Posts Tagged ‘sessions’

I Could Get Used To This

June 18, 2018

Having a little down time that is.

I mean.

I still got hella shit done today.

Two loads of laundry, recycling, grocery shopping, food prep for meals for the week, fresh sheets on the bed, shower, morning yoga class, breakfast, coffee, updating clients on upcoming vacation, writing, meetings with two different ladies.

I got shit done.

And.

I also sat outside and ate a late home cooked meal for lunch and let the sunshine hit my face and light me up inside.

I watched the ravens swooping over the back rows of houses behind the end of the fence marking the property line.

I closed my eyes and just was.

Then.

Holy mother of goodness.

I read a book.

Not a psychology book, although there were some interesting bits in it that were definitely psychological.

No.

I read for pleasure.

And it was so nice.

It was just the bomb.

I love reading and I believe that by the end of my last semester I was so read out that I wasn’t going to be able to pick up a book again for the summer and read anything.

I was burnt out on reading, text books and online articles and doing research and underling bits and pieces and this and that.

Going over readers with hundreds of articles and emptying out my closet of stacks of books to write that final big thirty page paper.

I actually just got back the comments on that paper today.

I had this moment of dread when I saw the e-mail.

There had been this bit in the syllabus that said if you didn’t do all the points of something in the paper it would get returned to you and you’d have to rectify it.

For just a moment.

I kid you not, even though I had framed my diploma today, which means that the grades were turned in, I got an “A” for god’s sake, I thought, shit, I fucked something up and I’m going to have to re-write that fucking paper.

Hahahaha.

Ugh.

Thanks brain.

I really could have gone without that thought.

But no.

The paper comments were quite nice and I got a lot of compliments for my understanding of psychodynamic theory and how I’ve integrated that into my sessions with clients and I got huge thumbs up for the case presentation part, both the presentation I did in class and also the write-up of the case, my professor was very effusive.

That was nice to read.

And yeah.

I did, as a matter of fact, frame my diploma today.

It looks really cool.

It’s hanging in my little kitchen above my sink.

It wasn’t exactly my first choice, but as it turns out the fancy frame I bought was literally 1/2 an inch too big to put it where I wanted to with my undergraduate diploma.

The only other place in my in-law that had any room was in the kitchen.

I like it though, I can turn my head and see it and there’s something about the placement in the kitchen, at least for now, that appeals to me.

I did a lot of self-care during my three years working on my Master’s degree that had to do a lot with cooking and making meals and trying to eat well and take care of myself.

I realized at some point that roasting a chicken was a really nice thing to do on a Sunday when I was writing papers.

It would warm the house up and when I was finished I would have a hot meal.

It’s some how apropos that my diploma is in the kitchen.

It makes sense.

One day, and not too far way either, it will hang in my private practice office.

I’m excited to be getting tiny baby steps closer to that goal every day.

I really feel like I am on a career trajectory towards making a real income and having my own business and supporting myself as a therapist.

I actually can see a time, in the not so distant future, when I will hang up my nanny clogs and bid adieu to working as a nanny.

I’m ready for that.

Of course, until then, I do have the best family to work for.

I’m so excited too for this week.

A week from tomorrow I fly out of SFO to JFK.

I have one more week of work and then five weeks.

FIVE.

Of paid time off.

I can hardly breathe with excitement.

I am not going to pick up a lot of extra client hours either.

Maybe a few here or there.

But rather, I am going to go do the deal a lot, I’ve been asked to speak at some afternoon places that I wouldn’t normally be able to do.

I’m going to have lunch dates with friends.

I made one tonight with a dear friend who spoke up at my commitment.

I’ve never been to his work and he’s been on me for ever to come down and have lunch at the office with him.

Done and done.

I went over my calendar and saw a few days when I can get in an extra yoga class.

I will also be doing some research for my paid internship, that meeting with my new boss and supervisor will be happening on July 11th.

So much lovely stuff to look forward to.

It’s going to be a fantastic week.

I can feel it.

I also only have five clients this week, so I don’t have to do an extra hour of supervision.

And!

Oh yeah.

I’m finally getting a hair cut next Saturday.

I’ll be all sassy for New York.

I’m so ready for that trip.

I’m so excited.

Glad I had down time today.

Grateful for sunshine, meals on the patio, pleasure reading, framing my diploma, making homemade food, friends and lunch dates.

Grateful for a life full of love.

So much love.

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An Unexpected Gift.

May 16, 2018

Time.

It wasn’t a lot.

But.

It felt tremendous.

The mom today at work expressed that should I not want to come in tomorrow early to take the baby to music class I was off the hook.

She’s very aware of the stress of the next few days for me and stated that if I wanted to rest or work on my party or just take a slow start that I should.

I thanked her.

And.

I didn’t take her up on it right away.

I decided to think about it.

I left work and headed into my internship.

I received a very sweet text from her reiterating how she really wanted to let me know that should I need anything that I was family and that she is my friend.

Not my boss.

I mean.

She still is my boss, but she’s become a friend.

And an ally.

I am very grateful that I work for her, yet there is still a part of me that was hesitant to take the offer and I think she knew that I wanted to and thus the follow-up text after I had left.

