Posts Tagged ‘MFT’

I Passed!

June 21, 2019

I passed my motherfucking Law & Ethics exam!

I am so stoked.

And.

Tomorrow is the last day that I work for the family nannying for six weeks.

They are off to Europe and I am off.

Well.

Not really.

I’m still seeing therapy clients, and tomorrow will be a full day, work in the morning with the family helping them get all their ducks in a row before they fly out, plus four clients in the afternoon and early evening, and solo supervision.

Plus.

Four client sessions on Saturday.

But.

Then.

Freedom.

No weekend of studying and listening to the audio tapes and taking the mock exams.

I mean.

The relief is real.

Last Sunday I studied for three hours and took two mock exams.

I felt blown the fuck out.

I let myself have off completely on Monday.

I only listened to the pep talk, which was good and helpful and then I had a normal day at work.

Well.

Not really normal, all the kids were off from school and both parents were out, one traveling and one working long hours.

So I had all three kids all day long Monday.

In fact.

I got in an hour early and stayed 45 minutes late.

One parent got a delayed flight, so the other had to scrambled to cover me and get me out.

I was really grateful I had done all the rest of the studying on Sunday, despite being so tired of the material.

I didn’t do any studying after work Monday, in fact, the test prep folks don’t recommend it, I let all the work settle in and get situated, and hung out with my best friend and did the deal and went and ate at Marnee Thai.

Good company and good food.

No studying.

It helped.

I got up early Tuesday, ate a good breakfast, got my stuff ready for the day, I had to work and see clients.

And in retrospect that would be the only thing I change.

I was blown the fuck out by the time I got to work, my brain was scrambled and the adrenaline that had been coursing through my blood sucker punched me and I had a bit of a crash at work.

And I had all three kids and I had clients afterward.

The next time I take a test I will remember this.

Take the damn whole day off.

As there will be another test.

But not for about another year and a half, two years, which will be when I get all my hours accrued and it will be the last thing I have to do did get fully licensed as a MFT.

The board exam used to be one comprehensive test and it took four hours to do.

A few years back the BBS (Behavioral Board of Science) changed it and split it up into two exams.

The first exam, the Law & Ethics exam, has to be taken before you can renew your Associate Marriage and Family License.

The license has to be renewed after one year.

My license will expire on June 30th.

So I took it this past Tuesday, the 18th, to make sure that I had time and if something happened, like I got super sick, I could cancel and reschedule the test before my license expired.

There will be no expired license however.

I renewed the same day I passed my test.

The test was no joke.

And it was stress inducing.

Even the exam area was stressful.

No coats or jackets with pockets, no phone, no purse.

No watch.

I had to take off my watch.

The room was cold, thank God I had the sense to wear a cardigan, I had an intuition that the room was going to be heavily A/C’ed and it certainly was.

I did the test the exact way the prep course recommended.

Answered every question and marked the ones that I wanted to go back on.

I didn’t let myself get hung up on trying to figure anything out.

If I knew it, I knew it and answered.

If I didn’t know it, I spent a little extra time looking at the options, but I still answered it and then just marked it to come back to.

I did almost get stuck on the first one and then remembered, to do what was suggested, answer it, mark it, and move on.

I also took a bathroom break, which is allowed, but only for five minutes and they time you in and out.

I took three minutes.

I took the break after having finished the whole test.

The prep had recommended getting up, using the bathroom or walking around and letting your brain take a moment before going back into the test to the marked questions.

It was great advice and I came back in and answered all the marked questions, I had fifteen marked.

There were two questions that I thought were definitely experimental, the exam consists of 75 questions, 50 that you have to get right and 25 that are experimental, but the BBS doesn’t give a clue what the experimental ones are and I had absolutely no clue what the answers were.  I felt like I used good logic though, and that the purpose of the test, really what they are testing you on quite often, is if can you figure out the best answer by using logic.

The CA MFT Law and Ethics exam is comprised of 40% Law and 60% Ethics. Within the Law portion, 14% is dedicated to Confidentiality, Privilege and Consent, 16% to Limits of Confidentiality / Mandated Reporting, and 10% to Legal Standards for Professional Practice. Within Ethics, 18% is dedicated to Professional Competence and Preventing Harm, 27% to Therapeutic Relationships, and 15% to Business Practices and Policies.

Passing this exam on the first attempt is very important, as the Board of Behavioral Sciences (BBS) will require you to wait 90 days after failing the exam before you can retest, and you will need to take a 12-hour Continuing Education course on Law and Ethics and pay a $100 processing fee.

The California Law and Ethics exam consists of 75 multiple-choice questions. 50 questions are scored, and 25 questions are considered experimental and will not count toward your final score. The experimental questions can appear anywhere on the exam; the BBS does not indicate which questions will count and which are experimental.

I was told I would leave feeling like I wasn’t sure if I had passed.

I can say, this is true.

I really wasn’t sure.

I was hopeful.

But I wasn’t sure.

So.

The fucking relief when the exam paper printed up and the proctor handed me the results was huge.

HUGE.

They don’t let you know what your score is, only that you passed.

CONGRATULATIONS!

In all caps, just like that, you have passed the California Law and Ethics exam.

And like that it was done.

Such relief.

I almost burst into tears walking out of the test site.

I made myself sit in my car for a few minutes  before I headed out.

It was a damn big deal.

And I am very proud of myself for passing.

Super proud.

And so ready for a break.

Like.

Really fucking ready.

I just have to power through the next two days.

I can do that.

I got rainbow and sunshine and six weeks without nannying and a trip to Havana, Cuba to look forward to.

I passed my motherfucking Law & Ethics exam.

