Posts Tagged ‘Psychotherapy’

Waiting For

August 6, 2018

The offer letter.

It was supposed to come today.

I didn’t get it.

But that doesn’t mean I didn’t get the position!

“I’m offering the position to you, it’s yours,” she said emphatically 3/4s of the way through the interview.

I was so thrilled.

Yesterday morning I got up super early and headed over to Alameda to interview for the Grateful Heart Therapy private practice internship.

And I was hired.

The director let me know that she would be writing up the offer and sending it to me to officially accept today.

But.

Well, she had some things come up and I will get the letter tomorrow.

I was going to hold off on writing about it until I had the official letter in my hot little hands, but I have been very excited about it.

I really am, eventually, going to get paid for the work I do as a psychotherapist!

This is very exciting.

There will be some big transitions, but I feel like they are going to all work out well.

I was also extremely pleased to find out that the group supervision which is required for the first six months of the internship, the supervision that only happens on Thursdays, might also actually work for me.

There are a number of groups that meet on Thursdays and the incoming fall cohort would typically all be together, forming a sort of support team for each other as we all learn the ropes about how to craft and create and sustain our own private practices.

However.

I was told, the director knew that I have a full-time nanny position, that there might be some flexibility there for me.

I was happily surprised.

I was getting ready to tell my employer I wasn’t going to be able to work on Thursdays anymore and I was already trying to figure out how I would manage with the loss of one day of work a week until I am established with enough clients to pay my bills.

Which may take a few months.

But.

No.

The director told me that she knew of my dilemma and that though it was typical to start a new hire with other new hires, there was an opening in the earliest group of the day, Thursdays at 8:30a.m.

Granted.

Sigh.

This means getting up really early on Thursdays so that I can drive over to Alameda for group supervision until 10:30a.m and then driving back over the bridge to Glen Park for my nanny job, but fuck, it means I won’t lose out on income while I am making the transition.

I was super surprised that she made that offer.

Then I realized.

They really wanted me.

The director had already come up with a way to facilitate for my needs!

This was just moments before the position was offered to me, I felt this warm shift in the room and then, boom, she told me they wanted me and that she thought I was the perfect fit for the organization.

I could also tell that she was moved by my honesty and vulnerability in my interview.

Interviewing for a therapist position would be the place to be vulnerable, you might guess, and it paid off handsomely.

I am very pleased.

So today I reached out to my former professor and updated her on my situation, I will be renting office space from her and eventually she will be my solo supervisor.

For the first six months of the internship I will be with the group and I can continue to do so if I want, and/or implement supervision with my professor.

What Grateful Heart does is provide all the administrative support, overhead, insurance, and tax infrastructure that an AMFT (Associate Marriage Family Therapist) needs to be able to practice and get paid.

Effectively helping me to establish my own private practice.

So that by the time I have licensure I will already have a private practice up and running.

They will deal with my lease, they will pay my rent, they will pay my supervisor.

I will pay them $350 a month for the administrative work and to pay out my supervisor.

The money my clients pay will be directed to them, they take out fees, rent, supervision costs and then they will cut me a check out of what is left and it will be direct deposited  to my bank.

I will learn about how to get referrals, how to network, how to build up my own website.

Holy shit.

My own website.

I have been doing this blog for a long time, but I have never had my own website.

I have been thinking that I want to write a blog for my website, something therapeutically oriented, a sort of gift to clients or would be clients, a tool that can be used for their own self-care and as a way to promote my business.

I have to think about what I will call my practice.

I am nervous, but in a good way.

This is very exciting stuff.

I will leave my current internship at the Liberation Institute, where I was told rather sweetly by members in my group yesterday how much I will be missed, sometime in October.

Some of my clients will go with me.

Not all of them, however, I will be charging $80-$100 a session.

When I get licensed I will be charging $150-$200 a session.

And some of my current clients won’t be able to afford that, Liberation Institute is community mental health with an extraordinary sliding scale where no one is turned away for lack of funds.

