Posts Tagged ‘Transformative Inquiry’

Back Home

September 5, 2018

With a huge stack of books and notebooks and pages and pages and pages of syllabi.

Oh my God.

What have I fucking done?

I went from feeling pretty good about it all to feeling super overwhelmed after my last class.

The irony being that it was the class I figured I was going to enjoy the most.

Of course, with some perspective, I still think I am going to enjoy it the most, but I am awash in the anxiety of having to produce the work.

There is a lot of work.

Yesterday’s class blew me out of the water at the intensive.

I really liked the professor.

In fact, I am quite fond of him as he swooped in one morning seeing me sitting by myself at breakfast and made me join his table at the intensive.

We had a great talk.

He loves Paris.

I love Paris.

We are now friends.

Plus, he has had an extraordinary life, three marriages, multiple degrees, Harvard, Brown, CIIS, somewhere else I forget.

Of course he has a PhD as well.

And a lot of papers that he’s written and he seems to be the co-collaborator of the way the course work is designed.

First of all.

Let me say that I had some, well, not exactly contempt, but a little wiggle of worry that because my PhD is an “online” program, that it would not be academically rigorous.

Fuck my life.

Academic rigor galore.

In fact, as one second year told me, she thinks that we actually do more work than a traditional PhD program and I think she’s right.

Second.

I was in the dark a little about the length.

I had this idea that the program is only two years long.

The course work is only two years long.

Then there’s methodology, the comprehensive exams, research, the writing, the proposal and the defense of said proposal.

The course work will be four semesters.

Then I can expect at least another four more semesters of work to finish the dissertation.

Which means two more years.

And the professor made it very clear that the fastest anyone could possible do the whole shebang was 4.5 years.

What I heard from most of the people in the program was that if I did the course work and stayed the course with my research, readings, writing, methods, etc, that it would take in total about 5 years.

So.

It’s no different from any other doctoral program with the exception of the majority of the coursework is submitted online and that a large component of all my classes is to interact and engage with the learning community on-line.

There are 30 of us in the cohort split into two sections.

There are three classes.

Introduction to Transformative Society; Self, Society, and Transformation; and Creative Inquiry: Scholarship for the 21st Century.

I am the only student from San Francisco, though the school is located in San Francisco.

There were a lot of students from the East Coast, New York mainly, I think six of my fellows were from New York, one from up state New York.

One from London, a University Professor of Psychoanalytics and Psychodynamics.

One student from Hong Kong.

One student from Oakland.

Another from somewhere in the East Bay, a few from up North, somewhere in Canada, I totally forget now, another from D.C.

The woman from D.C. was also an MFT and teaches as well at university level, specifically Art Therapy and Play Therapy for adults, she was super sweet and insisted I call her if I have any questions about marketing or setting up my private practice internship.

Said internship that although I took materials with me to work on I did absolutely no work on at all, I was so immersed in the classroom experience and the work at the intensive.  And I read a lot while I was there on my breaks, as much as I could without totally isolating myself in my room.

Anyway, a lot of high-caliber, smart people.

Majority of them women, which was very, very cool.

Grateful to be part of some smart, intelligent, driven women.

Very grateful.

One of whom came up to me with a piece of paper today in a notebook that she was keeping to show to our future selves, our name with Dr. in front of it.

I was more than happy to write mine down.

Dr. Carmen Regina Martines.

Fuck that looks good.

And now I can stop giving myself grief that I maybe was in an “easy” PhD program because it was two years and online.

Silly rabbit.

It is not easy at all.

The great thing that I realized though, after having a bit of panic and overwhelm when I was in my Creative Inquiry class yesterday, is that the material is not beyond me.

I understand the concepts, they make sense.

Oh sure, a lot of the material is new to me, I haven’t studied these things before, but I have been reading academic papers and books now at a higher level of understanding for the last three years and the materials are not cowing me.

Nope.

Not at all.

That was a nice realization for me to make.

What was causing the panic was the number of deliverables that I must have for Creative Inquiry.

8 papers.

8!