It was a good day.

 

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Straight A’s

June 2, 2019

I got my grades back.

It’s official.

Straight A’s for the second semester.

Which means that I have a 4.0 for my first year of my PhD program.

I am pretty damn pleased.

Even if, in the grand scheme of things, nobody really gives a damn about my grades in a PhD program.

I don’t believe I have ever heard someone ask another person what their GPA was for a PhD.  Most folks just stop at, holy fuck, you got a PhD.

Holy fuck are my words.

I mean.

I certainly wouldn’t care what someone’s GPA is if they got a PhD, they got a PhD!

That’s some big work.

And.

Nevertheless.

I am quite pleased.

Really pleased.

It was a hard semester.

I really thought life was going to fucking end when I got shingles.

On top of the wicked bad break up and just feeling overwhelmed with being in a PhD program, trying to grow my private practice and working full time as a nanny.

It was a big deal for me to get straight A’s.

I’m one of the few people in my cohort working full time.

My cohort also is getting smaller.

Two more people dropped out and another two decided to do the three year course track versus the two year.

I am not doing that.

I am staying put with the two year run on getting the required course work out of the way and I hope to do the rest of the work in two years.

I think I could even do it in a year and a half if I follow the example of one of my TA’s who really busted ass.

I’m not going to push myself too hard, it’s a lot of work no matter what.

I’m not so focused on it at the moment anyhow.

I’m studying for something else.

My Law & Ethics exam for the BBS (Behavioral Board of Sciences) here in California.

An Associate MFT has to take the Law & Ethics exam to renew their license.

My license expires on June 30th.

I am set to take the test on Tuesday, June 18th at 9a.m.

I have to get 70% to pass the test.

It’s a tricky little thing and there’s a lot of picky details that have to be addressed.

I am using the Therapist Development Center’s test prep to study.

So far I’m about half way through the material, maybe a bit more.

I’ve studied a good bit so far, but haven’t hit the 70% yet on the test.

Today I took a practice exam and got 61%.

Ugh.

This is not to beat myself up.

The first time I took one of the practice tests I think I got 48%.

I didn’t study, you just take it and see where you are at then start studying.

So I have gotten better, but still need to improve.

I really am fairly confident though.

I have two more weeks of studying and the material builds on itself.

I also have taken the tests really fast.

You’re given 75 minutes to do the test.

My first prep test I did in 15 minutes.

The next I might have taken 18 minutes.

Today I took one and forced myself to slow down a bit.

I still finished it in 30 minutes, maybe 35.

I will be able to have more than ample time to go back and recheck questions that don’t make sense.

Some of them I just made stupid mistakes from reading a little too fast, some of it is just remembering to sort out all the weird numbers that you have to know.

When to report to Child Protective Services versus Adult Protective Services for instance, when there’s an abuse you make an immediate report but each service requires you to also turn in a written report and they’re different times.

Or.

What is the smallest font that you can use on a release form?

Or.

All the different ages around when a therapist has to report child abuse if a minor is having sex.

It makes sense once it’s digested, but it took me a few rounds of listening to the lectures to get it all sussed out in my head.

I really am not worried though.

I take tests well and I have plenty of time to make it through all the study materials and actually go through the lecture series a second time.

I’m really ready to give the studying a break though.

I am really ready for some time off from hitting the books.

I basically one weekend of “down time” between my last paper and having to start the studying for the exam.

Two more weeks.

Take the test.

Pass it.

And then get ready for my Havana, Cuba trip.

The family I nanny for will also leave for a summer trip and I will have some down time too.

I’ll have to stay local for the most part, but I think I might be able to sneak in a little road trip or maybe a couple of nights out of town, drive up the coast.

I see my clients on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays.

So a little road trip on a Sunday or a Monday seems like a thing.

Santa Cruz or maybe Monterey.

I haven’t been to Stinson in a long time either or Muir Beach.

I could go to Point Reyes and get oysters or do a drive up Mt. Tam.

Lots of options.

Just some more studying to do before I can.

And a moment.

A sweet little moment to acknowledge that I showed the fuck up for this semester despite life challenges.

And I got all motherfucking A’s.

I’ll take it.

Seriously.

 

Get Paid

January 5, 2019

It’s not going to be a lot.

But it’s going to be something.

Two things.

First I got a raise at the beginning of the year, 5%, which is lovely, and will go into effect my next paycheck.

The amount that will show up on my actual paycheck is pretty small.

Still, anything is helpful.

And.

I applied to become an employee with Grateful Heart last night.

Currently I am what is called a “volunteer.”

I don’t get paid anything.

My clients pay me and I deposit that money into a one way account.

Grateful Heart administration is the only entity that can withdraw anything from it.

I can’t touch it.

I recently turned in my hours, client hours, and how much I took in, to the administrative team, which keeps tabs on all the therapists in the community and double checks the accounts against the reporting that is being done.

I am scrupulous with the money coming in and I have documented everything correctly.

The fastest a new Associate Marriage Family Therapist can become an employee with Grateful Heart is three months.

January 1st marked three months for me with the agency.

I applied on January 3rd after reporting my client hours and income for the month of December.  I have to do it once a month and as I noted, it gets matched against the bank account.

Their policy is that once a $1,000 prudent reserve is met and three months of income have been established a volunteer can apply to become an employee.

I should get approved pretty quick.

Fingers crossed, we have had some administrative changes recently, new hires, etc, I can’t believe it would take a lot of effort to look over my accounts and verify that I have what it takes to become an employee.

I am not bringing in heaps of money.

But.

I am bringing it in.

In fact.

Applying for the position actually showed me how much I have been doing in regards to establishing myself as a new therapist in the community.

