Missing buses has become a pattern of mine. Partly because of sleep deprivation, partly because business casual outfits are hard to put together. And I know you would be surprised to read this, but my mornings have been better when I’m late. My mom, the heroic morning chauffer, drops me off at the next bus stop. On the way, we have good conversations. My mom is happy to talk, always sharing stories of how she cheers up depressed clients. The other day, she made a comparison of the brain to a TV and said that just like on Netflix, you are in control of the show. Do you want to watch a show about a tired, depressed woman in bed with the shades drawn, or do you want to watch that woman making dinner for her four kids? “It’s up to you to change the channel,” my mom said. “And depression will tell you that you can’t, but that’s when you lower the volume.”
I truly appreciate my family so much. And I notice that when I do leave the bus, usually at 9:00 instead of 8:30, I arrive to class with a little skip in my step.
After I got to school, it was time for basic practicum class. My professor is a psychoanalyst, which I cherish. So many instructors bow at the altar of CBT without considering any other modality, and this is the only professor I know of who likes psychoanalysis. Then, I had statistics. What is wilks’ lambda? What is box’s m, and what do I do if it’s not significant? I have many questions. Apparently, so do most people in my class. No one knows what’s going on. Fortunately, I have a tutor outside of the class.
During my break, I went to the gym.
Another day, another missed bus (do you think my mom realizes that I enjoy her company this much?). Once again, my mom, my brother, and I all carpooled. If you’re wondering what today’s definition of business casual was, it apparently meant sneakers:
Although I’m at school until almost 7 pm on Tuesdays, I like those days more. I have friends in my classes on that day.
On Tuesday, I had a big break in the middle of the day, so I took myself to a pretty plaza that I go to during every break in order to do work. It looks like this:
On Wednesdays, I have practicum. I think it’s safe to say that I LOVE practicum. I look forward to practicum days.
For starters, I genuinely care about my clients. Dasha (another intern I’m friends with) and I spend 3 hours every evening doing clinical notes and coming up with interventions to use for our clients. Some of my interventions (like imago therapy) were not as popular as others (thought record, short films, aggression scale/de-escalation, and a fan favorite: my mom’s TV metaphor as it relates to depression). I don’t know how to write about practicum because once I start talking about it, I don’t stop. That’s how much I love it.
There’s a snack drawer at practicum. Luckily, I’ve discovered my favorite snack: cheez its. Unluckily, I’ve discovered my favorite snack: cheez its. They’re delicious, but so unhealthy!
My boyfriend sometimes visits me on my lunch break because UCLA is really close to my practicum site. But my lunch break is usually not at the same time as his. For example, lately, my lunch break has been at 2 pm.
Wednesday was exciting because my client asked to have our session while we went for a walk. The practicum site that I’m at encourages us to think outside the box, so I said yes. We both got to move around a bit and talk on the go. In the evening, I finished up several sets of notes and did a Sydney Cummings workout.
Another day at practicum! I had a million and a half worksheets to print for my clients, and another intern helped me figure out the copy machine 😂
On Thursday, I finished my sets of notes at the dining room table. My mom is in the kitchen a lot after work (aren’t we all) so we get to talk about how our days went. My mom is also a psychologist, so she often helps me come up with interventions.
Another of the interns brought in a set of squishy stress toys, which we love almost as much as the clients. It’s actually nice to be able to tell a stressed, jittery client: “wait here, I have the perfect solution!”
On Friday, on my way back from practicum, I bought myself a salad and an avocado for lunch. After slicing the avocado and only finishing one of the halves, I figured I can give the other half of the avocado to a homeless person. A homeless person happened to be nearby, so I asked him if he was hungry. He looked at me. “Normally people give me money or clothes.” Because I was polite, I shrugged and said, “sorry, I usually give food.” He then started to tell me about a plaza that was nearby, one that boasts stores and coffee shops alike. “Where is he going with this?” I thought to myself.
“Maybe I can take you out for coffee sometime!” he finished. Hold on, I thought to myself. With whose money???? I thought you are homeless? Again, to be polite, I explained to him that I had a boyfriend. “He doesn’t have to know,” the man said. Guys. What???
“I have to go,” I said, with finality.
The next homeless person I saw actually DID say he was hungry, so he got to have my avocado and a $5 bill. I stopped to get gas and to workout at the gym on the way home.
And that was my week!