirits.



I ran into some friends tonight at my commitment and I discussed the soon to be graduating and the fact that I want to have a beach bonfire party to celebrate.

I’m very excited for that too.

I’m slowly chipping away at homework, every little bit is a tiny step closer to being done with the program, I even managed to finish an article tonight in between getting home from work and heading back out.

I will be doing some work this weekend on a portion of the big paper and writing up a case study on one of my clients which I will present to the class for about a half hour.

I can easily talk about my client for that long, it’s just a matter of making sure that I am presenting good, cohesive, well thought out material to my cohort and to my professor.

When I’ve had some time to reflect on the work I have done with this client I am really quite proud of myself.

I know that I’m doing good work and I know that my client is benefitting from the therapy.

This client was also my first assigned client, though they do not know that, and it pleases me very much that I will get to show a case study with a lot of sessions and a lot of work that has been done.

I’ve got a ton of supervision notes on this client and also a good size file at my office.

I’ll be seeing the client tomorrow, in fact, I should review the file.

I’m also starting with a new client tomorrow.

Note to self, get the file out of the main office before the session!

It’s always a little bit of a crap shoot when I have a new client file that I need to get to.

Often times the office where the files are kept is being used for a therapy session, I have to time it well.

Fingers crossed I’ll get out of work a little early.

Technically I don’t need the file to do the therapy, the first few sessions are really about getting to know the client, I don’t need to see a consultation form to do that, but they are nice to have and I will be taking notes and those notes need to go into a file, so yes, it will be better if I get said file before the session.

Note to self.

I also need to figure out how to sync up my phone calendar with my google calendar.

I know there’s a way to do it.

But I haven’t done it yet and My brain hurts too much right now to look into it.

I feel pretty much at capacity as far as doing anything else today goes.

It’s been a pretty damn full week already.

It’s going to be ok though.

It is.

And I’m just going to wind this down a little early and do some self-care, make some hot tea, eat a snack and get snuggled down for the night.

No more work for today.

Just some rest.

Some very well deserved rest.




March 5, 2018

And the weekend is over.

Where the fuck did it go?

So fast.

It went so fast.

I did get a lot accomplished today, however, which is probably why it went so fast.

I wrote like a maniac.

I wrote a lot personally and I wrote a paper for class, I have another weekend of school coming up.

I did not write the two papers that I had hoped to get to, but I wrote the one that took the most time to do.

Fingers crossed I will have some time this Wednesday to address the other paper and if worst comes to worse, which I am really fucking hoping it won’t, I will do it Friday after class and before my client at my internship.

I think that I can get it done this week, I just need to be diligent.

I also needed to throw another thing into the mix as I had to get an appointment with another therapist.

Not for more therapy, I have a therapist for that, but as an assignment for my Integrative Seminar class.

We were assigned a coffee, tea, lunch date, to talk with a licensed therapist about what they would have done differently in their journey to licensure and what they would suggest I do.

I reached out to three different therapists in my community and thank God, one of them finally got back to me tonight.

I will meet with her Tuesday after I wrap with my client.

Fortunately I had a cancellation that night so I will be getting done about the same time, it’s not an additional hour on top of having seen two clients.


She works in the same building as my internship, so I will only have to go to her office and hang out and ask her a few questions and be able to report back to my class what I got out of the interview.

I am so grateful that she got back to me, I was starting to freak out about being able to do the assignment.

And now I have a time and I have the paper written for that class I feel ready for going into the weekend with the class.

The other class I have to write an annotated bibliography.

Not really my cup of tea, but I’ll get it done and I’m fairly hopeful that it won’t take all that much time.

I also have some reading to do for the class.

The professor added up some online content that I haven’t had a chance to dive into yet.

I’m not going to beat myself up about that.

Not tonight.

It was a day.

I did so much work.

I can let myself off the hook.

I can let down my guard a tiny bit and let myself reflect on the work done.

Some of it was super fun work.

Like meeting my best friend for coffee and going to yoga today.

And I didn’t mind my chores either, I went and did a little grocery shopping at the co-op and I made soup for the week for my lunches and I roasted a chicken to have for my dinners.

I met with a ladybug and did the deal.

And then yeah, I hit the paper and knocked out six pages.

The total paper will be thirty pages.

There are four parts and this part was the shortest part of it.

I’ve already written ten pages, so the two combined gives me 16 and leaves 14.

Very doable.

I just need to do seven pages for the next weekend of classes and seven pages following that

And then.






I received word that the ceremony will be from 3p.m. to 5p.m.

Which gives me a time frame.

I can invite up to six people.

I have my people chosen.

I am lucky for their support and love.

So lucky.

I have had such a lot of help getting to where I am now.

I have done a lot of the work to get there, but I have also had such support.