But a few of my clients will be able to afford it and I suspect that a few may decide to stay with me as well, despite the raise in rates.

I am hopeful that I will get referrals from people I know in community as well as from my professor.

Even my own therapist said she would refer clients to me.

So it feels good.

Hopeful.

New.

Exciting.

I will share the letter with you tomorrow.

And whatever else happens as I move forward into this next phase of my developement.

Oh!

Before I forget.

I bought my books for my PhD program today too!

Things are really happening.

REALLY!

Having The Emotions

July 6, 2018

And moving through them.

I feel really quite good right now.

So much better than I have in some days.

I also did a big inventory today.

I toss that word around sometimes without much explanation–inventory is a way for me to work through resentments I have about people, places, and things, sometimes concepts.

I inventoried the fuck out of my housing situation.

I saw selfishness and fear and self-seeking and dishonesty.

I saw my part, you could say.

And I found a way through.

A way to continue this process of not knowing what is going to come next.

I had a conversation with my landlady yesterday.

It was not what I expected and I was baffled by the exchange.

But.

It was enlightening and I have deep compassion for the both of us.

I mean.

That’s the only way through.

We both have things we want and ultimately, we both want the same thing at this point-me to move the fuck out.

I need something better and she doesn’t want me living here anymore.

The means to the ends is where we disagree.

And that’s fine.

There may always be opinion about that and opinion is not my business.

What people think about me is not my business.

God.

Fuck.

Of course I want to know.

I want to know so I can manipulate myself into making everyone fucking happy so that I can be comfortable.

I’m comfortable when others are taken care of.

I can relax.

But.

The facts are.

NOBODY is taking care of me.

I have to do it.

I have to put myself and my needs first.

So I have to let go of what others, the landlady, my friends, my fellows, clients, my cohort at school, my employer, think of me.

I have to.

Or it will kill me.

I can’t go around making everyone happy.

I just can’t.

So.

I got some good freaking clarity after seeing where my part was, seeing how trying to get acceptance from others or relying on them rather than my God wasn’t working.

Never has.

Never will.

People are failable.

Fuck.

I am failable.

I will fail you.

Guarantee it.

There was a time I would have apologized for that failing or tried really, really, really hard to be the perfect person and not fail.

But.

You know what?

It’s ok to make mistakes, it’s ok for me to not be perfect, it’s ok for me to fuck up.

I fucked up.

I made a decision based on fear at the beginning of my tenancy that led me here.

I’m ok with that.

Sure.

Wished I had done it different, but I can’t change that, I can accept that I was doing the best I could, in a co-dependent people pleasing sort of way, and that seeing the results accrue over the past five years has brought me to this place that is requiring me to make a really big change.

Self-advocacy.

Non-personal.

Do right for myself sort of change.

I was really grateful I did the work to get to that place and really grateful that I have been earnestly praying for my landlady.

I mean.

I have.

For her happiness, joy, financial success, romantic love, family love, relationships with friends, success with her job, everything and anything that I could think of.

We all deserve the best and by focusing on that rather than trying to make myself out to be a victim and her some overblown hyperbole of a landlord, I get to see her as a human being doing the best she can do.

We are all doing the best we can do.

It’s ok.

Another persons best interst is not my best though.

And I recognize that.

I have had a lot of time to reflect on things today and I am grateful for that.

Ooh!

I have also spent a lot of time researching an internship!

Check it out:

Grateful Heart Therapy

Grateful Heart is a therapy organization in the Bay Area which provides sliding scale psychotherapy for all sorts of folks.

It was recommended to me after I told my therapist about the internship that I was going to do falling through.

The supervisor I was going to work with made it abundantly clear that it had nothing to do with my clinical skills or abilities, she really likes me, she believes I am a great therapist, but, it wasn’t a good time for her to go from being a solo practitioner to having to incorporate a LLC.

I get it.

I was upset.

But you know, opportunity to find something that will be a better fit.