And though some of them are short, I have a couple that are not, and two that are quite big.

Plus I have to get published.

Are you fucking kidding me.

I have to actually publish a review of a scholarly journal.

Holy shit.

Now.

I am excited.

But yesterday I was just overwhelmed.

What the fuck?  I remember thinking I have to get something published too as a requirement of the course, Jesus, plus, oh, great, thanks, I also found out that I have another book to read, in addition to the books already lined up for the course, I had to pick one of four others that were presented.

Let me say this.

I will not be going anywhere without carrying a book or an article to read.

That’s why I got overwhelmed, 8 papers for this class, three for Self and Society, and one big whopper for Intro to Transformative Studies.

Plus weekly discussions and comments and interactions with my cohort.

I worked a lot on my calendar yesterday and I’m not 100% certain, but it looks like I will have to read two to three books per week to get through all the material.

Well, not quite, more like 2.5 per week.

Plus the articles, many of them big, long, academic papers of over 30 pages, and every class has three or four of these a week.

So yeah.

The material doesn’t scare me, it’s just getting the time to do it.

I’m not sure what’s going to have to go out of my schedule, but somethings definitely are.

Maybe a few less blogs a week.

Maybe.

I’ll let you know.

For now, I’m just happy I’m home and all my stuff is put away and I get to sleep in my own bed tonight.

Very happy for that.

Very.

 

Advertisements

Here All Week

August 31, 2018

Checked in, un packed and decently settled into my room at the Best Western Lighthouse in Pacifica.

So far the good news, aside from the fact that I was assigned a room that faces the ocean, I mean, I am literally right there, the sound of the waves is fantastic, is that my room-mate hasn’t shown up yet.

I wouldn’t mind enjoying the view by myself.

IMG_E4789

It’s a pretty nice view.

The hotel is not great shakes but being so close to Rockaway Beach is quite nice.

If I ever get the chance to walk down on the beach and not just sit through lectures and classes.

It’s a full tilt boogie kind of schedule.

Tonight was fairly easy, an orientation, lots of meeting the professors and administrative staff, getting to know a few of the students, there was a really sweet getting to know you sort of exercise that I made myself get into and that felt good, I connected with a couple of the second year students and it was nice to meet them.

I also talked to a woman who is volunteering over the weekend to help out with the intensive who just graduated in May from the PhD program and she did the two-year track, which is the one I am doing.

There is a three-year track as well, but I want to do it all in two years.

I want to be done with it in the next two years, five years of consecutive grad school is enough for me, I don’t need to add onto it.

Nor do I need to add onto my student loans either, they will be big enough by the time I am done with the program.

After the orientation we had dinner and I was happily surprised by the food, I was a little leery coming into the hotel, I didn’t think that it was going to be all that great, but the dinner was actually quite nice.

Although apparently gluten-free, which I specified for my diet while I was here, means vegetarian.

Not a real problem, but I did tell the kitchen I was not vegetarian, I could eat meat, so hopefully I will get some protein into my diet over the time I’m here.

I can always get out and implement too, although I would prefer not to, I’m paying for all of this, it comes out of my tuition bill.

I just also received an e-mail that my excess funds will be disbursed in three to four business days.

As tomorrow is Friday I won’t see how much I got back until next week, probably a couple of days after Labor Day.

But it’s good to know that there were excess funds.

I was hoping that would happen.

And fuck.

I just checked my student account.

It’s not as much as I thought it would be.

Sigh.

Oh well.

At least it covered all my tuition and my intensive costs.

I’ll be getting back a fat $300 after it’s all said and done.

I was hoping for a couple of thousand, but again, grateful, my tuition costs got covered.

Originally my financial aid package was shy about three thousand dollars and I had to take out another loan to be able to cover it all.

Very grateful I was able to get it covered and also, good to know that I won’t have anything really extra for house hunting.

Not that I’m too worried about that.

I will have enough.

And it seems that I will get through this program too.

It will be a lot of work, but I’m used to a lot of work and really, as I wrote last night, I wasn’t feeling too anxious about coming here.

