Monday, March 28, 2011

Clean house and a clear(er) head

Have I mentioned that I love my therapist?  I got a good one kind of out of sheer luck. After essentially having a nervous breakdown due to the horribleness of a previous boss (see post below) I asked a friend for a recommendation, and voila! Good therapist.

I've had a fair  number of bad therapists in my life, such that it's kind of surprising I would go see a new therapist at all. But I did, and I've been seeing her for 5 years now. Kind of hard to believe it's been that long! I've been seeing her for so long that my insurance company cut me off from sessions because I'm "not getting better" apparently. They'd prefer that I try drugs. Less expensive, yanno.

But I AM getting better-- I know that much. Yes, it's slow going, but after 5 years I can confidently say that I wouldn't be getting married in August without her help in working through my issues. I still have a bunch more issues to unpack, which is why I still go and see her, but I know it's helping.

When I saw her last Friday I shared some of the issues described in the two previous posts. In one of the stories I shared about my frustrations and anger with the two women at the training session I'm participating in and how these two women are probably the least qualified people I've ever met and they are training to be therapists. Part of the reason it made me so angry was because I felt like they were doing something that I couldn't allow myself/give myself permission to do.

After all, on paper it makes much more sense to do the EdD program.

EdD            vs         PsyD
3 years                    4-6 years
$21k                      $100+k
Part time                 Full Time
Not moving             Probably Moving
Jedi keeps his job    Jedi probably needs a new job
Easy App Process   Difficult App Process
Potential future earnings for both about the same

But what seems clear on paper is less clear when one factors in emotions. And I was getting really emotional/tense/anxious without really knowing why.  And when I identified that I was really angry about other people doing what I wouldn't allow myself to do I suddenly felt much more at peace.  My therapist and another friend both said that my entire demeanor changes when I talk about doing one program versus the other.

I realized also that one of the things that is very important to me is being able to have control over my work environment and time.  I love my current job (most of the time.) My boss is great about being flexible if I need to go to an appointment or need a comp day. I have great vacation time (22 days!) I have good benefits... (they were better last year before budget cuts... grumble...)...

But, at the end of the day, I really have no control over who my next boss will be, if my benefits will be cut further, if my new boss will be flexible with vacation time... etc.

And I realized that if I do the EdD I am essentially saying that my life will be a life spent doing one thing, under the control of someone else, forever.  And in some ways it's not bad-- there's some security to that-- But what I want most of all is to be free and in control of my work life.  I want to be able to say that I won't take clients from 2-5 when my (hypothetical future) children are coming home from school. But I can take clients from 5-7 when lots of people with non/flexible jobs might need someone.  I want to be able to scale back my work load when my grandmother is sick so I can have more time to take care of her... etc.

Additionally, while doing the PsyD means that I can go into private practice, it certainly wouldn't prevent me from continuing to work at a school or college. I could potentially have the best of both worlds.

I'm also much more interested in the topics covered by the PsyD program than I am the EdD program.

After much thought and soul searching I realized how much freer and easier I felt at the thought of doing the PsyD program. In addition to all the factors mentioned above, I think I was just scared to try. I mean, what if I really went for what I wanted and I failed. Gulp.

I talked to a good friend-- Megan-- (i think I had given her a nickname on here at one point, but we'll go with Megan for now.)  She just got accepted to a similar program with a full scholarship & stipend (yea!) and she was giving me hints for the GRE/Psych GRE... (She got a perfect score... not surprising, knowing her... though she claims to be bad at standardized tests.) She's going to send me her resource books and everything, which I very much appreciate. Maybe someday-- if I get into a program-- we can even start a practice together, which would be amazing.

I also decided that I'm still going to apply for the EdD program. My application is already 3/4 complete and if I get in I can always defer until next year (2012).  That way I can go through the long, painful application process to the other programs but still potentially have a back up in case I don't get admitted to any of the PsyD programs. Which is possible. I may utterly bomb the tests and the applications.  But unless I try I don't think I'll be happy with myself.

There's one program I'd really like to get into above all others about an hour away because it means that I would probably be able to continue working where I'm at part-time, Jedi could stay in his job, and we wouldn't have to move. Fingers crossed for that one!

As for Jedi? Well, he's completely supportive, as always.

And, amazingly, these newfound revelations and the peace it brought me led me to give my house a thorough cleaning yesterday. ahhhhh..... My house hasn't been this clean since my mother came to visit last June.

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