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Learning How to Do Therapy + Day In My Life!

Something has been bringing me tremendous joy lately. You may expect me to say that it’s a chocolate bar, or my cat sleeping in a circle (pic below).

And while those are comparable joys, this time, my source of happiness is learning CBT (cognitive behavior therapy). Up until now, I’ve learned how to administer assessments, which is fascinating, unless you have a therapy-based practicum site with REAL CLIENTS in one month from now. With the deadline looming closer, I was beginning to wonder how much I’d be able to help clients with therapy if I didn’t know how to, um, do therapy. Luckily, my school came to the rescue.

This semester, we are required to take our first CBT class. I have a fake client, “Stacy”, who is taking the class with me. I think both of us had the same idea. We figured that if we have to practice on each other for 10 sessions, we may as well try to get over some of our own problems. For me, it’s a certain phobia that I’ve always had. Now, the actual getting-over-a-phobia part isn’t fun. But working with Stacy as my fake client is a very gratifying experience. After the first session, I was beaming as I exited the Zoom meeting. I couldn’t figure out why, until a lightbulb went off in my head: “gosh, it seems that I enjoy my future profession”.

June 23 marks the end of my first year of my doctoral program.

On one hand, this year feels like the first step up toward Mount Everest, where the summit symbolizes my doctoral degree. On the other hand, I need to enjoy that climb, because I have a tendency to live for the future instead of relishing in the feeling of being a student who still has her whole life ahead of her. So, I decided to enjoy the present more.

Last night, after finishing a few work reports and starting a report for my class (take a shot every time I say “report” on this blog), it was a good time to take a break. So, I went to Griffith Park to look at the view. A few things about Griffith Park: 1) beware of all the cheesy couples — speaking as 1/2 of a cheesy couple, 2) I recommend standing guard by your car if you arrive close to the time that Griffith closes, and 3) the view really is worth it. Looking out at the vast city of LA, partially shrouded in fog, I was reminded of how many people were living in their own little “study and work” bubbles. So many lights for so many houses!

the view from Griffith park (thank you, google)

Like the girl who drunkenly danced around the Griffith parking lot and shouted “I’M 21!”, it can be good to take things day by day. Note to my future self: do not come to Griffith park on your 21st birthday.

Another fun life update is that the libraries near me have reopened! One girl from my cohort, who reads at least one book every day (can you believe I’ve been OUT-READ?), gave me plenty of recommendations. Thanks to her, I finished The Tattooist of Auschwitz, which is a page-turner. I used to love loading up on books and lugging a heavy bag home for the weekend. Now, for the first time in a year, I’m able to get back to that habit. I’ve finished three this weekend, and am currently reading Better than Before by Gretchen Rubin right now.

I will take Gretchen’s book to the gym with me to read on the stairmaster. I’ll finish this blog when I get back.

took this pic by accident, but you can tell how busy it is!
And this is what my gym outfit typically looks like

Update: in classic Vera fashion, I forgot the book! In my defense, I tend to bring half of my possessions to the gym with me. My packing list includes: headphones, phone, wallet, driver’s license, water bottle, mask, car keys– I’m bound to forget something.

I just finished this blog post after my Continuity Care session. It is 9:30 pm. I am back at my desk to do *wait for it* more work (but for school as well this time). I’m going to light a candle, bring some snacks, and finish it up!

P.s.: I’ve been in a really good mood lately, if you can’t tell by the excessive exclamation points. It is partially due to (I can’t tag her properly, but her name is Allie Zottola). I experience nothing but joy from reading her posts, so check out her blog if you want a mood boost.


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Hi everyone! I started my doctorate in clinical psychology in fall 2020. A google search revealed that there are no current grad school blogs for psychology students. Anyway, I happen to know a girl who wants to document her journey to getting a doctorate (spoiler: it's me). Welcome. Hope you stay awhile!

5 thoughts on “Learning How to Do Therapy + Day In My Life!

  1. Vera, thank you so much for the shoutout! You are too sweet!

    I am in awe of all the hard work you’re doing for school and the fact that you make time to read for fun and go to the gym! Are you superwoman?!

    Also, YAY for learning CBT and the joy that it has brought you. I think that’s a definite sign that you’re in the right profession for you πŸ™‚

    Lastly, your cat is so cute! Have a lovely day ❀

    Liked by 1 person

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