One of those supports I met with tonight and got super honest with and did a lot of work with and reading and praying and talking.

Intense heart wrenching work.

I am grateful that I showed up and grateful that I walked through fear.

It is not easy to walk through fear.

I do not know what lies a head but I realize again tonight that I just have to practice having faith.

Fear and faith are very much alike.

Belief in something that you cannot see.

I just tend to get stuck in fear.

I promised myself that I would stay in faith.

In trust, in belief, that I am loved, that I am doing what needs to be done.

It’s scary stuff and I’m just going to have to do it.

I have faith that the outcome will be even more love.

That’s what it’s all about.



I can’t put it any other way.

Love and belief that I am being taken care of.

That you are being taken care of.

That the world may not make sense to me right now as I walk down this corridor of experience.

I may feel like I am walking through a dark hallway, not knowing what will happen.

But there is light.

And I will step out into it.

With more love.

More compassion.

And more faith.

God did not bring me this far to drop me on my ass now.

I don’t fucking think so.

Or you.

We are being held.

Taken care of.





I promise.


Did It

February 5, 2018

I wasn’t sure there for a moment, but I got it done.

I wrote my big paper that was due today in the middle of a full day, and just now finished editing it and sent it out.

10 pages.

3,759 words.


It wasn’t a hard paper to write, the words came fast and furious and there was much I could have written about but did not.

The paper, at least this portion of it, was very self-reflexive, I was really writing about my own experiences in school and showing where and when I learned and what was valuable to me.

There have been so many things that I couldn’t even begin to touch upon them all.

And since I have a way with words, words way with I have, I wasn’t too hard pressed to just let them come  out.


I have to say I was impressed.

It may have been the fastest I have written and the biggest quantity of work I have done in a one day go of it.

The paper will eventually be thirty pages, but if the rest of the paper goes as swimmingly I don’t think that it will be too challenging to do the rest.


I only have to do twenty more pages.

I have an option of not writing the full thirty, I could instead write a 12-14 page paper and do a live website.

I was going to do the website and the short paper, but at this point, fuck it, I figure I’ll just save that headache, building a website, for another day.


I’ll probably ask a friend to build one for me.

I know little about building a website and though I’m sure it’s not difficult, I don’t want to stress about it.

If I can knock out ten pages as quickly as I did today I won’t have a problem just doing the big paper.

I also had just a fabulous day, I’m quite certain that there was something in the air that helped me to get the writing done.

I did get up quite early.

I was having a dream and in the dream there was very loud classical music playing, it sounded baroque, perhaps it was Bach, and I was doing pirouettes in a huge ball gown through an enormous ball room that was framed by these huge windows, so high, leaded glass and arched, and the floor was parquet and there were trees outside the windows through which this golden green dappled light flooded the room and splashed off my flying dress and my hair whirling around me.

I swear it was how loudly the music was playing in the dream that woke me up.

I awoke and it was dark, pre-dawn dark, I looked at my phone and it was 6:07 a.m.


My alarm would go off in eight minutes, so I might as well get up.

I got up put on my yoga clothes, made my bed, drank some water, prayed and did my morning routine, then set off to Java Beach with a couple of blankets in a beach bag.

My friend was already at the cafe and it was so good to connect.

Really good.

We got coffees and then walked to the beach.

We found a great spot in the dunes, pulled out the blankets, spread them on the sand and sat and talked and watched the moon set over the Pacific ocean, the surfer’s up doing their dawn patrol, the ship on the horizon pulling closer and closer to eventually sail somulent and slow under the Golden Gate Bridge.

The sun rose behind us and lit the sky with rosy pinks and striations of mauve and light purples.

It was warmer than I expected.

The company was fantastic and I got re-acquainted with my friend whom it felt like I hadn’t seen in years, though it was just a few weeks ago.

So much can happen in a few weeks.

We caught up and drank coffee and got sand every where and it was good.

The best.

The best.

The best.

And someone had a bonfire down the beach and the smell of it intoxicated my heart and reminded me of the night so many years ago when my mom and her boyfriend scooped up my sister and I and took us to the beach at night and we built a bonfire on the shore.

I collected shells in the morning and then we went to a little roadside cafe for breakfast.

It may be one of my favorite, if not my favorite, of my earliest memories.

And to have that same smell, morning ocean smell entwined with the drifting smell of bonfire, oh, it made the company that more exquisite.

How lucky I am to have the people in my life I do.




Then yoga class at 9a.m.

And it was a fantastic class.

The instructor was great and I did something today that I have never done before in yoga, I had a fully extended stretch sitting on the mat, feet forward, arms in front of me, bending at the waist, flat back, hands wrapped around my feet and yes, I was able to touch my forehead to my knees.