In my first month I brought in $700.

In my second month, $1700.

Last month, $2400.

My rent gets taken out and a hefty ($350) administrative fee, the rest is left in my account, which has begun to actually accrue some funds.

I have more than met the prudent reserve and I have money that I could actually be collecting.

For myself.

Like real income.

They have a formula to help you figure out what you can take out without dipping below the reserve and also that I have to be paid the minimum wage for the hours I claim.

Minimum wage in San Francisco is $15 an hour.

So basically I will get paid slightly less than half my nanny wage.

Ugh.

But.

I will be able to increase that fairly quickly, I believe, and I will, once I become an employee, be able to get compensated for office costs.

I will also get reimbursed for my own therapy.

And that money will not be taxed or charged the 12.5% fee that Grateful Heart will also start taking as soon as I become an employee.

So, rent, administrative costs, and 12.5% goes to them and I get the rest.

It is not enough to live on by any means.

However.

It is more coming in and since my rent is a $1,000 more a month than it used to be.

(ugh)

It really will help.

Especially getting the money back from my own personal therapy.

It made me sort of chuckle when I thought about it.

I’m doing therapy to get therapy.

Heh.

I was required by my Master’s program to work with a licensed MFT and I could have dropped her and the therapy once my program ended, I worked with her for a year.

But.

It’s been helpful and I sense that it’s better for me to stay with it for a while yet.

It’s been very supportive of my transition with school, the PhD program, moving, old childhood trauma, family of origin issues, etc.

So, I’ll keep doing it and getting some money back to pay for it will feel really nice.

I’m feeling a lot of relief knowing that some more income will be coming in and it’s also a nice way to see that all these years of work is actually beginning to pay off.

Not a lot of pay off.

Yet.

But it will happen.

I had set an intention on my birthday last month that this would be my last year as a nanny.

I will have 25 full fee, weekly, seriously committed, wonderful clients who I get to help and empower by the end of this upcoming year.

25 is the number of clients most therapists aim for.

One could do more, but you court burn out.

It’s a lot of work to show up and be present for people and listen and reflect and use theory and trainings and bear witness to trauma.

Horrible trauma.

And it’s a great gift too.

I am a good therapist.

I really am and I am proud of the work I have done to get where I am.

I’m excited to help more people.

I’m happy that I have a career.

Not that having been a nanny hasn’t been a beautiful career, it just has an end and I feel it coming close.

I’ve been doing it for 12 years.

Amongst some other things, but mostly nannying.

Which is its own kind of therapy, when it’s done well, I believe.

I have been out to the parks a lot lately and I’ve been finding myself really judgmental.

I draw kids to me like flies, I literally had my little girl charge today (alone most of the day, three parks, Souvla for lunch, two toy stores for stickers, balloons, ice cream from BiRite Creamery with rainbow sprinkles) up at Dolores Park and at one point found myself surrounded by five little monkeys demanding snacks.

Friends of hers from her private school.

It was adorable and also intense.

Good thing I had packed extra snacks.

Kids love me and I them, but sometimes it becomes quite obvious when  a child isn’t getting their needs filled–emotional, physical, intellectual–and like a heat seeking missile they will go to someone who does.

That was me a lot today.

I just wanted to shout out, put down your Iphones and pay attention to your children!

But.

I didn’t.

And I’m glad I didn’t, it would have looked rather untoward.

If I’m honest too, my current family hired me because the mom remembered seeing me at the playground with a former set of charges and something similar happened.

She told me later that she realized I was a treasure and that she had been ecstatic when she found out I was going to be available.

Anyway.

Here’s to drawing clients to me like I drew children to me today.

I also have to say, when I really let myself acknowledge it, children are honest and if they like you it says a lot and if they trust you it says a lot too.

I was trusted a lot today at the parks, I got to be surrounded by much happy love.

Which is beautiful and I hope that I will in turn pass that along to the clients I get to see tomorrow, and all my days thereafter.

 

Today

August 14, 2018

I was tired.

No bones about it.

It was a long day.

I woke up wishing the alarm had not gone off, which is unusual when I have gotten enough sleep.

Logically I had.

I had gotten eight hours.

But my brain did not want to get up, did not want to get out of bed, the grey foggy morning was not at all enticing.

I think I’ve just become exhausted with the emotional overwhelm and the finality of the ending of my relationship, the beginning of the new internship, and yes.

School.

Ugh.

School stars in 17 days.

Yesterday I started reading.

I have two books that have landed in my post box and two electronic books.

I haven’t even opened the electronic books, I hate e-books, I don’t have a reader, I’d have to read from my laptop or from my phone.

I like taking notes, I like underling things, I like carrying the book around so that I may read it when I have spare moments.

I did not have many spare moments today.

I thought I might, but both monkeys were home from camp and the baby and mom had her Monday morning meeting and I went from 0 to 60 the minute I walked through the door.

Which was fine.

I mean.

I was a touch disappointed that I couldn’t do any reading, but hey, it’s work, I’m lucky if I get down time and it does happen.

I just have to remind myself to keep bringing the books with me, the paperwork, the other things that I need to do so that when the down time does land I’m not there holding nothing but my Iphone and my Instagram feed.

The reading I did do was a scant fifteen minutes before my first client showed up.

It was my first client who said no definitively to going to the new internship with me.

I was not expecting the client to do so and or the following client who also demurred.

I am just really grateful for the time I have had working with them and to acknowledge that they will be missed.

So I have three clients who will go with, one on the fence, who I will see tomorrow, and another who is MIA.

I already know that client will also not be joining me at the new practice.

Private practice means higher prices, not all my clients can afford higher prices.