Although I did feel some as I was driving down from the Outer Sunset.

But I’m not sure if it was anxiety about school or just about life in general.

So many transitions are happening for me right now.

I’m wrapping up my first internship at the end of September, I formally “resigned” today in an e-mail.

My group supervisor knew I was going, but no one outside of that group had been alerted.

I did my due diligence and I am glad for that as there are a few administrative things I will need to do.

And of course.

There are all the things I need to do for the upcoming internship.

I am still hoping that I can take advantage of some of the time here, when I’m not sure after having seen the schedule, for doing some of that work.

There is the housing transition happening.

The almighty not knowing where the heck I’m going to live.

I did get a response back on a studio in the Richmond, which isn’t my first choice, but the price, the windows, the hard wood floors, the full size kitchen, a bathtub, laundry on site, and the fact that I would actually have a parking spot in a garage (that I don’t have to pay extra for!  It comes with the studio), made me reach out.

I will hopefully get a viewing when I get back to San Francisco and it’s available now, so I could, it is foreseeable, be in a new place soon.

And then there’s just the transition of becoming single again, the loss of my love, the not knowing exactly how all that is going to fall out.

As I drove here from San Francisco I was met with this tremendous wall of fog.

Fog so thick and opaque that I literally could not see the ocean that was right alongside me as I drove.

I was driving into the unknown.

Literally and figuratively.

I don’t know how all these things are going to shake out.

I just know that they will, all this change is leading me somewhere and I don’t have to know where it is, I just have to take those tiny little actions right in front of me.

I just have to see the next curve in the road to turn the wheel.

And trust, that I will get there safely.

And all will be well.

It always is.

Where Do I Start?

April 2, 2018

It’s been a really busy weekend.

You may have noticed.

I was quite absent from the blogging.

Which is unusual and not like me, but things came up and I got to have some amazing life experiences and make some connections and also.

Yes.

Get some much deserved sleep.

Sometimes lying in bed is just the best option.

I got to do that today, and I cannot begin to express how lovely it was.

So lovely.

I did  a lot today too, which, really, when I think about it was fueled by that laying in bed, by the leisurely way I let myself be this morning, by letting myself have a late start.

I actually got a fuck ton done.

I met with two ladies, did all my laundry, bed sheets, duvet, name it, it got washed, and I worked on my case study presentation for my Integrative Seminar class, getting all seven pages polished and just now sent out.

I hung out with my best friend.

The best fucking time.

Seriously.

The best.

We had an amazing brunch.

The company, well, spectacular seems an understatement.

I also met with my person up in the Castro, did the deal, and went to my Sunday night commitment and had great connections there.

I got to share my big news.

Which was lovely.

I mean, really so nice, to share that with folks in my community who have watched me all these years change and grow.

Of course.

The big news!

I haven’t blogged since receiving it.

Dear Carmen, Congratulations! I’m delighted to inform you of your provisional acceptance to the California Institute of Integral Studies Doctor of Philosophy program in Transformative Studies for the 2018-19 Fall Semester.

That’s right!

I got in.

I’ll be getting my doctorate!

I nailed the interview, I mean, I just nailed it.

Best interview I think I have ever done, I was a little surprised to hear the things coming out of my mouth, but I didn’t let that surprise stop me from talking.

I was told that my story was fascinating, that I have so much to offer, that my dissertation idea is unique, not one that the department has ever had or heard of.

I was told my writing was really good, compelling and deeply insightful.

I was rather blown away by how I was received, it was an amazing experience that ended with me being told I was accepted into the program!

Although, the head of the department said, “unofficially accepted, they keep telling me to not tell anyone that they’re accepted, but frankly, you’re being accepted.”

I just was asked to not make it an official announcement until I received the letter, which I did.

I got in!

The provisional part is that I have to graduate from my Master’s program.

I’m so close!

So freaking close.

I have my next weekend of school coming up and I just finished the third part of the 30 page final thesis paper I have to write for Integrative Seminar-the case study I will be presenting this weekend in my class.

I’m the first one up.

