Saturday, February 23, 2013

What a girl wants

Well, I got offers at both internship sites! It wasn't difficult to make a decision though because internship site B practically had me heaving in the parking lot with PTSD symptoms, it reminded me so much of my former workplace.  Basically, the person who interviewed me was describing a particular case management meeting she'd just come from that she described as "full of in-fighting, hidden agendas, petty territorial squabbles..."

EEP. GOOD LORD. Take me 10,000 miles away from another workplace like that. Sounds like I dodged a bullet too because after having lunch with a couple of friends this week who are 'in the field' they said that the particular site I'd interviewed at has a terrible reputation amongst the local practitioners.

So, I've ended up at the State Hospital, which is where I wanted to be in the first place (though the drive is kind of a killer.)  I think it will be a great learning experience.  I also have a second phone call with the head of the phD program I think I want to transfer into once I'm done with the MA portion where I'm at. She seems enthusiastic to talk to me, which is always a hopeful sign!

I also have some new clients coming up this week, which I'm excited about-- a couple coming in for pre-marital counseling. Right now I've been seeing individuals for various presenting issues, and families with young kids (not my ballgame! I have a lot of ethical issues with the way kids have few confidential rights in the counseling process).  I want to work with couples when I have my own practice someday, so this should be a good way to get my feet wet.

I start my internship in May, but I do wonder how I will fit it all in. Some of my classmates have lightened their courseload and are planning taking 3 years to complete the program. No way do I want to do that-- I just have to power through, but it will basically be 2 days/week @ school, 3 days/week at the internship site, and 3days/week @ my part time job.... Does that seem like more days than there are in the week?  Um, yeah!  The biggest obstacle is really the driving-- I'm not one of those people who gets relaxed while driving, I just get tense-- and now I'm basically going to have an 1h30 commute 2x a day, 5 days a week... yuck.  I already have an apartment share for one day a week down at school, and I'm looking into it for when I work at the hospital, but I know Jedi is not thrilled with the idea-- he feels like he hardly sees me as it is, which is pretty accurate.

I do need to give Jedi some extra attention these days-- he does so much, and I'm often running to and fro and I don't give him as much affection as he needs. I need to be reminded to give him hugs and to kiss him before I leave for the day-- not because I don't love him, but because I just tend not to need as much physical affection and demonstrations of love as he does. However, I certainly would not be much of a marriage therapist if, while I'm getting my degree in marriage therapy, I neglect my own marriage, now would I! I have to keep working on this and making him a priority.

Friday, February 1, 2013

A fork stuck in the road

   I have two interviews lined up next week for clinical internships.  I think I have a shot at both of them (knock on wood!), but they are both very different and could potentially lead to me leading 2 quite different lives in the next few years.

The first internship is at a clinic affiliated with the state hospital, and it is probably my top choice in terms of actual work I'd be doing. I wouldn't be working with committed psychiatric cases or anything of that sort (what most people think of when I talk about the state hospital.) I'd be doing  a subset therapy specialty, and one which is relatively new and which interests me.  At the hospital the therapists and doctors work on teams to treat patients who have chronic illnesses or continuing concerns... e.g. postpartum depression, MS, cancer, etc.  to provide holistic patient-centered care.

One thing in particular that is appealing about this particular internship, in addition to the fact that the work itself interests me, is that many of their interns have gone on to a pretty prestigious PhD program that is affiliated with the hospital. I admit that I am considering applying/transferring to that PhD program, and the benefits are phenomenal-- full tuition remission, $40k stipend, health insurance, great research support, etc. They only take 2-3 students on a year, so I'm not counting any chickens or anything, but I've talked to the director of the program and she mentioned if I got this internship I'd be on the right track to get into the program.

At the same time though, if I got this internship it would mean that I would likely be away from Jedi/home 4 nights per week.... which is A LOT. And exhausting. But, I tell myself, it would only be for a year.... but still. It's a lot.

The second internship has the benefit of being closer to home-- it's only 40 minutes away, but they have a satellite clinic I could potentially work at that is only 5 minutes from where I live. The downside is that the work is less interesting to me--it's a lot of court-mandated cases and home visits (and given our catchment area I anticipate that could entail a lot of driving on back country roads in bad weather and could potentially end up being almost as much driving as if I were going to the State hospital.)

The plus side of this internship, in addition to it being closer to home, is that they are often hiring. Whether I were to decide that I wanted to be done with my program after the MA portion or continue on to do the PhD at the school I'm currently at (I'm debating... the cost is nothing to sneeze at), if Jedi and I decide to stay in this area I would likely have to work under the license of someone else in an agency setting for 2 years before I can practice independently.  This internship site is the closest to where we live that would offer that possibility, and part of me thinks it would be good to start working for them as an intern and then have a leg up if/when the time came to apply for a position with them.

Both are good options and I'm lucky/glad I have them. Most of my classmates don't have interviews lined up or anything yet, which would leave me panicked!  Our cohort is very large this year and we are competing with students from the state university for the few internship slots-- it's entirely possible that some of us won't end up with internships (the school says this is unlikely, but there are at least 2 students from the smallish 2013 class that didn't get their internships until November and internship placements are supposed to happen by April/May... so early bird gets the worm!)

I do like to try to plan everything out ahead of time though-- I know that one internship over another is no guarantee of an admissions letter or a job offer in either case and I should be more focused on what I'll be learning--but my mind can't help wandering to the "what if" scenarios and trying to play them all out in my head!

I guess by this time next week it will be a little more clear depending on which internship I get offered, if in fact, I get offered ANY of them...! (horrors!)

I also have another application out to a third clinic so that is also a possibility if neither of these works out.  Que sera, sera...

He said

"Just cherish me," Jedi said, "And I will do anything in my power to make you happy."

How could a girl not fall in love with him?