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...

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