Hoping to hit it out of the park.

I don’t think it will be a problem, I’ve been working with this particular client for ten months I could talk about the client easily for the 20 minutes I need to present.

I wrote up a seven part, seven page case study and zipped it out to my writing partner for any editing suggestions.

I will present on Friday.

I’m so ready.

I also have done all my reading for my other class, Research Methods, and I feel really on top of that work too.

I still have to write a final research paper for that class, and, but it will happen.

I still have a month.

In the last month of school I am going to have a lot to do, get all my graduation paperwork ready, get my paperwork ready for the BBS (Behavioral Board of Sciences), and of course, finish the coursework.

So the provisional acceptance means that I have to do all those things, then I get to keep going to school.

Which is great because I can defer my student loans for another two years.

Those motherfuckers were Johnny on the spot, I got a letter a couple of days ago about my loans coming out of deferment and how I will need to start paying on them, one month after I graduate.

But.

hahahaha.

No.

I’ll be taking out more student loans instead to get my doctorate.

Which is fine, I keep telling myself that it’s ok, that the money will get paid back and that the investment, me, is so fucking worth it.

I really am.

I am super happy to be able to continue on, to get a doctorate is a dream that I haven’t told many and as the process was unfolding it felt so surreal that I am actually able to continue forward, that I am going to get it.

The program is intense, four semesters, a five-day intensive at the beginning of each semester, a cohort of 30 people, on-line classes and forums, but also, I don’t have to go to class, I don’t have to show up on campus, so that’s the bonus, the way that I can do it, that I can still keep working full-time and seeing clients and accruing my hours towards MFT licensure.

There’s lots of work, but I know I can get it done.

Before all that though, I just need to get through the next few months.

Ack!

Not even months!

I have to get through the next six weeks!

It’s happening, it’s all really happening.

So grateful I gave myself this weekend of fun and joy and sleep.

Ready for what the week has to bring.

Really ready.

One step closer to being Dr. Martines

Luckiest girl in the world.

 

And It’s Done!

February 27, 2018

I did it.

I got my PhD application in before the deadline–which is the end of this month.

I finished all my writing yesterday and sent the rest of the needed application materials into the admissions department at CIIS.

California Institute for Integral Studies.

Where I am currently in the end stage of my Master’s in Integral Counseling Psychology.

I graduate in May!

And fingers crossed I’ll be back in school in September.

Yesterday I had a lot of things cooking, but I was able to get everything done, well, haha, except for the cooking.

I mean, I roasted a standard Sunday chicken while I was meeting with a couple of ladies and doing the deal, but I didn’t get to make the soup I had planned on making, I was too busy finishing up the application.

Saturday I got back from being out and about and sat down and figured out how to get into my transcripts for UW Madison and once that happened, it was as though a little magic wand had been waved and I just kept taking the next step in front of me, and the next and the next.

I got the transcripts ordered-rush delivery.

I received notification from UW Madison yesterday early evening that my transcripts were in the mail, which means they will be at CIIS by tomorrow–I did a two-day rush.

Then.

I looked up my resume and tweaked it to reflect what has happened since I had last used it to apply to my practicum/internship site.

It was nice to update it and fingers crossed, it will be the last time I have to put together an academic resume.

Polished it up, submitted it.

And.

Then.

Yes.

I worked on finding the paper that I was going to submit as my example of my academic writing.

I ended up using a paper from my Transpersonal Spirituality class and I did a good clean edit on it, fluffed it out a little, and made it shine.

Then.

Yup.

I submitted that too.

Which only left me the goal statement and the autobiographical statement to do yesterday.

That was still some substantial work, nine pages in toto, but it was such a relief to have done what I’d done to do the back-end work on the application that I wasn’t so worried.

Still.

It did take up all the time I had left between meeting with the ladies and then going up to the Castro to do the deal with my person and to cover my new Sunday night commitment.

I was literally flying out the door to make my 5:30p.m. appointment.

But.

I was flying out the door walking on air, as I had wrapped up the writing and submitted the final two pieces of work.