I decided to do it, but I had clients to attend to and that came first, I would respond after my client sessions and see how I felt.

Then!

My second client told me that they would need to leave early, by a half hour, we basically only did a half session, the client paid for the full, and I got to count the full hour of client time.

And I got an extra half hour in my evening!

It felt so luxurious.

I immediately responded to the text from my boss and said, thank you for the sweet sentiments that they really meant something to me (they really do) and that after some consideration I was going to take her up on the offer.

It felt so good.

Especially after the therapy session I had today.

Buckets of tears.

1/2 box of Kleenex, I swear, the ball of tissue I tossed at the end of the session was huge.

I was crying before I got there.

I spilled the beans and got constant, continuous, kind support.

I got resourced.

I felt a lot better.

I made some connections that have never quite made with the help of my therapist and I shared some information with her that only a few people now, and that I had actually thought I had told her before.

Child hood trauma stuff that has gotten poked by recent chains of events.

It felt really good, and hard, awful, painful, to talk about anger and how it has been hard to forgive and when I had the kind of reactions I did today in session I wondered out loud whether I had really ever forgiven the acts or the people involved at all.

My person also reflected to me that I had a lot of rage.

I have rage?

I was shook for a moment.

Then I realized.

Yeah.

I do.

I have some motherfucking rage.

I expressed some of that in therapy today, that I have so much self-awareness after having done a three-year intensive Master’s of Psychology program that I get infuriated at times thinking of all the things I had to overcome to just get by.

I was livid.

I cried heaps.

I also noted that I thought the things I dealt with were normal for so long.

Not necessarily that other people were experiencing the same things as I, nor did I want anyone to, but that this was just how it was in my life.

Spending three years reading how trauma affects the brain the parasympathetic nervous system, flight, fight, or freeze, anyone?  How abuse and neglect stunt children, how harder it is, so much harder, for those kids to get ahead, to succeed, to live happily ever after.

There is no happily ever after.

And.

Life is not fair.

But there is happiness and joy and freedom and grace and love.

Thank God for love.

And thank God I didn’t give up on finding my way towards loving myself.

I had to have it modeled to me in my adulthood and it’s taken years for me to implement things.

I still have a horrendous time asking for help, but I am getting better.

Or.

That my needs are valid.

Or that I’m allowed to have needs.

Eye roll.

It took as long as it took and I’m ok with that.

I’m in acceptance that my past was what it was.

That doesn’t mean approval.

Fuck that.

No.

It just means that I can acknowledge that it happened and that allows me to move on.

Granted.

Sometimes the pot gets stirred and I’m using boxes of tissues up and crying my heart out.

But I got to cry my heart out and I got tremendous support.

My therapist is out of office next week and has mentioned several times that since this is such a big transition for me, graduation, getting a private practice internship, my mom coming to visit, the endoscopy on Thursday, that she would be fine staying in contact while she’s away.

Meaning I can reach out and call or email her.

After today’s session, she stopped and said, I’m going to contact you over the weekend and check in.

I was blown away.

And grateful.

I don’t even care if she does or not.

Just that the offer is there.

And like the offer my boss made me, it felt like being seen and loved and held exactly where I am with exactly what I need.

Getting an extra hour of sleep in time for tomorrow!

 

Big Days

May 4, 2018

It’s been an intense couple of days.

I will not lie.

I have had the reflux really bad.

Horrible.

I couldn’t write last night, I debated writing tonight.

But i just ate and that seems to help.

Until it doesn’t.

I went to the new GI yesterday.

Good news.

He believes that the reflux is not caused by something I’m eating.

Which is fantastic because if it was I’d be seriously fucked.

I had the reflux today so bad today it was extraordinary.

And the foods that “caused” it would be oatmeal with an apple and blueberries, 1 hard-boiled egg, an almond milk latte (breakfast) and a large salad at lunch with a sm pear and a small banana that I chopped up and put cinnamon, nutmeg, and sea salt on.

And I was on fire.

All damn day.

I woke up with a tiny bit of a reprieve but the minute I drank a glass of water, water people, I began to get lit up.

Usually it doesn’t start so damn soon, usually I have at least until lunch time, but no, it fucking flared right up.

That week or so, that eight days, I think, maybe nine, when I didn’t have it is like a ghost of a dream, I cannot even fathom what that was like I have been in such pain.

So.

Yeah.

Almost not writing.

But I miss the writing and I think it helps me to process out all the days crap and how I feel like crap, just writing about it, I know it helps.

It makes my brain feel better, even if the rest of me doesn’t.

Besides, there’s a lot to write about too, the GI like I said, great appointment.

Super nice doctor much better experience than the previous GI, did a really in-depth work up and said the thing that I had been waiting for, the aforementioned, I don’t think it’s what your eating.

He told me the reason for this was the Omperazole I was taking wasn’t affecting it, even when I doubled the dose, it should have worked, but it did nothing for me.

Four fucking months of nothing for me.

Anyway.

Thank God he listened to me and after describing my symptoms he wants to do the endoscopy and a ph test and a wire test.

Apparently a wire gets inserted through the nose, down the esophagus and into the stomach and it measures the reflux.

It sounds freaky as fuck, but whatever, I just want to deal with the issue.

