Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Me and Manny

Okay, so I feel a bit like Manny Ramirez of the Dodgers here...Glad to be back with the "team" (blogosphere patrons of course), but a bit ashamed of my absence from the game for so long (of course, I didn't use steroids so I'm still scrawny ol' me).

That said, thank you to those of you who encouraged me to get back to the keyboard and fill everybody in on the last I-don't-even-know-how-long-it's-been since I've blogged.

Prior to July 1st, I was finishing up my practicum at CHLA, saying goodbye to the awesome kids and teens I was so fortunate to spend time with. They taught me so much about how a child's illness (whether physical or psychological) really tends to affect the entire family. It was my great pleasure and honor to be a part of their treatment and support team both during their treatments and, for some of them, years after they have been deemed to have beaten cancer. I had a lot of fun with them and hope that they learned something about life and how to take something positive from even the darkest times in life.

Now, as some of you already know, I finally have started the FINAL stage of my Psy.D. training by beginning my internship this summer. I'm working full time for San Bernardino County DBH and my first rotation is at CONREP (Conditional Release Program). I'm working with severely mentally ill clients who have diagnoses ranging from Bi-Polar to Schizophrenia to Major depression. In addition to the great range of diagnoses they are facing, each of the clients at CONREP have committed a crime: anything from grand larsony to murdering a parent. All of our clients have either been deemed NGI (not guilty by reason of insanity) or MDO/MDSO (mentally disordered offender/MD sexual O). Needless to say, it's been an interesting first month and a half.

So, what do I do with these oh-so-very-interesting individuals? I'm glad you asked! I lead groups addressing anything from problem-solving skills, to cognitive-behavioral therapy, exercise/sports activity, trips to Lake Perris, process-therapy groups, individual therapy, case management (handling their finances, housing, school-decisions, etc.). The staff are great, especially my supervisor, and I really enjoy my fellow interns. We're all at different clinics, but we meet on Fridays for group supervision.

Overall, it's been a great start to what I hope will be a year that preps me for getting a good port-doctoral position or, dare I say it, a JOB!?!? Well, I won't get ahead of myself too much here, but generally I'm really enjoying my still busy schedule, but with a shorter drive and only having to commute to one location every day.

Oh, and I suppose an update wouldn't be complete without saying that softball rocks! and that I'm enjoying still playing for one of FCC's men's teams and playing with some of Kira's fellow scientists at UCI.

Until we meet again...

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Yes, I am alive.

Okay, so this is the pre-post to be written in a bit. Just wanted to let anyone know who cares that I am, indeed, alive. I'll be back.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

the Mighty Ducks

Kira and I have a small collection of kids movies (mainly Disney) that we have started, knowing that we won't want to buy them all at once when we have kids someday. At least that's my excuse. Truth is, I sometimes like to snuggle up with a blanket on the couch and feel like a kid again. I recently had the urge to watch The Mighty Ducks and decided to buy it (on eBay, where they have EVERYTHING!!!). I watched it last night and it was fun to see how little the kids looked compared to when I first watched it. They're so cute! I have to say I remember them looking much older before. I know I'm not that old yet, but it's still nice to remember things from "a long time ago." (I admit that it feels cool to be able to say things like, "It's been a decade since I..."). So, until we have kids, I'll use the excuse of building an early collection for them; but secretly, I'm indulging the "little Robbie" inside. It's a nice escape from having to be grown up all the time. If I'm anything like my dad, I'll love having kids because I don't think "little Robbie" is going away anytime soon.

Monday, March 16, 2009

home run!!!!!!!

For anyone who has not seen me play softball before, here's a sample of my work tonight. I was 2 for 3 plus a walk. Not bad, especially since the two hits were home runs (my first two of the season :)). My fourth at-bat I flied out with two men on...very sad. We lost by four. :( Oh well, it's always fun to run around with the guys and get my exercise for the week.