All summed up: electronic application, 3 pages, resume, 1 page, goal statement, 3 pages, autobiographical statement, 6 pages,  two letters of recommendation, and one sample of my academic writing–10 pages.

That was a full weekend of work and I still went to group supervision, did the deal and got in yoga sessions.

I am pretty fucking proud of myself.

Albeit tired.

Today, though, when I woke up I knew that there were still a few loose ends to wrap up.

First I was concerned that the application never prompted me to pay the $65 processing fee.

Second, I was also worried about my CIIS transcripts getting to CIIS in time.

Funny, but true.

So I sent the dean of the program an e-mail this morning, as well as the admissions office to get clarity and see if there were any other actions I needed to take to process my application before the deadline.

And.

There’s nothing else to do!

Turns out that as I’m an alum.

(Oh my God!  I’m an alum!  I really am fucking graduating with my Master’s degree!)

I am not being charged the processing fee.

It’s waived!

Fuck yeah.

That rather took the sting out of the money I had dropped to get the transcripts.

Second.

The director of the program and the dean both said the same thing, your transcripts will get to us on time, do not worry about it, that the processing agency will get them to the school before the deadline.

Further.

Yes!

That all my application materials were received and noted.

And.

Yay!

That they had everything they needed, the letters of recommendation, and all my materials had all successfully gotten through and it was noted that my application was complete.

I am over the moon.

What I was told by the dean of the program is that they will take a few weeks to go through the applications but that they generally will start interviews by mid March and have made decisions by the end of March.

I’ll pretty much know whether or not I got in within this next month!

I told my supervisor today that I had the sense that I was going to get in.

He agreed with me.

We spend a lot of time talking about what the next few months looks like for me as I will be wrapping up my supervision with him when I graduate.

He asked me about what was next, whether I was looking towards private practice internships and how was I going to get my child and family hours.

I will admit I got a little overwhelmed.

But we were able to have a good conversation about it once I was able to talk about what was coming up for me.

So much of it has to do with the fact of continuing to keep my job so that I have income to live in San Francisco.

My job covers cost of living in the city and though I have a modest life I have a very nice little life.

I couldn’t afford to take on an internship, even a paid one, unless it was as much as I make as a nanny.

I make substantially more than most interns fresh out of their Master’s programs make.

And a lot of the internships aren’t paid.

There’s a great one with Kaiser I was considering, although I am sure the paperwork would be horrendous, until I saw that it only pays $18.45/hour.

No fucking way I can live on that.

I’ll be staying in my job unless something shifts.

Which means that I will probably stay at my practicum site, continue on as an associate there, get as many hours as I can, and then pick up an internship somewhere in the school system, hopefully doing work before class, so I can go to work right thereafter.

I’m not going to get to far ahead of myself.

I did plenty of that this morning.

Rather.

I am just going to take this moment and really let myself enjoy the fact that I have officially applied for a Doctoral program.

I fucking did it!

I applied for a Doctorate!

Almost There!

February 25, 2018

I am almost done with my PhD application!

I have submitted my writing sample–ten pages of an academic paper I wrote for my Transpersonal Spirituality class.

I figured that was a good paper to submit to the program as it, the PhD, is in Transformative Inquiry.

I refreshed and polished my resume and updated it so that it was applicable to the application and I sent that in as well.

I did the online application and submitted that.

I contacted both of the people who wrote me letters of recommendation and confirmed that they had sent said letters to the department.

And.

I ordered my transcripts from UW Madison and CIIS.

I was a little miffed at first that I had to order transcripts.

Can’t the admissions office just look up the transcripts I already sent in from UW Madison when I applied for the Masters program?

And.

Really?

Does the admissions department need a sealed envelope from the registrars office.

Can’t someone just walk that shit down from the 4th floor to the second floor?

I mean.

Fucking come on.

But.

Then I was like.

Ok, not my rules, not my bailiwick, not my place to criticize, not going to change anything by getting all fired up and I certainly am not going to fucking sabotage myself by not getting the transcripts to the admissions team.

So.