I can’t continue being in this kind of pain.

It’s untenable.

I’m waiting to hear back from the doctor’s office, he said they would call to set up a time for me to go in.

I was rather thinking I would get the call today and was a bit disappointed, especially as the day went on and the reflux got worse, that I never got one.

If I don’t hear back tomorrow by lunch time I’ll call the office myself.

I’m not sitting around and waiting.

Tomorrow’s going to be a busy day too.

First day of my last weekend of class!

Last weekend of class!

I could just write that five times more it makes me so happy to see those words.

Last weekend of class!

I’m really ready to be done, and it’s probably also because I’m in pain and it’s hard to focus on things when I’m in pain.

Thank fucking God I didn’t have the reflux while I was working on my papers.

Ugh.

That would have been hell.

It’s been hard enough to stay present with my clients.

Tonight was rough.

I actually did something I don’t normally do, I sipped water the entire time through my sessions.

I needed to keep my throat lubricated and the water was also a brief, and I do mean brief, respite from the acid in my throat and nose.

I got a pretty splendid headache by the end of the sessions and I think I was running a fever again.

Anyway.

Not complaining.

It is what it is and I’m going to be seen again and have the procedures done and something will come out of that, I will get relief, it will be figured out.

All I have to do tomorrow is show up.

I decided to take my car since I have clients after class and it’s gotten really cold the last few nights.

Hello spring.

Hello early summer fog.

The fog!

I watched it tumble in again tonight as the sun was going down in my office and it was cold when I left.

I was planning on taking my scooter, but the weather looks the same and if I feel like crap again I would rather be in my car than on my scooter on a cold foggy night after seeing clients and having a big day at school.

So.

Taking the car and biting the cost of parking and saying fuck it, I’m worth being comfortable and warm.

I have more to say, I had some exciting news yesterday, but I think I’ll save that for tomorrow.

I’m pretty worn down and I need rest.

It’s going to be a big weekend.

See you on the flip.

One More Thing

April 25, 2018

Gotten.

I picked up my third practicum review from the supervisor at my site.

All fives, the best one could score, and two “fours.”

To tell you the truth I wasn’t expecting anything less.

My supervisor has pretty much given me the same score from the beginning.

I’ve not had any interactions with him, he’s not discussed my progress, and this time I had even fewer notes about my abilities than before.

It’s not a problem.

And it is.

I’m not getting the kind of training I feel that I need to really become the kind of therapist I want to be.

I am a good therapist.

I can say that without qualms and I will become better with the more clients I see and the more experience I get.

But.

I’m not being trained at this site, there’s really no theory being used except take what you like and leave the rest, which is good, up until a point.

I was talking with my therapist about this today and what it was like to work with my other supervisor who was amazing and taught me so much that I am still in awe of the experience and I realize, already missing him.

He was hard to show up for because I had expectations about myself and wanted to show him that I was capable and smart and good.

He got all that and he reflected back honestly where I needed work, where I needed boundaries, where I was doing well, where I could grow and how I could do that.

My current supervisor does not do that and I had the feeling today when I picked up my evaluation that I won’t be there all that much longer.

Oh.

For a little while yet.

Or maybe with fewer clients.

I just sense that I need to be getting more and I’m going with that gut feeling and I’m going to start actively looking for a private practice internship.

There are somethings I need to do, get on the list serve at CIIS and look for supervisors taking on interns.

Reach out to people I am interested in working with.

The professor I reached out to last night got back to me and let me know that she was not taking any interns at the moment, but were she I would be at the top of her list.

She also said that she would forward my name on as an intern to any supervisors she thought would be a good fit.

She encouraged me to look into private practice internship and gave me the impression that I was indeed on the right track doing so.

My therapist said the same thing, she felt that it wold best serve me and gave me some resources.

I am excited.

I am in a place of transition and I am completely ok with the clients I have now and the schedule I have, but I realize I could be better served, learn more and have better guidance elsewhere.

I am so grateful for my practicum site for all the flexibility it has and for the wide range of clients I have gotten to see, the diversity of cases has been awesome.

I also appreciate that I don’t have to do a lot of paper work, that’s been pretty big, I just am recognizing that there is more and that I feel confident at this point exploring my options when I am well situated where I am.

I don’t have to leave, I can explore and take my time and find a good fit.

I just need to look about and ask questions and see who may be available.

I have two other former professors I would love to work with and I think  I will reach out to both of them.

There.

Just reached out to one.

Excuse me while I draft another quick e-mail to the other.

And done.

That felt good.

Very proactive.

And that’s what I have to do.

Take little actions and see what happens.

What my therapist remarked on today is that I don’t sound anxious.

And I’m not!

I’m excited.

I feel like I am moving forward in a positive way and although I don’t know the exact direction I’m going or what door to go through next, I feel like things are unfolding.

And really.

All I have to focus on is what I need to do next to get all my paperwork into school.

This Saturday I will have my group supervisor sign my paperwork.

I will be taking all those signatures and the evaluation to school with me the next weekend of classes.

I will hand them over and find out what I have to do next.

I will need to get my therapist to sign off on my year of therapy, which we discussed today as well, and she’s all set to go.

In fact, now that I think of it, I might as well bring that paperwork into our next session.

Then I can have the last evaluation, the signed forms from each supervisor, and my therapy sessions covered and done.

I’m sure there’s some little bit of paperwork that will still need to get sussed out, but I feel very confident that it will.

Very confident.

 

So Many Details

April 20, 2018

I had a lot of stuff that I had to remember to do today.

Little things, but things that needed to be attended to.

I had a new client, so I had to print of new client paper work, plus some of my files are shy on progress notes and so I printed off a bunch of paperwork to bring into my internship.

I have learned the hard way that there are often times therapy sessions being held in the office that has the majority of the paperwork so I will print off my own at home to save me the headache of not being able to get what I need.

I was super lucky tonight and managed to sneak in right after a client left a therapy session in the office and I was able to procure the file for my new client.

That was smooth.

I’m back to running with a full eight clients.

Although it is rare that I see all eight clients in the same week, a lot of cancellations.

Which happens when the sliding scale is so low and people decide they can afford to cancel at the last-minute.

I can’t afford to cancel my therapist last-minute, I’m on the lowest end of her sliding scale and that’s $120 an hour.

Not an acceptable trade-off for last-minute cancelling.

However, I have plenty of clients that pay $10 or $20 a session.

It tends to lead to clients cancelling.

Sometimes I think I should be running with ten clients to make up for the frequent cancellations, but then again, right now, what with trying to get through the rest of the school year and get to graduation, I think it’s best to sit at eight.

Speaking of graduation.

I just did a bunch of work for my graduation invitation for the beach bonfire party May 19th.

I’m super jazzed to be able to have a party and so, so, so grateful for my friends who are helping out.

My best friend is in charge and gave me a time line of things to do and I flubbed already, but I’m hoping to redeem myself with the content and copy that I just sent out.

We shall see.

I’m not the best when it comes to those sorts of things.

Hopefully it will be enough.

And if it’s not, I can figure that out too.

My primary focus is just getting through the next few weeks and getting the papers done that I have to write.

I booked myself some time to write this weekend, it may not be all in one go, which is generally how I like to write, but I have some commitments Sunday that take up time.

I”m hopeful that I will get the majority of it done on Sunday.

I will be doing internship paperwork and BBS paperwork on Saturday.

Although I might be able to get a few things jotted down on Saturday as well depends on what comes up in my schedule.

I’m not too worried.

Ha.

I lie.

I’m a bit anxious, but I have faith.

I always get my papers written, this time will be no different.

It’s exciting to be getting so close, even if it is a little nerve-wracking.

Just two more papers!

And then.

A nice chill last weekend of classes, some closing ceremonies with the cohort, some hugs, and that’s that.

There’s a week in between the last weekend of classes and Commencement.

I’m still in the can’t quite believe that I’m graduating, but it’s getting more real.

I think, actually, that working on the invitation was helpful, it sort of solidified it in my head that this is all actually happening.

Even getting my cap and gown in the mail didn’t make it real.

I sense that it will feel real when the papers are done.

I’m ready for that.

And I’m ready for Friday.

It’s been a big week.

A good one, but intense and I’m ready for the weekend.

Granted, there won’t be a lot of down time, but I will make time for it if it should coalesce.

All work and no play makes me a dull girl.

And nobody wants that.

Nobody.

That Was Fast

February 13, 2018

Today just flew by.

For which I am grateful.

I am so ready to get out-of-town and hit the East Coast on my mini-vacation that it was a pleasure how fast today went by.

Hopefully tomorrow and the next few days will go by as fleet.

I had a good supervision session, so grateful, constantly, for the supervisor I have, he just really hits things out of the ballpark for me and he is brutal honest with me about what I need to do and how to work with my clients.

It’s good stuff.

Fucking intense, but really good stuff.

I had a lot to bring him this Monday, last week was a big week for me and I was very happy to be able to process some of the work with him.

I will miss him as a supervisor when I wrap up this semester, I can already tell.

I like the group I’m in for group supervision, but I do not get the kind of guidance from the group supervisor that I do from my solo supervisor.

I don’t really respect my group supervisor, if I have to tell on myself, although I do like her.

She’s ineffectual at holding a frame and a bit vague and nebulous in her approach.

Which always baffles me a bit.

How the hell do you hold a frame for a client if you can’t hold the frame for a group of therapist in training?

I have hopes to switching out to a different group when I get done with my Master’s program.

I’m in the group that works the best for my work schedule and my current solo supervision and therapy work.

Man.

I do a fucking lot.

And I’m still doing my own personal writing.

I am very proud of myself for that.

I stay grounded when I do my morning and evening writing.

I didn’t do a few days of my blog over the weekend, but I did do my morning pages every morning.

I don’t really recall all that many days when I didn’t do either of them.

Probably being at Burning Man last year and not taking my laptop for the first time in a long time, although I still did do plenty of writing out there, I ended up doing it during the heat of the afternoon at the cafe with a big iced coffee and a shady spot under the Center Camp Cafe’s gigantic circus tent.

The fact is.

I am a writer.

I believe that it’s a huge contributor to my therapy work with my clients.

That I am constantly self-reflexive, and continually processing my stuff and finding my way through things.

I don’t know that I would be where I am without the practice.

I like where I am.

Even walking through some really challenging personal times, I still like who I am and that I am trying to grow more, change more, become more myself.

Advocate for myself, for my own change.

The only person I can change is myself.

And I’m not talking about self-improvement, I feel that’s a slippery slope, self-improvement implies that there’s something wrong with me, that I’m not good enough.

It also has connotations of always having to strive to change myself to be better and that when I’m finally better I’ll be perfect and everyone will want to be with the perfect version of me.

There is no perfection.

I am perfect.

Imperfectly perfect.

Humility much?

I can be a perfectionist, so the way through that for me is self-acceptance over self-improvement.

That still means change, it just may not mean change in the way that I used to think it did.

Some miracle wave of a wand and poof!

Happily ever after fairy princess unicorn castle in the cloud magic glitter balloons of joy.

Not so much.

It just means that when I focus on what someone else needs to do so that I can feel comfortable I have to look at myself, what do I need?

How can I change?

Where can I be in acceptance?

There’s loads of room for that kind of introspection.

How can I care for myself when I want to focus on helping others, which is wonderful, but also recognizing that I can’t help anyone if my own needs are met.

Which means that I have to know what my needs are.

Tricky thing that.

I get better at it the more I practice.

The more I get used to paying attention to what makes me happy.

What brings me joy.

And trying to cultivate that.

My writing brings me joy, being a good therapist does, being with people I love, accepting love, travel, eating well, flowers.

My God.

I have a gorgeous bouquet that keeps getting prettier and prettier.

The lilies in the bunch of flowers have been opening over the last few days and it is like looking at a tender heart opening to the sunshine, shy and pink and exquisite.

I feel such sweetness when I look at my flowers.

A girls like her flowers.

And hearts.

I made Valentines Day cards today with one of my charges that came home sick from school and we had such a sweet time with it, drinking tea and taping the Valentines up on the windows at the back of the house.

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It was a happy afternoon.

I felt a lot of happiness today.

Some sadness at the beginning, some tenderness, some tears, I probably should skip the sorrowful music I had been listening to for a little while, but this morning, for some reason I just indulged.

A sort of get it out-of-the-way at the beginning of the day and get on with the day.

It seemed to help.

That and it just being a great big full day.

Grateful for navigating through, being of service at my job, showing up for my clients tonight.

And.

Showing up for myself with my writing.

Day and night.

Day.

And.

Night.

All the damn time.

 

 

Saturday, May 19, 2018

February 3, 2018

The Nourse Theater in Hayes Valley.

COMMENCEMENT!

The date is set, the place has been set, now I just need to get through the next four months of school.

My God.

It is actually going to happen.

I am going to graduate in May!

I’ve never been to the Nourse Theater, but it looks lovely.

I had, for some reason, thought it would be at the Palace of Fine Arts, I seemed to recall having seen photos from a previous cohort’s graduation, but it’s not there and though I love the Palace, I’m happy the commencement ceremonies will be held close to my school.

It feels right somehow.

I’ve a few ideas for what I want to do to celebrate, definitely toss the hat up into the air.

Which reminds me I think I’m going to have to purchase a cap and gown.

An expense I really don’t fucking want to deal with since well I’ll only be wearing it once, but I don’t believe the school rents them.

What I have heard from a few people in my group supervision at my internship, is that folks from previous cohorts may lend them out.

Unfortunately both the people in my group supervision who graduated last year from my same program are a lot shorter than me.

Like, a lot, I wouldn’t be able to fit in a cap and gown that either of them wore.

I’ll suck it up, just one more expense that I wasn’t counting on when I applied to the program.

Like the $5,000 I will have spent on a licenced therapist while I’m in the program.

I love my therapist though, she’s great, also a graduate from the same program that I am in, and I do get her sliding scale fee, $120 an hour, since she knows I’m a student and my school requires that I see a licenced MFT while I’m in practicum.

At first it was really hard to think about spending that kind of money once a week, but having been with her now for 33 sessions, I track them on my Track My Hours BBS app, I can say with not one doubt in my head that it’s been so worth it.

Having an outlet, having support, having a place to explore whatever I’ve been going through while I’ve been in practicum has been such a huge help.

I have worked around a lot of family of origin trauma’s, incest, neglect, physical abuse, emotional abuse, violence in my family system, with my father, with my step-father, a five-year relationship that went sour and led to being a statistic on domestic violence, my alcohol and drug use, and abuse and subsequent journey into recovery.

It still amazes me that I am sober, that I didn’t do a rehab or a recovery house.

The thought of having to do that scares the living shit out of me, I see a lot of folks in and out of recovery houses and there doesn’t seem to be an answer there.

Perhaps an introduction to a solution, definitely a clean and safe place off the streets, but so often the folks I see from those places don’t seem to have much hope.

Then again, my own perception is probably skewed.

Anyway.

Therapy.

My therapist.

So fucking glad to work with her.

I have worked on self-esteem issues, self-advocacy, self-care, setting boundaries.

I have worked through transference and counter transferences with my clients.

Frankly such a relief to have that as an outlet.

I had a couple of back to back days of intense client sessions.

Really good, don’t get me wrong, but super intense.

Grateful that I get to show up for my clients and be a good therapist.

At least I think I’m good.

The feedback has been good, both from my supervisors and from my clients, but my God, there’s always so much more to learn.

And then there’s all the learning that I have done.

All the work that I have done over the last two and a half years, so much work, so much processing, so much learning, so many articles and books and videos, so, so, so many fucking papers, so much practice, so much showing up, being vulnerable, leaning into the vulnerability and growing.

Painful growth and glorious growth and heartbreaking growth.

I can’t wait to graduate.

The ritual is important for me.

I know it will probably be boring as hell, but there is something here that needs to be done for me, an enactment, the crossing of the stage, the flipping the tassel on my cap from one side to the other, to signify that I have graduated.

I need that ceremony.

It feels very important to me to acknowledge the rite of passage.

And I want to have a party.

I really, really do.

I really have thought quite a bit about having it at Ocean Beach, a bonfire, blankets in the sand, some snacks, I don’t really care about food, but some cold bevvies in a cooler, all non-alcoholic thank you.

I think it would be easier for me to facilitate than making reservations for a big dinner party somewhere.

It’s not so much the food that’s important, it’s the people.

I see a big bundle of balloons on the beach, a bonfire, and a bunch of folks standing around and hanging out, simple, easy, sweet.

The only drawback to Ocean Beach is that the beach doesn’t really have bathrooms, there are port-a-potties, but that’s it.

Then again, like I can’t handle that, how many times have I gone to Burning Man?

Heh.

I did have it suggested that I have it at my house, and there’s some appeal there and also not, I can’t decide.  I could have a fire in the back yard, there’s a fire pit, there are tables and chairs and the yard is big enough to accommodate plenty of folks, and there’s a bathroom.

I’d probably need to clear it with the landlady, but I can’t think that she would say no.

There’s also a grill I could use.

I just get a little edgy about having people come in and out of my house, but then again, it could be sweet.

Oh, so many things to plan.

But not right yet.

Not right now.

Now is time for sleep.

It’s been a long week.

Grateful that I made it through.

Grateful for all the love in my life.

So.

Deeply.

Deeply.

Grateful.

For all the love.

 

Reading The Fine Print

January 9, 2018

I just went through the handbook for my Master’s program with a fine tooth comb.

The one thing that I have found challenging in my program is the apparent lack of information as well as the over abundance of information.

I feel like there is so much information that just is not applicable to my experience or the learning and then there’s information that I really need, but it’s buried on page 41 of the 50 page handbook.

I’m glad I found it though.

I have gotten a mixed bag of mis-information from fellows in my cohort as well as interns in my group supervision about how many hours I need to have accrued in practicum to graduate.

I need 225 to graduate.

Of those hours I must have 150 direct client hours–sessions with my clients, not phone sessions or e-mails or paperwork or progress work–face to face sessions.

I had thought that I needed 250 direct hours and I was beginning to get a little nervous.

I should not have any problems getting the hours.

Or so I thought.

I have eight clients that I see on a weekly basis.

But.

They cancel.

Or.

They no-show.

And it’s rare, I’m seeing quite clearly now as I just got home early because a client no-showed, that I actually see all eight clients during the week.

So when I was thinking I needed 250 direct face to face hours by May, I started to get concerned.

I won’t make it, it won’t happen, how is that possible?

How is it possible that I am heading into my third semester of practicum and don’t have enough hours?

How?

As of right now I have 240 hours.

But only 130 of them are direct face to face hours.

I felt flummoxed and upset and annoyed and then I begin to berate myself.

Why did I post that stupid thing about graduating in May and filling out my graduation application?

I’m not going to graduate!

Whoa.

Slow down there.

I don’t have enough information.

I realized that I cannot just go on the information drifting about through the hallways at school or in the office where I do my group supervision.

I have to take responsibility and find out that myself.

So I went to the academics page on the school’s website, signed into my account, found my program.

And.

Voila!

There on page 46 of the 49 page hand book:

Students must complete a minimum of 225 hours [at least 150 direct client contact hours plus 75 Client-Centered Advocacy (CCA) hours] while enrolled in practicum prior to graduation.

Sweet Jesus.

I am fucking fine.

I am only twenty hours shy of having the direct client contact hours.

As for client centered advocacy I don’t have nearly that much, I have six hours.

But I do know this much, it doesn’t matter if I don’t get all the client centered advocacy hours, if I have more direct client hours, I can count those towards graduation.

Ultimately it is the face to face sessions that mean the most and I have to acquire the majority of my hours there.

And I also recognize that I could be actively going after more CCA hours as well.

Client centered advocacy could be doing research on a client and their family lineage, it could be watching a movie about alcoholics, it could be reading a CAMFT (California Assoication of Marriage Family Therapists) magazine or a psychology magazine.

Today I actually had some down time at work, and while the baby napped I read a number of articles in a psychology magazine on workaholism and chuckled to myself, multi-tasking, working and also accruing hours, sounds like I’m the workaholic in this instance.

But I’m happy I did the reading as I had that no-show and I was able to mark down another hour.

I think that I will try to acquire two hours of CCA per week as I move forward, more if I can.

I can also read outside articles, books, and go to seminars and do trainings.

But just knowing that I actually have enough moving forward is a bit of a relief.

I was getting a little worried.

I also realize that I am probably going to have to let one client go with whom I have been doing pre-dominantly phone sessions.

I am not allowed to count Telemedicine through my school.

I can towards my license, but not towards my graduation needs.

I want to be safe and make sure that I’m not squandering my time.

I am excited and relieved to have reckoned all of that out and grateful for a really good talk with my solo supervisor today.

Who happened to be quite intrigued with my dissertation idea and to my surprise, completely supports me going for the PhD.

I told him I had actually had hesitation to even mention that I was going to apply for the PhD because I thought he might disapprove of my decision.

But he did not.

And it was amazing to sit and talk to him about my ideas and to also get some really interesting feedback from him and some areas where I will be honing in more.

I made a call to the Dean of the Transformative department after I got out of supervision.

I wasn’t able to talk to her, she was stuck in a budget meeting, but I left a message and I will follow-up tomorrow.

My advisor got back to me and said he would support my efforts and write me a letter of recommendation and we made an appointment to meet the first weekend of classes.

It’s all falling together.

Even when my brain tells me it’s not.

It really is.

So nice.

So.

Very.

Very.

Very.

Nice.

And I Will Be Driving

January 2, 2018

All week.

No scooter for me that I can see for the next six to seven days.

Rain.

Loads of rain in the forecast.

Tomorrow it looks like it went from forecasted rain to just overcast, but I think I will take my car anyway, just in case and because I really like driving it.

I reflected on that as I was helping my person run a little errand from his house, I got to spend a really lovely afternoon with him catching up, checking in, and doing the deal.

He’s doing really well, but gets tired fast.

We did a walk around the block after chatting for an hour and a half and then an errand to the bank, he was done in by the time I got him back to his house.

A very sweet little abode up in the upper part of Noe Valley at Caesar Chavez and I think 27th.

He’s been there for twenty years.

A gorgeous little one bedroom with the sweetest view.

I joked that I wanted it when he dies.

“Girleen, you’ll be with someone long before then and you and your man will want more space than I have here.”

He made a good point, it would be cramped for two people, but I have to say I had a little apartment envy considering it’s a little more than twice the size of my studio and he pays much less than I pay and he has windows, so many windows, hella jealous of the light, but super grateful he’s in a really good spot.

Anyway.

It was good to get face to face time.

We do a lot of phone check ins, I might call him every day, just leaving a message to touch base, and at least once a week we do a longer check in, and then we meet when my schedule allows, once his hip is fully healed there will be more regular face to face meetings.

I’m super grateful for him, he helps me so much with my perspective and my way of being in the world and he is a marvelous witness to my journey, he’s family really.

I have told him that should I get married he would be the person giving me away.

He’s the only man who I could fathom walking me down an aisle.

He sees me and for that I am graced.

I’ve been working with him now for about four years and he’s seen me through a lot.

I did not have much more on my plate today than seeing him.

I got up, after sleeping in, last time I’ll be sleeping in for a while, and went to yoga.

I didn’t have to bargain too hard with my brain to go and I had a good work out.

I really do want to get in more yoga classes, I realized today that going three days over the long weekend really made a difference, I could tell how different my body felt and some poses were much easier with just another day of practice thrown into the mix.

I could sneak into the 7 a.m. yoga class tomorrow, it would end by 8:15 a.m.

I’d have to fly home, shower, and dress lickety split and be on the road by 8:45/9 a.m.

I have therapy at 9:30 a.m. in Noe Valley before work.

Yes.

It all starts back up tomorrow.

Work, therapy, seeing clients.

It’s not a full week with clients, I still have a few that are out-of-town, so it will be a nice easing back into the week.

What will be nice is that the kids will be back in school, which means a little less frenzy at the house in the mornings and some solo work with just the baby.

Back to work tomorrow.

Back to therapy.

It will be good.

I feel like I have come through an interesting time with the holidays.

And I’m grateful for the experiences I got to have, I learned a lot about myself, my expectations, and what I need in my life and what love means to me and how to work on cultivating that in my life.

I am loved.

And I’m not unaware of it.

I am grace with it.

It is like a sun halo on my heart.

A field of eider-down puffs and late afternoon light strained through honey.

This love that catches at my heart like breezes through summer trees.

I am adorned with it.

I got to see it very clearly today in my chat with my person and I am once again awed by all that I have.

Gratitude in spades, gratitude for my life, my experiences, for getting to be the woman I am, for what I have.

It’s not conventional, my life, and fuck, you know, I’m grateful for that too.

I believe I live a more passionate and alive life than most and I wouldn’t trade it for some one else’s trumped-up ideas of stability.

I have so very much.

And I am so very alive.

I am also grateful that I took care of my house today and got myself ready for the week.

I took down the Christmas tree, wrapping up all the ornaments, rolling up the lights, taking down the Christmas cards, packing things away.

All done for another year.

It was the right time to do it and I’m glad I didn’t leave the tree up longer, although for a minute my heart was just not into dismantling it.

I have some very sweet memories of my time with said Christmas tree this year and wrapping up all the ornaments and putting them in my Christmas box really highlighted the holiday I got to have that was similar and completely dissimilar to any other Christmas I have had.

So many lovely memories.

Nestled into tissue paper and carefully tucked away in my precious box of ornaments.

And today is the first day of a new year.

So much is going to happen.

I can feel it.

A pricking in my fingers.

A tingling in my bones.

Electricity in my blood.

This year is going to blow the lid off.

Just you wait.

It’s going to be a hell of a year.

Watch me.

At The Crack of Dawn

December 15, 2017

I will be up too early.

Yeah.

I know, suck it up baby, have some coffee and shut up.

I hadn’t forgotten that I had an early appointment before work, but man, it did sting a tiny bit setting my alarm clock for 6a.m.

Sigh.

Oh well.

Just because I’m not in school at the moment doesn’t mean that there won’t be days that I need to be up and out early.

Tomorrow is one of those days.

I got into see a chiropractor in the Mission.

At 8 a.m.

She was super sweet to fit me in at that time, normally she doesn’t take clients at that time, but the rest of her schedule was so full and my schedule being also full, she made an exception for me.

She normally doesn’t see clients until 9a.m., but tomorrow she’ll be there at 8 a.m. and sigh, so will I.

The irony of this, which does not escape me at all, is that afterward I will be scootering off to a park in the Upper Noe Valley neighborhood to hang out with the baby while mom gets a work out in with her trainer.

Which means wearing the baby carrier and carrying the baby.

Meh.

One of the reasons my back has been sore and tender for the last few weeks, carrying the baby in the baby carrier.

Grateful as all get out that today he slept in his car seat and had a huge fat nap that I didn’t have to have him strapped to me to get.

Usually he likes to sleep on me.

And don’t get me wrong, I like it too, so much, he’s so sweet and warm and cozy, it’s really nice, but it also hurts my back to carry him around.

So hopefully I get a good adjustment and my hips go back to normal and the small of my back will stop hurting so damn much.

Despite the appointment time being so early I am looking forward to having the adjustment, it really is needed.

It just means going to bed really soon.

I am also contemplating skipping breakfast.

Well.

Not really skipping breakfast, but not eating it at home.

I’m planning on getting up at six am to take a shower and get groomed and dressed and slide out the door by 7:30 a.m.

That doesn’t really give me time to do my morning routine and breakfast, I won’t skip the morning routine and if I want to do breakfast I would have to get up at 5:30 a.m. instead of six a.m.

I’m not ready to sacrifice that half hour of sleep.

I have a feeling it will be much-needed.

So I figure I’ll just grab a couple of persimmons or an apple and some almonds and just eat that at the park when I meet the mom.

And then it’s Friday.

And yes, it will signify my first weekend off in three weeks, my first day off, well, sort of, fuck, haha, I still have to go to group supervision, but it will sort of feel like a day off.

I really could use that feeling.

I’m going to meet some ladies in the Mission Saturday morning for a brunch, then head over to do group supervision and maybe afterward I’ll treat myself to a manicure somewhere before I go do the deal with my peeps.

I am ready for that as well, getting back to some fellowship.

Especially with the holiday sneaking up around the corner.

Sunday will be a little more chill, I’ve got a lady coming over to do some work and then dinner in the Castro with my person who is celebrating a huge anniversary.

That will be really good to be a part of, so much so.

Then one more week of work and a nice three-day weekend.

A weekend I’m still not really sure what I want to do, but I’m taking suggestions and thinking about what would be sweet and nurturing for me.

I think that’s going to be very important over the holiday, good self-care, compassionate actions for myself and those around me, practicing kindness and generosity, getting out to do the deal, go to a movie, fuck, it’s been a while since I was in a movie theater, ages really, go to the museums, get myself a little something.

Last year I gave myself a necklace that I was wearing today, for my birthday, that I had picked up in the Mission at a little art gallery on Valencia Street.

Maybe I do that this weekend, get myself a little birthday present.

I know.

My new car is pretty much the best present ever, but I didn’t really buy that with my birthday in mind.

I think there needs to be some other kind of recognition around it.

And I am so, so, so grateful that I took the night of my birthday off from clients.

That feels really important.

Just as it feels important to give myself a little something.

I rather liked the idea of jewelry, I like wearing it into my client sessions, I’ve been wearing more necklaces than I have in years and I really like that, I’m not sure exactly when the shift happened, but I do have an appreciation for a new accessory in my repertoire for sure.

I will have something to open, my mom’s birthday card, which has been sitting on my table now for a little bit.

And!

I have gotten my licence plates in the mail today.

In fact, I sort of want to open them right now, just to see them.

Ooh!

Ha, that was fun.

I opened them.

I will definitely have to put them on the car.

Maybe Saturday before I head out to the brunch.

I was thinking about riding my scooter since the brunch is in the Mission, but really, I don’t have time constraints except to be at my internship by 2p.m.

So I will allow myself to drive my car.

I really love having her, it’s been such a special experience.

I do feel like that is going to be the thing I do,  a mini road trip.

Just not yet sure where.

But I feel the road calling with its siren song.

Anyway.

Time to call it and get my butt to bed.

It’s going to be a long day tomorrow.

But that’s ok.

It’s the last day in the week and my evening plans look stellar.

Like.

Really stellar.


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