With Grateful Heart Therapy AMFTs can lease their own office underneath their supervision.

MY OWN OFFICE.

Now.

It will take time to get my own office up and running and it will take money, money that I don’t necessarily have, although I flirted really hard with the idea of using my credit card, the one I got nearly a year ago and have never used.

Or.

Hmm.

Maybe I could do a GoFundMe?

Thoughts to explore.

Anyway.

The center provides the infrastructure, they do payroll, billing, supervision.

They have over 40 supervisors and they have groups that are supervised, they do trainings and they use psychotherapeutic tools developed by the master herself–Nancy McWilliams, a clinician I have written about wanting to work under, she’s amazing, I loved reading her work in my Master’s program.

It takes some time to get things up and running, but I would be able to see clients, charge them, and have my own office.  Grateful Heart would take $350 a month for operating cost and to cover supervision, I would pay payroll taxes, etc and they would cut me a check.

I saw an empty office today at the building my current internship is in.

The door was unlocked and there was a sign that said “Take A Peek!”

Peek I did.

It’s small, but clean, on the fifth floor where I already see clients, a view of Twin Peaks.

I could imaging pictures hanging on the wall, a couch, a therapist chair, file cabinets, plants, lamps to provide soft lighting,  a spot for an electric kettle and tea cups.

I stood in the warm little space and dreamed a little dream.

It felt pretty damn good to contemplate.

Tomorrow I will be having coffee with a friend of mine who is currently working for Grateful Heart and I’m going to pick her brains about it.

I can’t wait.

I feel like I can breathe again.

And sleep.

I know where I stand with how I need to proceed forward with my landlady and I have a new internship to explore with the option of starting my own private practice office much, much, much sooner than I had expected.

I am sincerely.

And truly.

Over the moon.

Tired

June 23, 2017

And wide awake all at the same time.

There was a moment today when I just thought to myself, I am not going to make it through the day.

Not enough sleep.

Too many hours at work.

Client that needs to be seen after work.

Party for a friends studio opening.

And I was asked to come in earlier tomorrow to work.

I thought I was just going to pass out.

The little lady was close to taking a nap and I hazarded a distinct longing to put her down for a nap and cuddle with her and sneak in a nap myself.

But.

No such luck.

I also didn’t want to super caffeinate.

Although I came daringly close I did not succumb to the temptation and powered through the day.

My thoughts kept me company and I kept myself moving around the house a lot and kept telling myself that it was almost Friday.

It still was a long day.

But I made it through work and I got to my internship and I had a really good second session with a new client.

Two clients this week and I’ll be adding another client next week.

Slowly it builds.

I felt really good doing the session and decided that I could rally afterward and go sneak over to my friend’s open house studio opening.

I really wanted to have a grown up moment that was a social, even if it was just for a little snick of time.

I hadn’t any dinner so I knew that it would be short-lived and watching the fog roll in over Twin Peaks I was pretty assured that it would be a quick visit.

But it was good and I got to see an amazing work space and reconnect with Burning Man friends and talk a little about the event and when folks are going.

I haven’t found a ride yet and there was a moment when I thought, fuck it, wouldn’t it be nice to not stress and give up the ticket and spend the time here in the city with people I love and then I was like.

Um, no.

Hahahaha.

Sure, there are people who I want to see here, but the fact is if I don’t go to Burning Man I’d just be working anyhow, it’s not like vacation, although it completely is, but it’s outside of my time frame of paid vacation and I wouldn’t just take the week off without going.

Plus.

It’s the ten-year anniversary of my best friend’s death and he’s the reason why I went in the first place.

My heart, tender, feeling that loss, but not so achy as it’s been in the past, just tender, just there and I know there will be feelings that come up.

And there will be a conversation with him, somewhere in deep playa, out past the Temple where I am sure between the Temple and the mountain range my friend still resides, just a little part of him, I didn’t take all his ashes, but enough, enough to know he’s there and there are many places that I connect with the memory of him and also with the aliveness of him, the way I live my life a reflection of the gusto he went after life with.