Jesus.

Speaking of.

I just remembered I had two emails, no three, that I needed to respond to from my new internship.

I was too busy juggling monkeys today to attend to them.

Plus.

When I got home I had two emails to deal with regarding my current internship.

Whew.

But they all have been addressed, I have tracked my hours for today’s clients, logged into my own Google calendar, updated things, and feel ready for the next tiny action.

I keep reminding myself that they are just going to be whatever next small action in front of me I can do.

There are a lot of balls in the air right now but I can move forward slowly if I just put focus on one thing at a time.

I mean.

I haven’t yet got my syllabi for the program, despite having been told they would be available in July (bwahahaha, I know this university and didn’t actually expect that to happen), so the reading I’m doing is pretty proactive and I can put it aside if I need to.

I do expect that in the next couple of days I will get the notification that I have syllabi up.

As for my current internship, I’m doing all the things, seeing clients, and having now alerted all my clients to the transition I can take the next steps forward to closing down our therapy treatments and transferring the clients who are staying with Liberation Institution.

I just responded to the new internship with the dates of availability I have for the next round of orientation.

2.5 hours.

Total of five hours of just orientation.

But you know, I felt so dropped with the training at my current internship, I am very happy to be getting this support from the new place.

Especially as I will be embarking on a very new endeavor and getting paid for the work I do.

I am very happy to think about that.

I also am very happy to think about staying with them for a while.

They have a bridge program that allows a licenced MFT to stay with them should I so choose, which would allow me to offset my student loan debt.

The internship is a non-profit.

Unless, fingers fucking crossed, the current administration dismantles it, there is student loan forgiveness if you work with a nonprofit for ten years.

I had flirted with the idea of staying with Liberation but knew that I couldn’t do it ten years without getting some sort of recompense.

It would mean a lot of extra side work.

But Grateful Heart will be a place I can work and get paid and I will be able to build my practice and I could be making double to triple what I make now as a nanny within a year to a year and a half.

And more once I licenced.

And more once I have my PhD.

I could still be working under the non-profit and supporting them by taking low-income clients, but also support myself and get my student loans paid off.

I’m going to have about 125-150,000 in loans once this is all said and done.

Maybe not quite that much, but I did the calculations for 150,000 to just give myself an idea of what that would look like if I stayed with Grateful Heart and I think, so far, that it’s well worth it.

Of course.

This is all speculation.

And this lady is tired.

But I do feel better for having one step at a time gotten through the day and realized that there is only so much I can do.

And.

Only so much I have to do.

Which are all things.

I get to do.

Offer Accepted!

August 7, 2018

It’s official.

I just now, literally just seconds ago, replied with my acceptance for the Grateful Heart Therapy internship.

I am now part of their 2018 Fall cohort.

I will begin October 1st!

I can hardly believe it.

I will get to see clients and get paid.

I will get to have one office, instead of four different offices.

And!

Oh the nicest thing!

I found out that the Thursday morning group supervision meets in San Francisco not Alameda!

This is huge.

Especially since the group also meets a little earlier than I thought, 8:15 a.m.

But it’s done by 10:30 a.m. and I’ll be at work by 11 a.m.

I won’t lose any hours at work, I won’t have to finagle more money from somewhere else, in fact, once I start accruing a few more clients I will actually make some money.

I won’t for the first few months, it will take some time to accrue the prudent reserve the non-profit needs me to have to make sure that I can pay rent and supervision fees.

But that’s fine.

I have time to do that.

I have time and I will get paid, I suspect that I will start getting paychecks from them in or around January of next year.

I think it will take about three months to accrue the prudent reserve.

I am over the moon.

This is happening.

I will have an office.

Yes, it’s an office I will be sharing with my former professor, so it’s not mine, I haven’t decorated it, the couch isn’t mine, but I will get to rent from her and I will get to be in the space and it’s much nicer than the majority of my offices that I have currently with Liberation Institute.

One office.

God that just sounds so damn nice.

One key instead of four.

I am a very happy lady.

I almost told my boss today, but it was a hectic day with my charges, summer camps, doctors appointments, etc, and there was never really a moment that felt right.

And I’m glad that I didn’t, because I would have jumped the gun regarding the Thursday supervision.

My god I am so grateful that it’s in San Francisco and not Alameda.

Sure, I’m still going to have to deal with commuter traffic on Thursdays, but not having to go over the bridge is huge.

Such a relief.

It feels really nice to move forward.

I told one client today that I had gotten the internship and gave a soft notice for October 1st.

Now I will have to tell the rest of my clients.

Some I know will come with me.

Some will not.

For the ones who will not I will need to do a little footwork with my current internship to make sure that they are transitioned well to their next therapists.

For the ones that will go with me I will just have to tell them what office to start meeting me in when October rolls around.

Which shouldn’t be any kind of big deal as my new office is going to be in the same building as my current internship.

That is the best part of this new internship, I get to decide where I want to rent an office, and Grateful Heart takes care of the lease.

At some point I will transition completely into my own office, and I want to stay in the same building.

There is nice community there and I like the location, Activ Space (sic) in the Mission at Treat and 18th.

There’s a Gus’s Market just a block away, Stable Cafe, the new park on Folsom street at 17th, there’s Rainbow Grocery just a few blocks away, there’s plenty of parking.

And if I should want the building also has parking if I want to rent a spot.

I probably won’t at this point, but in the future when I have a sustainable income and my bills are being met well I will.

I really like the idea of having covered parking, the street parking isn’t horrible, but there are homeless folks around and there’s a bit of drug trafficking that happens in the neighborhood.

Tonight I came out and some guy was smoking crack on the sidewalk.