I shelled out the $40 bucks and ordered them to be delivered.

They should get there by the time the deadline closes for the applications.

And if they don’t, which I think they will, I will contact the dean of the Transformative Inquiry program and show copies of the receipts indicating that the materials are on the way.

I don’t think it will be a problem and I will also, now that I’m thinking about it, draft her an e-mail and just let her know I was unaware that they would need my transcripts again since I am currently enrolled at the university, that I paid to have them rushed delivered and shit, she can just look me up online and see that I have a 4.0 for my Masters degree.

It’s silly stuff, but I’d rather pay out the little extra and make sure that I dot my “i’s” and cross my “t’s.”

And really I am happy to do the work.

Although it is a little nerve-wracking.

I had a moment earlier today when I just didn’t know if I was going to get it all done and it felt really overwhelming and I had a mild fuck it moment.

But.

Then I remembered the glowing letters of recommendation that I have received and I thought about how disappointed I would be in myself and I just told myself to take some deep breaths and just do the next action in front of me.

Nothing more.

Just that.

Which at one point was just wash my breakfast dishes.

Then.

It was to do my morning writing.

I had hit a place in the online application process where I felt I was too anxious to continue doing it and I realized that a good way to quell that anxiety would be to do my morning pages.

So.

I just stopped working on the application and wrote three and a half pages long hand and then I did my hair and make up.

I got sassy today too.

I was feeling it.

It helps sometimes for me to get sassy when I am working on something like this, it brings my energy up to be playful and dressed up.

I dare say it worked.

I also focused on doing what the next thing was all day long.

After I got my transcripts ordered I had to mail out a piece of mail and I had to go to group supervision.

So.

I did just that.

I got in my car and I drove to the nearest mailbox and I sent off a signed document for permission to send my transcripts from CIIS to CIIS.

I let go of resentment and judgement around it and just sent in the request.

Then I drove to my internship.

Getting there with just enough time to run to Gus’s Market and grab a to go box and get a salad for lunch.

I sat through two hours of group supervision, I discussed clients, I talked about personal self-care, I checked in about a new client and I supported the other trainees in the room with their processes.

After group supervision I dashed over to Optical Underground, which had moved from Grant Avenue to Linden Alley.

The traffic was hellacious, but I made it there on time and I was able to pick out two new frames for my new prescription.

I, yes, splurged on some prescription sunglasses, and I got a nice new pair for progressive glasses for every day use.

I also asked that they tighten up my current frames, which had gone all loosey goosey on me.

I am really happy I got the glasses and then I bounced to the bank to deposit a check from my employers for the over time I worked this past week.

They always pay me for overtime in cash rather than having me get taxed, which is really quite nice.

Filled up the car with gas and found parking close to my nail salon.

Manicure and eye brow waxing.

Then off to do the deal.

And back home.

I wasn’t going to do a bunch more work on the application.

But I had a moment of realizing that I could do it, that there were in fact, a few things that I could just address tonight and get out-of-the-way.

Thus the resume, the transcript order (first one I did earlier and I couldn’t figure out how to access my UW Madison account before I left for group supervision) for the second set of transcripts, the academic writing sample (ten pages that I went back over and combed and edited to tighten and polish), and the resume.

And.

Voila!

I only have to do the autobiographical statement tomorrow and a statement about my goals for the program.

I should be able to knock that out in an hour.

Very happy with everything I got done today.

God damn.

I am almost done with my PhD application!

How crazy is that?

I’ll Just Leave This Right Here

February 9, 2018

For: CARMEN MARTINES

To whom it may concern: I am writing this letter on behalf of Carmen Martines, in strong and unequivocal support for her in applying to the Transformative Inquiry doctoral program. I have known Carmen since she started here in the Master’s Degree ICP Weekend program in 2015. She was remarkable, astute, smart and dedicated then, and she has only gotten better in all the areas of competence, of heart and of relatedness that are central to being a therapist. Carmen has been a consistent, always ready and engaged learner, able to manage course load, timeliness and presence in classes. Evaluations by faculty of her clinical and theoretical work and progress have been consistently high, but more importantly, have emphasized her empathic presence, social justice awareness and interpersonal care. Overall, she makes good choices, works hard at staying personally and interpersonally aware and engaged. I trust her, and truly believe that she will benefit herself, the TID program and the community by getting that doctorate. There are many more positive things I can say about Carmen in support of her application, but I think you get the picture! Please contact me right away if you have any questions or any hesitations about accepting her in this journey! Thank you,

 

Um yeah.