I am sure he would be proud of me.

OH.

Hello.

There are the tears.

I knew you were around.

I watched the fog roll in over the top of Twin Peaks from the deck of my friends studio in the Mission and it was the same height and approximate distance from the hospital ICU, General, where my friend spent a week in a coma before the family pulled the plug and harvested his organs for donation.

There is always one strong memory for me, pressing my face against that window, my fevered brow, the hotness of my heart, the tears always on and off, more so off when I was at the hospital–it was only in the privacy of my own room in the dark as I prayed to God on my knees to get me through the experience that I would allow myself to cry–the coolness of the window and the dark, heaviness of the fog rolling in over Twin Peaks.

A blanket of sorrow and felted love thrown over the entirety of the city as though we all grieved the loss of my friend.

So.

Yeah.

I might be a little tired, but I’m not bailing on Burning Man.

Nope.

Sure.

I haven’t gotten a ride together yet, but that will happen and hopefully it won’t be as crazy as the ride up was last time.

I have gotten a couple of nibbles from my post on the ride share board, but nothing solid, it always comes together, I’m not too worried.

It’s more a matter, at this point, of getting a playa bike and finding time in between the comings and goings of my life to do some preparation.

I have people I am responsible to, my own recovery to attend to, and God damn it would be nice to get in a yoga class this weekend, but yeah,  a new playa bike and some sourcing of other items that are always nice to have and I’ll make some time, find some time, create some time, and do a little shopping when I can.

Side bar.

The mom just sent me a message about my work performance and told me that I really was “Mary Poppins sister!”

I’ll take it.

Anyway, this Mary Fucking Poppins, will be riding again under her parasol out on playa again this year and enjoying the hell out of not being a therapist in training, a student, or a nanny.

Just a girl.

Out on her bike.

Riding towards the painted calico mountains with secrets and love to share with an old friend.

“I finally was the ball, Shadrach, you’d be so fucking proud of me.”

And So It Begins

August 1, 2016

I just dropped a nice fat $200 on books.

I started ordering my text books for the fall semester.

Considering how much reading there is to do and that I will be going once again to that thing in the desert, it was time to whip out the debit card and get online.

I did not really want to.

I just paid rent.

But.

I figure if I can be adult and self-supporting to get my ass to Burning Man.

I certainly can begin ordering my text books.

Besides I really will have to do a bunch of reading before the event to be prepared for school.

Hell.

I’m going to have to do some reading this week before I head up to the retreat for school, which is next Sunday.

I cannot believe it’s already time for the retreat.

Argh.

But then again.

I can.

The time, it does go fast when you are busy and I have been keeping myself busy for sure, take the last couple of days, just getting the certification for my CPR and First Aid Adult/Child/Infant was a time consuming thing.

But I got it done and I don’t have to do it for a few more years.

It didn’t feel like I had any time off though, it felt very much like work.

I mean.

I don’t know anyone who would choose to do one of these courses for fun and relaxation.

Though.

They can be funny.

There is always that one dude who picks up the baby mannequin like it’s some toy and they get the surprise of their life when the face falls off of it.

Today one guy, who happens to work at a private elementary school, just picked up the baby mannequin by it’s feet and sort of swung it around.

The instructor was horrified and demanded he treat the doll like it was an actual baby.

Alien baby.

But sure.

All kidding aside, I am grateful that I took the course and have a refresher, it’s really good to know, and knock on wood, hopefully I won’t ever have to use it.

After I finished the course I headed over to Oakland for a friend’s housewarming party.

It was really sweet.

And I ran into all sorts of people, some folks who I don’t normally get to see aside from on facecrack or instagram.

Or at Burning Man.

I chatted with folks from Media Mecca, my home away from home, and it was really sweet and good and I felt like I was seeing family.

I like that I get to have this extended community of artists and creatives and hard ass working people who strive to be something, who are engaged with each other, who form this secret little society of folks that I somehow stumbled upon and now can’t imagine being without.