No thanks.

I don’t get bothered, but I know at some point it would be nice to come out of my therapy office and just get into my car without interacting with that sort of scene.

Anyway, that’s in the future.

Right now I am just going to take a moment to bask in the glow of having accepted the offer.

I really am proud of myself and the work I have done to get here.

Not just the Master’s degree and the traineeship and the internship at Liberation Institute.

But also that when it looked like my former professor and I were going to work together and then I found out we couldn’t that I didn’t sit on my ass and mope.

I went out and discovered that there were things I could do.

I heard about Grateful Heart from my therapist and remembered I knew someone who was there and met with that person and got my shit together and did the big application and got it in to the organization before I left for Paris.

I turned it all around in three weeks.

Then I got a asked to interview, which I did this past Saturday and today I got the offer.

That’s basically a month from finding out that the original plan wasn’t going to work to finding and solidifying a totally new internship.

One that is actually better for me than the original.

One door shuts.

Another door opens.

Seriously!

Being Proactive

July 9, 2018

I got a lot done today!

I also forgot a couple of times what day of the week it is.

Heh.

It is not often that I have the luxury of forgetting what day of the week it is, but I did today.

It was sort of nice to just do the next thing in front of me and let go of the results.

Life goes pretty smooth when I do that.

I am happy to report I got up and went to yoga.

Two days in a row!

And despite having the next few days “free” in the mornings, I won’t make another yoga class until Thursday or possibly Friday.

The classes available don’t quite fit my schedule.

A schedule that does have a few time slots of delicious opening, but that I have made some time to see friends and do lunches, grab coffees, catch up and connect.

I’d rather connect with friends right now than worry about making another yoga class appear in my schedule.

Suffice to say.

I am glad I went though, it felt good and I felt good for going.

I also did meet with a lady today and do the deal and I got a lot of work done to apply for the paid internship that I have been researching.

Namely.

I updated my resume for the position and I reached out to two supervisors to write me letters of recommendation.

Both gave me a resounding yes they would be happy to do so.

That felt really good.

I’m about half way done with what the application requires for the internship.

There’s a lot they want to see.

The rest of it is a matter of sitting down and doing some writing and figuring out a mission statement for myself and my vision of a private practice.

Fortunately, in my last semester one of my classes, Integrative Seminar, made a big point about this and I feel like all I have to do is go back through the notes I took to be able to give the internship what it’s looking for.

I also have to do a business plan.

That feels a little more challenging, but they have some templates and I’ve been reading over everything and I believe I can come up with something that will do the job.

It is certainly good practice no matter what comes of it.

I do feel good about the internship though, my friend whom I spoke to about it really felt that I would be a good fit and after speaking with her, I feel the same.

I also have to acknowledge that in the 8 days since I found out the internship that I thought I would have had fallen through I have done a lot of footwork to find a new one.

I have researched and reached out.

I had a coffee date to sit with my friend and find out if it was a good fit for me.

I reached out to two supervisors for letters of recommendation.

I also reached out to the woman who I was going to intern with and asked her if she still had any interest in renting out office space to me.

I don’t know that it makes sense for me to rent my own office.

In fact.

I don’t think that I could afford it.

Hell.

When I look at what’s available on craigslist as I navigate through my current living situation, I can’t afford what’s out there to rent, let alone a full-time office space.

The best bet for me is to do what my friend does, she shares the office she works out of with another therapist.  She’s in her office two days a week with clients, the other five days the licensed MFT is using it.

I figure that the woman who was going to supervise me does have office space availability, I mean she did when we talked and unless something has changed she probably still does.

Thus the email inquiry.

I also asked if she might still want to supervise me, but under the auspices of the internship who would pay her the rent on the office and pay her a fee for supervision and then the internship with take out admin fees from my account and whatever is left over would be my paycheck.

It will probably take some months before I even get money, but if I do it right and I work at it in a steady way, I could be making a decent amount after about half a year.

Not enough to quit being a nanny, not by far, but enough to help pay the bills and maybe go down to part-time nannying instead of full-time.

Of course.

I also have my school program coming up to contend with.

I have been thinking it will be much like my Masters degree the last year of it, working pretty much full-time as a nanny for my current family, seeing clients after work, and then doing my homework on the weekends.

I will slowly accrue hours.

And that will be alright.

As long as I’m not stagnating.

It’s work, but work towards an end goal.

And I really like being a therapist.

It feels good and right and it feels like this is how I bring more love into the world.

I saw the Mister Rogers movie, “Won’t You Be My Neighbor” today with my person.

It was so good.

I was so happy he persuaded me to put aside our recovery work for an afternoon and just go duck into a movie theater and watch an amazing movie.

If you haven’t seen it, go!

It was astounding.

And I grew up watching Mister Rogers, so it felt especially poignant.

I also appreciated it and the principles of spirituality, basic child psychology, inclusion, and love that he was obviously basing his life work around.

It was a beautiful movie and I left feeling hopeful and happy that as things progress it’s all going to work out.

I just have to keep love in my heart and be honest in my person.

I have faith I can do that.

I really do.

Shaky Hands

June 10, 2018

I actually had some nerves today.

Oh.

I suppose, I have a touch of anxiety all the time, but I do manage it for the most part decently, but today, I noticed, shit, my hands are actually trembling.

Big.

Deep.

Breath.

Everything is ok

And of course it was.

Everything was fabulous, but I was still nervous.

I was putting together all the pieces for my BBS application for my AMFT#.

This number which will prove to the therapy world in general that I actually graduated from an accredited university with a program that fulfills all the BBS requirements for eventual licensure.

Graduated with a 4.0 to boot.

Not that I think any of my clients are every going to ask what my GPA is, none have so far.

I certainly didn’t think about asking my therapist that, didn’t cross my mind.

Didn’t really need to.

I know she’s licensed and she was transparent with me and let me know that she had gone to CIIS as well, which was so helpful, has continued to be helpful, and she has become such a resource for me.

She was an advocate for me going after a private practice internship and she told me point-blank that she would refer clients to me.

That’s probably a better recommendation for a client to know than my GPA.

Granted.

I am damn proud of it, I worked my ass off to get through his program and I got through.

And sitting at my table watching the YouTube instructional video on how to fill out my BBS application really brought it all together.

How much work to get to this point.

Filling out this huge application.

Getting LiveScan fingerprinting, which basically goes to the DOJ and the FBI and then to the BBS to find out if I have anything wonky on my record, which, of course I don’t.

I mean.

I have been background checked for two different nanny jobs, plus my school’s program requires it before I am allowed to go into practicum, as I would be seeing clients, so I knew nothing was going to come up.

But the DOJ and the FBI?

Wowzers.

Next to the stack of application were my two envelopes stamped “Do Not Open” in bright red block letters, from my school.

One envelope held my transcripts.

The other envelope held the program requirements and verified that my program met all BBS requirements, like that I took Child/Elder/Spousal Abuse, or Psychopharmacology, and of course the big guy, the class on the DSM V.

Attached to the application was also my passport photo that I got at the Walgreens in the Castro last Saturday.

“You’re really pretty,” the young woman said who took my photo.

Thanks sugar, I was busy scrutinizing the furrowed lines in my brow and wondering if they had come about from all the reading that I had done over the last three years.

Then.

Another check, this time made out to the Behavioral Sciences Fund.

I don’t have a clue what that funds, but hey, here’s some money.

Now please.

Process my application and get my number to be ASAP!

Please and thank you.

And when I was in group supervision today I found out that the turn around time on the AMFT# is far quicker than I had thought.

I was told I would probably get my number in a month!

Holy cats.

So.

I let said cat out of the bag and told my supervision group that I had obtained a private practice internship and I would be leaving them for her.

It was really nice to receive the congratulations and the acknowledgement of the work that I have done and also that I was super lucky, one of the members in my group has done work with my soon to be supervisor and we both gushed about her.

It was good timing to, for me, to find this out, because it started me in the mode of what I will do next to wrap up with my clients.

I will begin telling them soon, giving them all the opportunity to find closure with me and also that I will be available to them if they want to continue working with me.

It feels super great too that any clients that opt to come with me will be able to continue to go to the same facility.

I won’t be moving at all.

I will just be in a different office, instead of in a different office every night.

So.

Yes.

I noticed the shaky hands and I told myself it was ok, that I was doing great, that I had it all filled out correctly and if I had somehow fucked it up that would be ok too.

But I don’t think that I did.

I am pretty damn sure I crossed all my t’s and dotted all the i’s.

I headed to the mid Sunset and dropped it all into a fat envelope and spent the extra money, as the YouTube video insisted that I do, for tracking and I sent it certified mail so that it is signed for and I will now when they receive it.

I was told they would get it by Monday!

Holy crap.

So.

Sometime in July, fingers crossed, I shall get my AMFT# and I will be able to make the transition to the other internship.

An internship that I am very ready for.

I also called CAMFT and talked to a person there about what my supervisor and I need to do to set up the private practice internship.

I was given really good suggestions and directed to an article on the topic.

I will be reading that soon.

I have a “next steps” meeting with my new supervisor July 11.

I can’t wait.

I don’t know if I will have my number in hand.

But I know I will have it awfully soon.

And hopefully I will have a steady hand when I open the envelope from the BBS.

Fuck.

Who cares.

I certainly won’t.

But I might whoop with glee.

I have done that a few times today.

It feels so good to take positive actions.

So.

So.

So.

Good.

Summer

June 6, 2018

Or so it seems when I am on social media.

Not that San Francisco is exactly its normal summer beast of fog and cold wind, though, true, it’s been quite windy, it’s just not really warm.

Although I did catch a bit of sun this past weekend, I’ve been thinking a lot about how it’s “summer vacation.”

It doesn’t quite feel like that.

I mean.

I got up, went to therapy, worked a full day at work, then saw clients at my internship.

It does not scream summer vacation.

I keep getting this cute, well-meaning messages about enjoy all the time you have now that you’re not in school!

Sure.

And I can’t complain, there is a feeling of easing into this moment of not having to write a paper or get something signed or run around to this supervisor or that, but I still have things to do.

Tomorrow I will get my fingerprints taken with LiveScan and then I am one step closer to turning in my application to the BBS.

I’m really happy to have the process moving along.

The faster I can get that number the faster I will start seeing clients at my paid internship.

 

That too, the paid internship, is going to have some working parts that I have to figure out.

My supervisor has not had a supervisee before, or an intern, I’ll be her first.

So I need to do some due diligence and find out the things that I need and the things that she needs to do.

I have a membership to CAMFT, the California Association of Marriage Family Therapist, so that means I get to call them and ask questions when I need help and this definitely falls under their bailiwick.

I get insurance with CAMFT as I’m still technically a student.

Which is really nice.

And I get to use their legal team too.

Not that I think I need their legal team for finding out what the necessities are for being a paid intern.

I just need to contact them and ask some questions.

Of course.

That has not so much been on my mind.

I’ve been trying to reconnect with the phone counselor who left me a message from the SF Tenant’s Union and not having any luck.

I may just end up going into the office for another quick drop in to ask a few follow-up questions.

Tomorrow I’m planning on getting my LiveScan fingerprints done at a place on Mission Street and if it goes quickly I am thinking I will pop over to the Tenant’s Union afterward, they are open until 7p.m.

I just want a little more direction on what next actions to take.

It feels better for me to be taking action rather than just sitting on my hands.

I am still looking at places, but I think that until I have a touch more clarity I am not going to move real fast on anything.

I know it’s important to keep doing actions though, as I don’t know which action will result in me finding a new place to live.

I, as I have said before, am casting a wide net.

I don’t feel as pressured to find a place as I did when I first got the news since I found out that the 90 day verbal notice is not legal, but then again, as I expressed to my therapist today, processed the shit out of this situation let me tell you, I also don’t like living somewhere I’m not wanted.

And I feel somehow small in this space now.

It’s gone from being a little cozy and sweet, to being cramped and cave like.

Maybe it’s that need for summer, for sun, for light, that makes me feel this way.

But I want something bigger, more expansive, something that will support me in this next phase of my life as I work on my PhD degree and accrue the rest of my MFT hours for licensure.

I want abundance.

I keep writing about what my next place will look like, I try to see it in my head, I don’t always, but I do have a really good sense of what I want.

Of course.

What I really want is my own place.

But that’s a pricey thing in the city unless I go with a studio or, as I just did, I continue to apply to the Below Market housing through DAHLIA, which requires that new buildings in the city rent a certain number of units below the market value of the apartment.

Tonight I applied for a lottery for 33 Tehama.

I’m not really interested in that neighborhood all that much, to tell the truth, but fuck,  a 1 bedroom in the brand new building at below market is renting for $1303-$1450.

I can fucking afford that.

I’m basically paying $1352 right now for my studio.

Few more bucks for a one bedroom in a brand new building with views of the Bay Bridge and a spa and bocce court, yes please, I’ll take it right now.

My dream is to have my own place, but yeah, unless I win the lottery, and I would love to win this one, or the Yerba Buena Dream House Raffle, which I did buy a ticket for when I got my tax return, living alone may be out of the question.

Unless I get a studio in the Tenderloin and that is just not appealing.

I would be in the thick of a notorious neighborhood with a lot of open drug use and dealing.

I can only imagine how long it would take for someone to break into my car after I parked to go home.

Two minutes.

So studio’s like that are out.

I’m open to studios out here and I have checked out a few, but nothing that compares to what I have.

I’m open though.

And I really do believe that things are going to work out for me and the new place I move into will be amazing.

I really do believe that.

So, yeah, summer.

It’s here but not here.

I’m sure it will feel like it soon though.

Three weeks from today I will be flying into New York City baby!

I cannot wait.

I am so very ready for my summer vacation.

So ready.

 

Kicking Ass

April 27, 2018

Taking names.

Or so it felt like.

I mean.

I just re-arranged my calendar and wrote some e-mails.

But it felt really good.

I had a lot of small things that I needed to attend to today and I was given a beautiful chunk of alone time at the work today to do so.

I knew that I was going to have a couple of hours so I brought my computer with me today.

I don’t normally, but today, with the promise of two to three hours on my own I knew I would be remorseful if I wasted that time.

I read an article for my Research Methods class.

I emailed two supervisors, no, three!

I got my supervision schedule figured out for the next couple of weeks.

Unfortunately I have to skip 1/2 of a class on Saturday of my next school weekend, but as I’ve already turned in my final paper for that class I don’t feel too bad about it.

I usually go to a Wednesday night supervision group if I can’t make my Saturday group and when I e-mailed the supervisor got back to me and said the group was overbooked, she wouldn’t be able to see me.

I was a touch annoyed, but then I thought, ok, I’ll just cut class half way through and I’ll email the professor letting her know why I am.

Basically not playing hooky to go to the beach, but cutting class to spend two hours in supervision so that I can see my clients that week.

Then.

I went over my graduation check list again.

One would think that it would be easy but, um no.

It is two pages, two, of things that need to be done.

From therapy verification forms–my program requires that I attend a year of therapy with a licenced MFT, which I have done but I have not had  my therapist sign off on the form yet, technically I have to attend a few more sessions to hit the 50 sessions required, but I have been going for a year, I’m shy a few sessions from my therapist being on vacation, but my therapist has assured me she will sign the form.

I’ve done 44 sessions, I’ll be doing my 45th on Tuesday and I plan on bringing in the form with me to have her sign it then.

I won’t be ending therapy with her, she’s great and I could stand the support as I proceed further in my career.

Heck.

My career has barely even started, I’m not yet even to the point where I can get paid.

But.

I’m not that far off.

Which brings me to some exciting news.

I have an interview with a private practice to be an intern next Wednesday!

The therapist is a former professor, one of the ones I reached out to the last time I was writing this blog, and she got back to me yesterday saying yes, she would be interested and we should talk, when was good?

I shot her some times and we have a date to talk next Wednesday at 3 p.m.

I am over the moon.

First, because she is amazing and a great teacher and how she held the frame of the class leads me to believe that she is also a really gifted therapist and she’s someone I can learn a lot from.

Second, a private practice intern gets paid.

Not much, but fuck, it’s better than the zero dollars I get now for seeing clients.

I know, I know, all the experience I’m gaining, and though it’s true, I’ve also been training for the last three years to do what I do and I’m good.  I deserve to be getting something back other than accruing another hour towards licensure.

I don’t know how much it would be, but yeah, anything is going to help.

Third, and this is so lovely, she’s got an office at Activ Space, which is where my current internship is located.

She’s in the same damn building!

I could work with her and I could work with Liberation Institute.

I have to stay with Liberation right now until my Associate MFT # is assigned to me by the BBS (Behavioral Board of Sciences).

I cannot be a private practice intern until I get that number.

I can’t accrue hours.

I can’t be paid.

But.

If I’m working for an agency or a non-profit, I work for a non-profit, I can continue to accrue hours and see clients.

I still have to get a lot of supervision, 3 hours a week, until I get that AMFT#, but as soon as that’s done I can go to a ration of 10:1 versus 5: 1 (10 clients to one hour of supervision versus 5 clients to one hour of supervision).

Speaking of supervision, that was also something I addressed today, not just checking in to see where I could get it, but also to connect with my current group supervisor to get the solo supervision I will need for the next three months as I wait for the BBS to assign me a number.

She said she could and we confirmed our first meeting.

Very grateful I can keep my client load and still be getting hours.

I know some folks in my cohort are choosing to take the three months off, but frankly that makes no sense to me.

I have to accrue hours to get the licence, I might as well be doing it for the three months while I wait for my number.

I’m going to have some vacation time anyway, but still it seems frivolous to not be getting some hours during that time frame.

Despite all that, I am very excited by the prospect of getting to be a private practice intern and I’m excited for the convenience, should it work out, I’m used to the space, I know I can park, and I know I could fit in my needs there.

So that was a bit of what I did on my big break at work.

I am very, very, very happy with myself.

And!

I got the framework of my last paper set up.

I started in, I got it organized.

I will be able to sit down this weekend and do the writing, I even did a little bit today.

The final paper is no longer than 29 pages long, not including the bibliography, table of contents, title page, and index.

I have 21 pages written.

I only have eight more pages to go.

EIGHT MORE PAGES!

So damn close.

I’m almost there.

Thank fucking God.

Dorked Out!

March 21, 2018

I am totally all geeked out.

I literally just cooked dinner in my cap and gown for graduation.

Hehehehee.

They came in the mail today!

It’s really really real.

I’m graduating.

It still feels surreal.

I also put the hood on backwards, and then laughed my ass off at myself as I stood in the hallway to my studio admiring myself.

In my bunny slippers.

I will probably wear different shoes to the ceremony.

Probably.

Heh.

My slippers are cute.

But who the hell would take me seriously in my slippers?

They are cozy little things, but perhaps not to walk the stage as I receive my diploma for my Master’s Degree in Integral Counseling Psychology.

I’m so excited to graduate.

It has been such a journey.

I still can’t quite believe it’s happening.

Like that horrible nightmare I used to have every once in a while that I hadn’t actually graduated from high school and I have to go back and take some test or turn in some assignment still.

No fucking thank you.

I received the official invitation to graduate from the school yesterday.

That was nice.

Really nice.

I still have hoops to jump through and forms that will need to be signed, but academically, everything is set, I’ve been cleared to graduate.

I will have to turn in my therapy form–my program requires that I do a year of therapy with a licensed MFT while I am in practicum.

A requirement that I was upset with for a little while, not the therapy part so much, but that I would have to be with a licensed MFT which costs quite a bit more than working with a trainee.

Then again.

I really like my therapist.

She’s great.

And.

Man.

We did some work today.

I sat down and said and today we’re going to talk about ______________.

And we did and it was good and I got some perspective and a different frame then what I had expected and I was super grateful for that.

Sometimes I just need someone else’s perspective.

My perspective is not always true.

And often misleading or anxiety inducing.

My therapist gave me a very different way of seeing things and for that I am so very grateful.

And.

I was able to forward that experience onto a client tonight.

I didn’t disclose my therapy session to my client, rather, I just helped my client see things different.

And the response was great.

I am always so happy when I get to be of service and help someone see something that they couldn’t on their own.

Therapy is work and anyone who tells you different is lying.

It’s hard work.

But.

Fuck.

It so pays off.

Frankly, everyone could use therapy.

I mean, who couldn’t use a person to sit and empathetically listen to them for an hour once a week?

It’s so nice to be able to talk about all the crap in my head and get it sorted and processed and let it go and not stuff emotions and have feelings and see what they are and how I want to move through the world.

Therapy has such great value for me and I am so pleased that I get to be a therapist and I get to help my clients and it really moves me when they get something from the work I do with them.

It’s work on both ends.

Which is exciting.

And I get to constantly learn things.

I had a huge amount of stuff come up around a client yesterday in my supervision then I met with the client in the evening and just sitting there and being with them and using all the work I had done earlier in the day was so gratifying.

It was amazing.

It can be hard.

I won’t lie.

Sometimes I think wow, this is some hard work, but it is so good to be helpful to others.

I am happy that I have found a career that lets me do that.

Of course, I have that too with my nanny career, but this feels bigger and feels like I will have more impact.

Although I do not, by any means, disparage the work I do with children, nor how important it is.

It is really fucking important.

My little monkeys mean so much to me.

And that I get paid to love, well, that is super special.

And I will get paid to love too, as a therapist, that’s one of my biggest goals, to provide my clients with love, empathy, kindness, to help, it’s a different kind of loving relationship than a romantic union or a friendship, it is a special relationship because of confidentiality and knowing that there will be times, many times, when the client needs to work out something and that something is going to be hard to hold.

But I get to try to and in the trying I learn and in the learning I grow.

It’s really a lovely relationship full of reciprocity and though, no, I wouldn’t call it altruistic, there is something of that flavor to it as well.

I never thought this would really happen.

Me, graduating from a Master’s degree program.

Although it was something I always knew I wanted, I never quite knew how it wold happen.

But you know.

I had faith.

And

It’s actually happening.

Really.

REALLY.

Happening.


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