I have never done that.

I have always wanted to be that flexible and there it was, the stretch happened today and it felt glorious, to be in my skin, in my body, and stretched out.

Afterward the hottest shower I could stand and breakfast, coffee, morning pages.

I wrote a lot of morning pages today too, just trying to capture all the things I saw and felt at the beach, the intermingling of memories and how they became big and miraculous and full of love, sublime.

And of course.

I had to clean the house.




I had a big fat paper to write, so best scrub, vacuum, cook, do laundry, and dust.

Fuck, I even washed the rugs in the bathroom.

Then I just said, enough, get to it.

And I got to it.

Super grateful I got done what needed to be done today.

It was a big push.



When your day starts out as lovely as mine did.

Anything is possible.


How The Hell

January 19, 2018

Did that happen?

I’m back in school tomorrow.

I just printed off my syllabus for a class.

I haven’t read a thing, not that there was a thing to read, not that I’m aware of, there probably is a thing or fifteen that I’m supposed to read, but the syllabus that was up for the class I printed off doesn’t technically have text books that I have to buy.

I’ll be using materials from previous classes.

It’s called Integrative Seminar and it’s like a master’s thesis class in which I will expound upon all the learning I have done in the past years of work.

I have learned a lot.

A lot.

“Carmen, sometimes that’s the hardest thing,” my therapist said recently, “you have done the emotional work and you are aware and you are educated and it can be really hard to see things that other people haven’t seen for themselves.”


I mean.

Then again, it’s always easier to see someone else’s problems, they’re not yours, so you’re not invested, it’s a different perspective.

My “problems” are mine and special.

I mean, hello, they’re mine, of course they’re special.


The learning, it has been a lot and I have become very self-aware.

What works for me, what doesn’t, how my emotions are not something to be afraid of but signs to point me in the way I need to be going.

I don’t always care for emotions.


That’s not true.

I like some of them a lot.




Although love has a wicked back-handed sting of pain to it at times that will throttle the breath right out of my body and make me feel like my heart is on fire.

But, um, yeah, love.

It’s so good, it’s so delicious, I want more and more and more.

I usually have to really cultivate it in myself though, how I take care of myself, how I am gentle with myself (not always so good at that, work in progress, you know), how I feed myself, or let myself rest or be kind, like say nice things about myself and acknowledge the work I do.

I mean.

The work.

A lot of that.

Other emotions I like.





Love me some awe.

Hope is a good one too.


I like to be elated.


That one’s super fun.



Ooh, yeah, I like that.

I mean.

Those are fantastic emotions, I’m all over those.

But some others.


Not so much.






Oh woe is me, I do not like the sads.

Melancholia, which is just sadness with a fancy name.




Well, heh, maybe I do like some lust.

It’s well.






I do not like the fear thing not a bit, not at all.


I have all of those emotions too.

The nice thing is knowing that I am allowed to hold more than one emotion at a time, in fact I can hold many and do at any given minute or moment of the day.

Sadness and love and fear and lust and anxiety today.

As well as happiness and contentment and sorrow and grief.

A great big mixing bowl of feelings.

Hey there, look at that, I’m in psychology, the “science” of soul suffering.

What is it about the soul and the suffering and the journey of it all?

I suspect it’s about love and whether or not I let myself have it, let it in, allow myself to be loved, to accept I’m lovable, enough, that I deserve all the best and most wonderful things and to act in those interests.

Not something I have always been able to do so well.

The neat thing, yes, I said neat, about all this learning to become a therapist is that I get to work on myself, so this Integrative Seminar class should be a good way for me to look back over the last few years and measure, really see, how much I have grown.

The other class.


The syllabus was not up so I am not worried about having to have read anything for the class.

I have gotten one of the books the professor e-mailed the class about and I’ll bring that with.

I’ve got class from 9a.m. to 4p.m. then I’ll be heading off to my internship at seeing a consultation for therapy and a doing a phone session with a client.


It’s officially Friday.

Dinner with my best friend and connection, conversation, life, goals, love, shoes and ships and sealing wax, cabbages and kings.

All the things.

It’s a full and busy weekend for me.

I also have to go into the dentist on Saturday and get my permanent crown put in.

I’ll be leaving school a little early on Saturday to get to my dentist appointment by 4p.m.

And I just realized.


That I won’t really have a day off until next Saturday, which isn’t necessarily true either, I’ll have group supervision that day, but it will feel like a day off.

It’s always a long run of days when I’m in a weekend of school.

But this is it.

The last semester to my Masters program.

The final push!

I will be meeting with my advisor tomorrow at lunch to talk about graduation and also to get my letter of recommendation for the PhD program in Transformative Psychology.

That is still definitely on the burner for me.