I realized how much I want to be out there anew when I was ordering my books.

I mean.

I don’t want distraction or school thoughts or work worries, I just want my Burning Man.

I will have them, anxiety is just a part of my life, exercise, yoga, the like, that helps, but I have a busy old mind and it will ruminate on anything it can get its hands on.

That being said, I will do as much reading for school as I can before I head up to the event.

It’s probably a good thing that I will be working for my family in Glenn Ellen for two weeks.

I will be forced to be in one spot and spend the evenings reading school material.

I get the impression that I won’t have as many papers to write before the fall semester begins from the classes being held at the retreat, but it does look like there is some pretty heavy reading load for the first weekend of classes and I won’t be in a spot to read at all that week before as that’s Burning Man.

All the thoughts and stuff and things.

Two of my classes don’t have syllabi up yet, so I don’t even know exactly what to expect for the first weekend.

I just can tell from the one class that is listed that there is going to be a lot.

Graduate school.

Second year.

Hard to believe.

But there it is.

Time just keeps moving on.

I ran into someone who got the same degree I’m working on five years ago.

I had no idea she was a psychotherapist and we chatted and caught up and it was really good to hear her experience and to know that I’m on the right track, for me.

I may not know exactly what it looks like and sometimes I feel a bit confused by the mechanics of the school system, but I do know that I am heading in the direction that seems to be that of private practice.

That’s my hope anyhow.

And she has a private practice and it was really good to hear that she was doing well and that she had a sustaining private practice just five years out from graduating from the program.

In fact, it sounded like she had a decent number of folks follow her from her interning to her own practice.

That would be amaze.

I know I get a head of myself.

It was just really nice to see this lovely over lap of friends and school and recovery and Burning Man and kids, oh I got to see some gorgeous little monkeys and get some great snuggles and hugs, and romp a bit with two of the brightest five and a half year old twin boys.

Oh the tow headed goodness, the smell of sweet baked boy warm and soft and snuggly, it’s like some sort of bread that sustains my heart, the real manna from heaven, the smell of golden boys warm from the sun.

Ah.

Yes.

And so it begins.

But it never really ends, it doesn’t slow down, it just speeds up and I know one day I will look back and wonder how fast it all happened.

So I must take a breath.

Pause.

Breathe.

Look around.

And be grateful for this rich, full, happy life I have.

Truly.

The luckiest girl in the world.

And possibly.

One of the busiest.

But.

In the best possible way.

Seriously.

The Journey Of A Thousand Miles

September 12, 2015

Begins with a single step.

Foiled again.

I just put down Lao Tzu’s Tao Te Ching–The Tao of Leadership.

I had never known who to attribute this quote to, although it resonated with me so much so when I first heard it, I was 17 or 18, that I used it for my senior year quotation.

It was either that or I was going to use the Fear Prayer from Dune.

I will leave to your imagination the challenges of my growing up.

I have written of them often and I don’t see them as good or bad, wrong or right, I certainly don’t apply these terminally ugly words either–would, should, or could, to my experiences.

They are just experiences.

Sometimes I am overwhelmed with them and I have to get out all my feeling words and vocabulary and try to parse something from the experience, rather than just be in it.

I was trying to do something akin to that on my ride home from school today.

My ride home from my campus, my ride home from my graduate school program, my first day of school, my first day, truly, as a graduate school student.

It was a full ass day.

It started at 9 a.m. and it ended at 8p.m.

Tomorrow will be much the same, the day will begin at 9 a.m. and end at 8p.m.

I will have diversity training from 9 a.m. until 2p.m.

Then Group Dynamics from 2p.m. until 4p.m.

After that an hour break and then convening from 5p.m. until 8p.m. for Psychodynamics.

Class will be the same for Sunday, 9 a.m. until 8p.m.

Fuck.

Work is going to feel like a picnic, like a break, like a rest.

And work is not necessarily restful for me.

I digress.

I get ahead of myself.