My first three at-bats I got home quickly enough to pinch run for Larry (of the FCC gospel quartet) who bats right behind me. I'm still trying to catch my breath. I know, it's sad, but I'm a graduate student. Maybe I'll have time to exercise next year. So, anyway, here's the clip. Enjoy at-bat number two.

Friday, March 13, 2009

I like the rain

I'm currently listening to a book on CD called "The Curious Case of the Dog at Night." It is read/written from the perspective of a high-functioning autistic teenager. I've found it very interesting, funny, and especially informative (about the inner world of an autistic person).

I was listening to it this morning as I sat motionless on Interstate 5, and I began to resonate with what the character was saying. He talked about how sometimes he will groan and rock until all he can hear is himself and then he feels safe. I certainly don't take things to this extreme, but I definitely identified with a comment he made about the rain. He said that he loves the rain because it makes things blurry and if it rains hard enough, the drops explode when they hit the ground and make noise loud enough that the rest of the world fades away for a bit.

I like this about the rain. This is why sometimes I sleep best when it's raining out...and why I like to sleep with two or three fans on...and why I used to lie on the floor in my room when I was younger and turn on Metallica when I felt sick or had a headache. I sometimes like when there is enough going on around me that I don't really have to think about or feel any one thing in particular. I can just be. I let the noise just fill me. Sometimes worship is like that. Some of my favorite memories from church services and church camps have been when the room is full of the roar from guitars, drums, keyboards, and voices. Sometimes I don't sing. I just stand, lean my head back, and let God fill me with his music.

I've really enjoyed this book so far. It's a great read. I feel like although I am quite different from the main character, I have found at least one thing we have in common. One way I can be inside his shoes and understand him on a deeper level. This allows me to get lost in his world on my way to work. It's really nice. It's kind of like it's raining really hard in my car, but I don't have to change when I get to work. :)

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

How YOU doin'?

I'm just curious if this is just me here...

So I overheard something today that always bugs me. I'm in my office and I hear from around the corner on speakerphone:

"Hi [Joanne]. How are you?"

"I'm fine. How are you-so I was wondering if you...blah blah blah."

The part that bugs me you wonder? [Joanne] saying, "How are you" and then just steamrolling right into what she wants to get to. Do we really need to say this little "pleasantry" everytime we get on the phone with someone? So many people don't seem to care anyway. Is it more rude, I wonder, to not say, "How are you?", or to say it, and then not wait for the answer and keep walking past the person or start talking about what you want to say?

I personally try to keep up with social norms by consistently asking people how they are doing. I try to mean it, too. I don't always do it though. If I ask you how you are doing, you can be sure that I actually am interested in the answer. Unfortunately, I feel like I'll always be wondering if people actually care to hear how I'm doing. I'm sure that's partly just me, but also in large part it's having seen too many times when the above interaction prevails.

Hope you all are doing well. :)

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Boo Yah!

Alrighty. So next year I get to actually feel like a psychologist. I'll still just be a therapist / intern by true definition, but I'll finally be working full time in psychology and getting paid for every minute of it. No more of this practicum / "the training is your pay" stuff. 

So where will I be? I found out yesterday that I'll be interning with the San Bernardino Department of Behavioral Health (DBH) from July 1 2009 through June 30 2010. I was placed with my first choice of rotations there: the forensic and outpatient mental health program. This means that I'll spend half of my year either working with the juvenile hall/courts system doing mental health intakes, crisis assessments, and some therapy, or working in a day treatment center for conditional release criminals. At this center the individuals are court-mandated to comply with treatment by taking their prescribed meds and attending therapy sessions as well as just spending time at the center during the day (can be 2-7 days per week depending on their release conditions). The other half of the year I'll be doing therapy and psychological assessments with patients within one of the many outpatient clinics in the San Bern. county system. I'll find out where sometime between now and July.  :)

So, a year of paid, APA accredited internship awaits me. I get to graduate next year. Life is good.