Glad I’ve got my books and folders and notebooks and syllabi all set.

Lunch is packed too.

I just need to figure out what to wear.

First day of school fashion crisis.

I suspect, though, that as long as I show up, it will all be fine.

That’s half the battle, isn’t it?

Just showing up.

Super grateful to be walking into this last semester with a full and thankful heart for the process that has brought me here to where I am today.

I’ve come a long way.


I really fucking have.


January 3, 2018



I just read over the syllabus for one of my classes.




I am not ready.





I got an e-mail from a friend of mine in the cohort, we take almost all of our classes together and I switched out a class to be in the this last class with her, tipping me off to a website builder that I could use for class.

I was like.



Is the syllabus already up?

And fuck me, yes, it is already up.

I read it over, I got a little tired reading it.

I think I just want to go back to reading my pleasure reading book and not look at a syllabus again for a day or five.

My next weekend of classes is January 19-21st.

It’s still a few weeks away, but it’s looming.

Fortunately the class that has the syllabus up has no readers or textbooks I will need to buy.

Unfortunately and I’m super annoyed by this, I do have to use readings, readers, and textbooks from my previous classes.

The class is Integrative Seminar, and it basically requires that I write a 22-29 page paper with a personal narrative of when and where I had revelations in my classwork and what those looked like and how I will bring those insights into my therapy sessions with future/current clients.  Plus a part of the paper has to be a clinical review of one of my current clients.


That’s a fucking pain in my ass.

Not that I can’t write that many pages, I won’t have a problem doing that so much, but um, I didn’t save my notebooks from my previous classes, I recycled most of them, I also don’t have the majority of my textbooks, I sold them back.


I do have one ace up my sleeve, I just now literally realized.

I have a program on my computer called Perrla.

It basically is a graduate student’s wet dream.

It helps format papers in APA (The American Psychological Association) and it builds your bibliography for you as you’re writing the papers.

I should have all my papers from all my classes, except for maybe the first couple I wrote, that are saved in my Perrla program.

I can reference those papers to write the bigger paper for this class.

That will be my saving grace.

So grateful I just remembered that.

Really no need for me to get all anxious about shit anyway, I’m a writer, I will write.

I have had some pretty transformative moments in school and I have grown so much in my personal life that I am sure I will be able to knock out a 30 page paper with ten references pretty damn quick.

Plus, thank God!

Thank fucking God, I keep really good notes from my supervision sessions with my solo supervisor.

And I am fairly certain I have all my notes from supervision and now that I know I’ll be presenting a case I can take more prodigious notes while in session with him.

I don’t know what I’m bitching about.

All things considered I will be writing more than 30 pages for a PhD dissertation.

God only knows how much writing that will entail.

I talked my therapist a lot about that today, amongst other things, like coming up on my 13th sobriety anniversary and what I will be doing to acknowledge that, and how I sent out an inquiry to the dean of the school I’m thinking about applying to.

My therapist is way behind me going for it.

It’s nice to have that support.

And she made a really good observation that by the time I will finish up my PhD I will also be close to accruing all my hours for licensure.

That sure would be swell.

My PhD and my license.

I’m so down for that.

I got a response to my inquiry late afternoon today while I was at work.

I probably had gotten it far earlier, but work was a busy one and I didn’t check my phone until nearly end of day.

And there it was, a message from the dean in response to my ask.

She told me two very valuable bits of information–the program only accepts students in the fall and the deadline for the upcoming fall semester is the end of February.

My timing couldn’t be better.

She asked that we make time to chat soon either in person or over the phone.

I asked for a phone interview to discuss the program after I get out of supervision next Monday morning.

I am going for it.

I can’t believe I writing that and at the same time it feels exactly like what I am supposed to be doing.

I am genuinely excited.


It will be more work, but I’m used to it at this point, I’ve been doing the work now for over two and a half years, I know what needs to be done and the time it goes by so quick.

“How’s school?”  A friend asked me New Year’s Eve.

“I graduate in May!” I told her, I might have squealed, jumping up in down a tiny bit.

“Oh my god, didn’t you just start?”


That’s what it feels like, like I just started, and I also feel like I’ve been doing it for a really long time, the school bit has very much informed my last two and a half years, it has colored literally everything I have done.

And not done.

Oh the social stuff I have missed out on.

Then again.

I cannot fathom the growth that I would not have had if I not been in school.

The growth I have had is astounding.

Nothing says personal growth quite like going to school to be a counseling therapist.


Let me process some stuff ok?

On top of getting back into therapy.

Thank God for therapy.

It’s been so good for me.

So I’m not mad at what I “missed” I have gained so very much.

And I’m just going to keep growing.

What a magnificent thing.

To be on a path where I am always learning and growing.

That is a gift.


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