THANK YOU!

So freaking happy when I read this.

I reached out today to my advisor, who also happens to be the head of the department for the program I am in at school, and asked him how my letter of recommendation was coming for my PhD application to the Transformative Inquiry Department at the school I am currently enrolled in as a Masters in Integral Counseling Psychology.

Wow.

I was not expecting the quick response.

And.

The funny thing was that I was so busy at work that I had forgotten I had even reached out to him.

I had this little moment today when I was putting the baby down for a nap that I should check in with my advisor about the letter.

The application to the PhD program is due by the end of this month.

I haven’t done a lot of work on it as of yet.

I have filled out the really basic stuff and I have notified the school that I will be graduating my program in May and thus able to apply to the PhD program.

My transcripts look great.

4.0.

And even if I was to get less than perfect grades for the last semester, it wouldn’t matter, my application will be processed far before I graduate, two months, perhaps even two and a half months before I will wrap my last weekend of classes.

So for all intents and purposes I’m applying with a 4.0 to the program.

Thank you, thank you very much.

I have done a lot of work in the program.

So much.

Intense personal work.

And let me tell you, never was I more grateful for it than tonight.

I had the client session to end all client sessions.

I obviously cannot divulge what happened in session.

Confidentiality.

But.

It was one of the most intense sessions I have ever had, if not the most intense.

I had to work, consciously and with great compassion and awareness of what was happening not just for the client but for myself.

I had to not let myself get swallowed up in the session.

I held my own.

But I have to say, it took some time to shake it off after the session wrapped and the client left.

I did a lot of deep breathing.

I shook myself out.

Literally.

I stood up after writing my progress notes in the file and I shook my arms and legs and stomped my feet and brushed off my arms and prayed.

Then I went to the bathroom and slowly went out to my car.

There was a lot of activity, drug activity, happening on the street, and though I wasn’t parked too near it, I was hyper aware of being a solo woman walking down the street where there were a good-sized group of men using openly.

I got into my car and called a friend of mine in cohort.

I told her what was happening.

Not the contents of the session, again, that’s unethical and illegal, and breaks the client confidentiality.

But.

l was able to share with my friend that I was deregulated and that I had just walked past a bunch of guys using, and I was alone and I just needed to connect with a human.

Thank God for my car.

So, so, so grateful to be warm and safe and able to use the bluetooth to talk to my friend while I drove home.

We caught up, made lunch plans to eat together at the break tomorrow, talked about her kids, my job, life, and by the time I was home and parking my car, I was calm and together.

But wow.

That was one hell of an experience.

Super aware too how much I will have to process with my supervisor on Monday about the session, but for now, well, I can shelf it and attend to getting ready for the weekend of classes.

I am pleased to report my lunch is packed, my books and notebooks and folders are all set, I have my coffee ready to go, all I have to do is take my lunch out of my fridge and put it in my bag and off I go.

I will be taking my scooter to class.

My campus is downtown, a block away from the Twitter HQ.

There is no parking.

None.

Not for a car.

Not on a Friday.

But there is plenty for a scooter.

Parking aside, I also have a lot to do tomorrow.

I’ll be leaving class a little early to go to my first optometry appointment with UCSF.

Then some doing the deal at Irving and 7th and then back to my internship to do a consult with a referral.

I got a referral!

And after.

Dinner with my best friend.

It’s a full day, and a day where I will need to be in multiple places with expediency.

I will need the scooter.

Grateful for the option to use it.

Although, I admit I was sad to park my car, I have gotten so fond of driving her, I even briefly entertained driving it, but to park, if I even found a spot, would be exorbitant.