I leave the moment, where there is nothing wrong, where I am doing the best I god damn can, and I am writing, even though I could be reading more, my brain will only hold so much and if I don’t lay some of it down, like a good yeoman dropping the plow to rest, I won’t have the space in my brain to take in more information.

There will be more information.

There will be more learning.

There will be more not understanding what is happening and just letting it happen.

There will also be the happy coincidence of having actually taken a good photograph for a student id!

I was shocked.

I figured there would be thirteen chins and my nostrils would be flared and I don’t know, all my photos for ids are wonky, but it actually turned out and there it is.

I have a student Id.

Where are my discounts bitches?

I jest.

Really the only thing I want with my student id is to be able to access the gated and locked space where I can park my bicycle, a space that is outdoors, but also covered.

Hallelujah.

It’s such a nice thing.

Just not having to worry about my whip.

I was grateful.

I was also grateful to get on my bicycle at the end of the day.

To ride away from campus and head home.

Despite the wind kicking up and the night being a little blustery, it felt good to be in my body, when I could get my mind off my classes and actually be present for the bicycle ride.

There was the same old song and dance in my head about how I work so hard and I am doing all the things and how come I am working so hard again, and that phrase popped into my head, the journey of a thousand miles begins with one step,” except that I transmuted it to my bicycle pedal.

One pedal at a time.

One stroke at a time.

Push down.

Pull up.

I wanted to be stuck in my head.

I wanted to feel isolated.

I wanted to cry out.

Just because you read my blog does not mean you know what I am feeling!

I am lonely.

But not alone.

I know that.

And the lonely will pass.

I am busy and I have made this choice to go to graduate school, to take on the awesome and amazing adventure of becoming more me and more of service and more available.

My needs are met.

Despite my pay check being $0.00 today–really why even send me a pay stub?

I had forgotten that.

No pay for me while I was at Burning Man.

Sigh.

But I am ok.

I have what I need.

I paid my phone bill today.

I have a beautiful body that I get to walk around in, bicycle in, sleep in.

I have food.

Although I am going to have to manage eating better, I can’t afford to eat out twice in one day three times a weekend, that’s just too much.

I will be bringing food with, I just have to find time to go grocery shopping.

Probably Sunday night after my last class ends.

I don’t think I’ll be doing my normal cooking for the week like I usually do, but I don’t think anything about my schedule is going to be “usual” any more.

This is ok.

I am learning.

I am growing.

I will continue to do so.

And.

I am loving more.

I did find that I wanted to wall up a little my first day of class, that there was a struggle, internal, to be open, to be present, to be with my cohort and to let them see me.

Despite my “newly” pink hair (new to folks in my class, not that I have dyed it again) and safety orange pants.

I was grateful to reconnect with friends and classmates and to have met a new professor who is eccentric and smart and called me right the fuck out in class when we did our introductions, “oh, yes, you ARE smarter than me, I can tell.”

I did not mean to put on my smarty pants, but I felt inadequate.

I am just a nanny after all.

Not a clinician or lawyer or social worker.

I haven’t studied Gestalt for the last two years.

Hell, I don’t even know what Gestalt is or Freud for that matter.

But.

My professor picked up on both my insecurity be hearing the language I used and gently and succinctly put me in my place.

I am not smarter than she.

But I am smart.

And just because no one validated me the way I needed to be validated growing up doesn’t mean that I can’t give it to myself, that I can’t move forward, that it is all hard work with no validation and approval.

I approve myself.

I have worked so fucking hard to get here.

And the journey is beautiful.

And one step at a time.

And once in a while.

I will stop in that step, look around, and be so grateful that my journey has brought me here, to this place of privilege.

“How do you do it?” He asked me in the hall way between classes.

“How do you manage to live in San Francisco and go to school?”

I don’t know and if I speculate too hard on it I will freak out.

I just get to do it.

I get to.

Being the operative language.

I am a lucky motherfucker.

I am.

And.

The journey?

Why.

It is glorious.


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