So, the scooter it is.

I’m ready for classes, all my work done, all my reading, the paper turned in.

I just need to show up and participate.

I can do that.

And if I play my cards right.

I will get my PhD application done this Sunday after I get out of class.

If I don’t, I still have a couple of weeks.

I’m just super happy to have gotten the letter.

It was so nice to read after I got home.

Really.

Really.

Really.

Nice.

Doing This Thing

January 10, 2018

I have officially made the decision to go after my PhD in the Transformative Psychology program at CIIS.

I talked to the dean of the school this morning and she gave me some lovely insights into the program and what I need to do to apply for the program.

I basically have it all covered except for the personal statement.

I need two letters of recommendation, one of which has to come from my academic advisor in my program–he’s confirmed that he will write me a letter and we are meeting at lunch on the first Friday of the school weekend, basically a week from this Friday.

The other letter will come from my supervisor at my practicum site, who actually offered to write me a letter before I had asked him.

I need to e-mail him and say, yes, please do write that letter for me!

In fact.

Hang on a minute, I’m going to go draft that e-mail now.

Yes.

One more thing out-of-the-way.

I was also very grateful to discover that I had been correct in the reading of the PhD application demands–the scholarly paper the admissions department requires can be one I have already written for my current program!

That is super nice.

It’s an 8-10 page paper written in APA format (American Psychological Association).

The dean expressed that they want to see an example of my writing abilities and that I could absolutely use a paper I had already written, it did not have to be an original work.

Whew.

That is such a nice relief.

I really didn’t want to have to write a paper on top of getting my stuff together for this last semester of my Master’s program.

I’ll still need to provide plenty of other things besides the sample of my academic writing and the two letters of recommendation.

There’s also the application fee, $65, so worth it, frankly.

And a resume with pertinent and relevant experience listed.

My transcripts.

I will be very happy to provide those, especially with my current 4.0 grade point average, thank you very much.

A goal statement outlining what I plan to do with the degree once it is conferred.

And.

A four to five-page personal statement.

I mean, that’s a fair good amount of stuff.

But.

Doable.

So doable.

And, as I mentioned, the not having to write a fresh academic paper for the admissions team feels really nice.

The dean told me the deadline was end of February.

Once the application is sent in the admissions team goes through the applicants and decides who they want to call in for an interview.

At which time I would need to give some ideas about what I want to pursue, although said ideas do not have to be concrete, I can change what I decide to do the dissertation on if over the course of the program I find something really amazing and compelling.

But.

I do think I have been narrowing it down and although my idea is big and there’s a lot to explore, I’m super excited by the prospect of exploring it.

I feel like it will help me heal some trauma and in turn, I hope that I will be better equipped to help others walk through their traumas as well.

I’m super happy that I have made this decision.

I felt so freaking good when I got off the phone with the dean, I knew, I just knew it is what I am supposed to be doing.

I’m supposed to get my doctorate.

I am supposed to be of service.

I get to keep learning and growing.

It is fucking exciting.

A little scary too, but I don’t feel it will be that much harder than the work that I have done to get my Masters.

In fact, in some ways I think it will be easier.

The classes are self-directed and timed, I won’t be going into a classroom, I’ll be doing the work on my own, I’ll have my own agency to move at my own pace.

I suspect that I will want to move faster rather than slower.

The dissertation could take longer, the program is designed to be done in two years, but I sense that more than a few folks take longer to get to the dissertation.

I don’t want to do that.

Not to be worried about at this point.

I have taken as much action today as I possibly could in regards to the next steps.

I went to therapy this morning before work.

I went grocery shopping after therapy and managed to have the call with the dean of students from my car before I went into work.

I worked a full day.

Then.

I went and saw two clients this evening.

I e-mailed my supervisor at my practicum site for the letter of recommendation.

And.

I filled in a few more things on the doctoral application.

My god.

I’m really going to do this.

I am going to get my PhD.

Fuck.

My life is amazing.

AMAZING.


%d bloggers like this: