How Writing My FCP is Like Shoveling Gravel

The first time I worked for money outside of my parents’ home I was 12 years old.  The Morongo Basin Ambulance Association hired me and my best friend John to move a pile of gravel from one spot to another with shovels.  I think we got paid a dollar an hour.  It was summer in Joshua Tree, and so around 100 F (maybe 45 C for Canadians), and the pile of gravel was huge.  After a couple hours I still could not see that we had made a dent in the pile and I complained that we would never finish this job.

John was bigger and stronger than me and remained more in touch with his logical faculties.  He said, “It doesn’t matter if we can’t see a dent.  As long as we keep shoveling gravel, we know that we are making progress, and that we will eventually be done.”

It is hard to argue against that, so I am thinking of John while I am working on my Formal Client Presentation, which is the Master’s thesis of my Couples and Family Therapy program: a monster paper incorporating all of the theory and practice that we have learned in two years, plus a presentation of video of me using all of that during therapy sessions.  It is going so slowly that each time I come back to it, I feel as if I had made no progress. But I know as long as I am typing new words each time I must be making progress, and that means eventually I will be done.

Thanks John!

(First published April 27, 2011 on Nathen’s Miraculous Escape.)

Spring Term 2010 Reading List

OK, I’m done with my comps exam. It went well, I think. I’ll find out in a couple weeks. I’m already a week into my new term and am starting my reading. Here’s my reading list for the next 9 weeks. Each one of these is a chapter or an article for either Child & Family Assessment, Group Therapy, Wellness & Spirituality Throughout the Life Cycle, or Beginning Practicum.

[First posted on Nathen’s Miraculous Escape, April 2, 2010.]

624 Yalom 1 3/31/2010
623 Strauss, Hungry for Connection BB 4/5/2010
623 Stith et al., the voices of children BB 4/5/2010
623 Gil 2000, Engaging families in therapeutic play BB 4/5/2010
609 Brock ch 1 4/5/2010
609 Brock ch 2 4/5/2010
609 BB ch1 in Essential skills in family therapy 4/5/2010
624 Yalom 2 4/7/2010
624 Yalom 3 4/7/2010
624 Yalom 4 4/7/2010
630 Walsh 1 4/9/2010
630 Walsh 2 4/9/2010
630 Walsh 3 4/9/2010
630 Odell BB 4/9/2010
630 Prest & Keller 4/9/2010
623 Moon 1998 Family therapy w intellectually gifted BB 4/12/2010
623 Prober 2004 understanding the rainforest mind BB 4/12/2010
623 Mahoney, Exceptional children BB 4/12/2010
623 Gil 2005 From senstivity to competence BB 4/12/2010
623 Meth 2000 Involving fathers BB 4/12/2010
623 Canino 2000 Diagnostic categories BB 4/12/2010
609 Brock ch 3 4/12/2010
609 Prochaska 1999 How do people change BB 4/12/2010
609 essential skills ch 4 BB 4/12/2010
609 Experiential Text–1/6 of it 4/12/2010
Photo & bio stuff for camp as in email from maya of 3/29 4/14/2010
624 yalom 5 4/14/2010
624 Yalom 6 4/14/2010
624 Jacobs 6 4/14/2010
624 Jacobs 7 4/14/2010
630 Walsh 11 4/16/2010
630 Walsh 12 4/16/2010
630 Walsh 13 4/16/2010
630 Walsh 14 4/16/2010
630 Walsh 15 4/16/2010
630 Walsh 16 4/16/2010
630 Hodge BB 4/16/2010
623 (terminology?) 4/19/2010
623 Booth 2005 Children’s attachment BB 4/19/2010
623 Rober 1998 Reflections on ways to create safe BB 4/19/2010
623 Watchel 2001 The language of becoming BB 4/19/2010
623 small group role play #1 4/19/2010
609 Brock ch 4 4/19/2010
609 Snyder 1999 Hope as a psychotherapeutic BB 4/19/2010
609 BB essential skills ch 6 4/19/2010
609 Ward 2009 moving up the continuum BB 4/19/2010
609 Experiential Text–2/6 done 4/19/2010
624 Yalom 7 4/21/2010
624 Yalom 8 4/21/2010
624 Jacobs 8 4/21/2010
624 Jacobs 9 4/21/2010
630 Walsh 5 4/23/2010
630 Walsh 6 4/23/2010
630 Walsh 7 4/23/2010
630 Walsh 8 4/23/2010
630 Walsh 9 4/23/2010
623 small group role play #2 4/26/2010
623 assessment paper #1 due 4/26/2010
623 Nida 2000 Children’s social emotional development BB 4/26/2010
623 Canino 2000 influence of culture and multiple social BB 4/26/2010
609 Brock ch 5 4/26/2010
609 Gehart 2003 Theory based treatment planning ch1 BB 4/26/2010
609 Experiential Text–3/6 done 4/26/2010
624 Yalom 9 4/28/2010
624 Yalom 10 4/28/2010
624 Jacobs 2 4/28/2010
624 Jacobs 3 4/28/2010
624 Jacobs 4 4/28/2010
630 response paper #1 due 4/30/2010
630 Walsh 4 4/30/2010
630 SArmiento & Cardamil BB 4/30/2010
630 Walsh BB in Family Resiliency 4/30/2010
623 small group role play #3 5/3/2010
623 assessment paper #2 due 5/3/2010
623 Diller 2005 Bitter pill: Ritalin BB 5/3/2010
623 Josephson, Family therapy in an age of bio psych BB 5/3/2010
609 Brock ch 10 5/3/2010
609 Brock ch 11 5/3/2010
609 Brock ch 12 5/3/2010
609 Experiential Text–4/6 done 5/3/2010
609 5/3/2010
624 jacobs 5 5/5/2010
624 jacobs 12 5/5/2010
624 Yalom 11 5/5/2010
624 Yalom 12 5/5/2010
624 Wichman 2005 BB 5/5/2010
624 Midterm reflection paper–see syllabus 5/5/2010
630 McGoldrick Family Life Cycle BB ch 1 5/7/2010
630 McGoldrick Family Life Cycle BB ch 2 5/7/2010
630 McGoldrick Family Life Cycle BB ch 4 5/7/2010
630 Erickson BB 5/7/2010
630 Sheridan, Peterson, Rosen BB 5/7/2010
630 Pardeck & Pardeck BB** 5/7/2010
623 small group role play #4 5/10/2010
623 assessment paper #3 due 5/10/2010
623 Ketering 2007 child physical abuse and neglect BB 5/10/2010
623 Benoit 1999 Parental abuse and foster homes BB 5/10/2010
623 Caffaro 2008 sibling violence BB 5/10/2010
623 Sholevar, The family and the legal system BB 5/10/2010
623 Tonning 1999 Persistent & chronic neglect BB 5/10/2010
623 familiarize w purpose and outcomes 5/10/2010
609 Treatment Planning due 5/10/2010
609 Brock ch 7 5/10/2010
609 Brock ch 8 5/10/2010
609 Experiential Text–5/7 done 5/10/2010
624 Yalom 13 5/12/2010
624 Jacobs 10 5/12/2010
624 Jacobs 11 5/12/2010
624 Jacobs 16 5/12/2010
630 Neda article BB 5/14/2010
630 Danielsdotir, Burgar, Oliver-Pyatt BB 5/14/2010
623 assessment paper #4 due 5/17/2010
623 Wind 1999 Developmental identity crisis in nontrad BB 5/17/2010
623 Volkow 2004 the adolescent brain BB 5/17/2010
623 Cohen 2005 psychotherapy w same-sex attracted youth BB 5/17/2010
609 Brock ch 9 5/17/2010
609 Brock ch 10 5/17/2010
609 Bischoff 2002 The pathway toward clinical self-confidence BB 5/17/2010
609 Avis 2005 Narratives from the field BB 5/17/2010
609 Experiential Text–6/7 done 5/17/2010
624 Jacobs 13 5/19/2010
624 Jacobs 17 5/19/2010
624 Anderson 2009 BB 5/19/2010
630 Response paper #2 due 5/21/2010
630 DAvis, WArd, Storm BB 5/21/2010
623 Imberti 2008 the immigrants odyssey BB 5/24/2010
623 Fon 1999 Multiple traumas BB 5/24/2010
623 Dolbin-MacNab 2008 Grandparent raising grandchildren BB 5/24/2010
609 virtual dialogs due 5/24/2010
609 observation due 5/24/2010
609 Brock ch 6 5/24/2010
609 Experiential Text–done 5/24/2010
630 Papernow BB 5/28/2010
630 King & Wynne BB 5/28/2010
630 Clunis & Green BB** 5/28/2010
630 Corbet-Owen & KrugerBB** 5/28/2010
630 Interventions paper DUE 5/28/2010
630 Interventions handout DUE 5/28/2010
624 Final group reflection–overall–see syllabus 6/2/2010
630 Intervention presentations 6/4/2010
609 final exam 6/7/2010
624 Proposal for group term paper–8-10 pp


[First posted on Nathen’s Miraculous Escape, March 31, 2010.]

At 8 o’clock tomorrow morning, I am taking my first round of comprehensive exams for my couples and family therapy program. The purpose is to make sure we understand all of the theory we’ve been learning before we start seeing clients. If I don’t pass, I will be given another chance at it in the summer–I won’t be able to see clients this summer, but I could start in the fall.  I feel good about it. I am ready.

We will be graded Pass, Fail, or Pass With Distinction. I expect to get a Pass. I know the material quite well, but we’re supposed to write 3-4 single spaced pages on each of three questions, all in five hours. With citations. That’s a lot of typing. I’ve done three dry runs through the test, and the most I’ve been able to type, even with my outlines in front of me, is 7 1/2 pages, total. I’m not a fast typist, and I still have to think some about what I’m going to write. I’m fine with a “Pass.” Part of my learning curve is learning how to stop at “good enough.”

We’re allowed to bring food, drinks, ipods, and our reference lists with the references in any order. (I’ll paste in my list below). I’m also bringing my own keyboard (Microsoft Natural Keyboard Elite) and mouse (Logitech TrackMan Wheel). Five hours of fast typing–I need to be comfortable! I’d like to bring my chair, too (Herman Miller Aeron), but it’s difficult to bike with.

Tonight I’m treating myself to some food someone else made and getting into bed early.

Here are the questions. I’ve had them since December. Below them is my reference list. Wish me luck!

Question 1

Describe in detail systems theory, contrasting it with modernism (aka positivism). Be sure to include central concepts of both epistemologies and explain them fully. Also detail the main concepts of communication theory, and the connections between communication theory and system theory. Describe a family problem in detail using a specific model of family therapy (Structural, Strategic, Solution Focused, Experiential, EFT, Bowen) to describe the relevant associated concepts to understand the situation. What are the model specific concepts you will use to understand the family? How will it direct your treatment? What interventions might you utilize to help this family? Why are these interventions systemic? How will you evaluate outcomes based on this model of therapy? How will the common factors research influence your view of intervention with this family?

Question 2

Research ethics includes principles of social justice and dictates competence at each of the following levels: a) conducting research, b) consuming research, and c) utilizing the research literature.

Describe the key social justice considerations when conducting research, when evaluating the merits of a research study, and when utilizing research data as a clinician. In your response include notions of consent, validity, and the characteristics of a well-constructed qualitative and quantitative research designs. Finally, specifically describe how you will incorporate your knowledge of research and its relationship to social justice while a clinician at the CFT.

Question 3

Please describe a process for how you will develop a systemic diagnosis and treatment plan for the client system depicted in the vignette below. Carefully describe how your diagnostic impression and treatment plan are informed by your knowledge of (1) diversity, (2) empirically validated treatments, (3) relational ethics, (4) the diagnostic and statistical manual and (5) CFT theoretical frameworks (systems and communications theories). Finally, based on the vignette below, talk about your treatment approach and how it is informed by the five areas mentioned above. Clearly articulate your systemic diagnosis and treatment plan for this client system.

Kelly (39) and Kris (26) presented for couples therapy. The couple reports they have been together for about two years and are very serious about their future together. Kris reports they have “problems understanding each other. We just can’t communicate.” Kelly agrees and reports it’s been that way for several months. Every time they try to talk with each other about their problems they don’t get along and often engage in escalating verbal arguments. The arguments often lead to Kelly leaving the house very upset and not coming home until the next day. Each partner is hoping for it to get better and want to engage in ongoing couples therapy. Kris reports feeling down and “out of sorts” most of the time and has had difficulty in getting out of bed and making it to work on time the past few months; however, is able to have some good days feeling happy and energetic. After the third session, Kelly discloses to you over the phone that he is thinking of engaging in a sexual relationship with another partner but doesn’t want to bring it up in therapy yet, and doesn’t want you to, either. He states that he feels having another partner will help the relationship because he will “be able to get my needs met.” He further reports to you that they both occasionally seek out partners outside the relationship and feel an open relationship works for them, though made the decision years ago to just not talk about it when it is happening.

Comps References

Becvar, D. S. & Becvar, R. J. (2006). Family therapy: Systemic integration. Boston, MA: Pearson.

Burbatti, G. L. & Formenti, L. (1988). The Milan approach to family therapy. Northvale, NJ: Jason Aronson.

Fisch, R., Weakland, J. H., & Segal, L. (1982). The tactics of change: Doing therapy briefly. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.

Gehart, D. (2010). Mastering competencies in family therapy: A practical approach to theories and clinical case documentation. Belmont, CA: Brooks/Cole.

Haley, J. (1993). Jay Haley on Milton H. Erickson. New York, NY: Brunner Mazel.

Madanes, C. (1991). Strategic family therapy. In A. S. Gurman & D. P. Kniskern (Eds.)Handbook of family therapy (pp. 396-416). Madison, WI: Routledge.

Nichols, M. P. & Schwartz, R. C. (2008). Family therapy: Concepts and methods. Boston, MA: Pearson.

Sandberg, J. G., Johnson, L. N., Dermer, S. B., Gfeller-Strouts, L. L., Seibold, J. M., Stringer-Seibold, T. A., Hutchings, Andrews, J. B., & Miller, R. B (1997). Demonstrated efficacy of models of marriage and family therapy: An update of Gurman, Kniskern, and Pinsof’s chart. The American Journal of Family Therapy, 25(2). 121-137.

Sprenkle, D. H. & Blow, A. J. (2004). Common factors and our sacred models. Journal of Marital and Family Therapy, 30(2), 113-126.

Watzlavick, P., Bavelas, J. B., & Jackson, D. D. (1967). Pragmatics of human communication: A study of interactional patterns, pathologies, and paradoxes. New York, NY: Norton.

Sells, S. P., Smith, T. E., & Newfield, S. N. (1996). A clinical science for the humanities: Ethnographies in family therapy. In S. Moon & D. Sprenkle (Eds.), Research Methods in Family Therapy (pp. 25-63). New York: Guilford.

National Institutes of Health (1979). The Belmont report: Ethical principles and guidelines for the protection of human subjects of research. URL

National Institutes of Health (2010). The Nuremberg code: Directives for human experimentation. URL

Sue, S. (1999). Science, ethnicity and bias: Where have we gone wrong? American Psychologist 54(12), 1070-1077. 

Freire, P. (1970). Pedagogy of the oppressed. New York, NY: Continuum.

Aronson, E., Ellsworth, P. C., Carlsmith, J. M., & Gonzales, M. H. (1989). Methods of Research in Social Psychology. Columbus, OH: McGraw-Hill.

Creswell, J. W. (2009). Research design: Qualitative, quantitative, and mixed methods approaches. Los Angeles, CA: Sage.

Corey, G., Corey, M.S., & Callanan, P. (2011). Issues and ethics in the helping professions(8th Ed.) Belmont, CA: Brooks/Cole Cengage Learning.

Fisch, R., Weakland, H., & Segal, L. (1982). The tactics of change. San Fransisco: Jossey-Bass.

American Psychological Association. (2000). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (4th ed.-TR). Washington, DC: American Psychchological Association.

Bettinger, M. (2006). Polyamory and gay men: A family systems approach. In J. J. Bigner (Ed) An introduction to GLBT family studies (pp. 161-181). New York, NY: Haworth.

LaSala, M. C. (2001). Monogamous or not: Understanding and counseling gay male couples.

Families in Society, 82(6), 605-611.

I Passed my Comps Exam

April 9, 2010

Dear Nathen,

We are very pleased to inform you that you passed the comprehensive exam. Our standard in grading this exam is high; your work was of a very high quality. Congratulations!

You have worked very hard and you have demonstrated excellent understanding of core course material. We look forward to working with you as you move into your clinical work. In the Beginning Practicum course Dr. Tiffany Brown will continue to inform you about the Advanced Practicum course, about internship options throughout the community, and about orientation dates and plans for beginning at the Center for Family Therapy.

The vast majority of your cohort received a passing score this year. This is a statement of both your individual abilities and the support you give each other.

Again, congratulations.

Deanna Linville, Ph.D., LMFT

CFT Program & Clinical Director

Assistant Professor

Couples and Family Therapy Program

University of Oregon

[First posted as “Comps Update” on Nathen’s Miraculous Escape, April 9, 2010.]

The No-Secrets Policy

Yesterday, I participated in my master’s program’s OSCEs–Objective Structured Clinical Exercises–for the students in the year ahead of me, who are about to graduate. My cohort played clients in specific, challenging scenarios for the second-year-cohort therapists. The activity was adapted from a medical school test of clinical ability.

My scenario was the most challenging of the day. The therapists came in expecting to be doing a goal setting exercise with a couple but found that only one of us (me) had showed up. I was to immediately disclose an affair and request that the therapist not tell my wife about it. I had ended the affair, felt very guilty about it, and was certain that revealing it would destroy our relationship. I was to try and get the therapist to help me with the “things that pushed me to do this.”

I am not a good actor, so it took all my attention just to get my part across in a semi-believable way. When I watched my cohort-mates play the same part, though, it was heart wrenching. They did such a good job showing remorse, almost crying, showing the fear of losing their husbands, and over “a stupid mistake.” (Well, three stupid mistakes with one person.) I really felt for them–and they were just pretending! I can see how much preparation I will need to do to handle this kind of situation effectively. I am certain to have clients who have affairs. I just looked up the statistics, and the lowest numbers I found are that about 15% of married women and 25% of married men have sexual affairs. That means that at least one out of four couples I see will have had or are heading towards an affair.

Our clinic has a “no secrets” policy for couples counseling. It’s something we bring up on the first day of therapy. If one member of a family has an individual session, what is said in that session is not going to be confidential to the rest of the family. The idea is that for this work, it is the relationship that is our primary client, not the individuals, and that secrets (differentiated from privacy) are toxic to relationships. Also, if the we are brought into one person’s secret and keep it, we can no longer serve the relationship without bias.

I think that the no-secrets policy is a good idea and I have been planning to use it in my work, but now, seeing it in practice, I see that it’s not just a matter of having a policy. I will need to thoroughly wrap my head around how it will apply in different scenarios. I will need to talk it through with a lot of people so I feel comfortable and confident in my thinking. I will also need to remember to remind clients about the no-secrets policy the moment I see that a couples client has come in alone. We introduce the policy during the first session, but that may not be what a client is thinking about when they disclose an affair. They may think that I have trapped or betrayed them if their disclosure is followed by, “Remember that no-secrets policy we talked about during our first session?”

Ideally, in this case, we would work together with the client on a palatable way to reveal their actions to their partner and then work with the couple to heal the rifts. We don’t automatically tell the partner about affairs, either. There are some things that we are required by law and ethics to report, like death threats or the abuse or neglect of a child, but affairs are not one of them. If the cheating partner refuses to allow revealing the secret, I would have to refer the couple, for suitably non-specific reasons, to another therapist who could be unbiased, if in the dark.

I think that I need to rid myself of some countertransference when it comes to affairs. That is, as it stands, I think I might favor cheat-ee over cheating clients, because it’s harder for me to relate to cheating. I walked out of our role plays thinking, “Wow, it’s so much simpler and less painful to avoid an affair than it is to deal with the aftermath!” Can anyone recommend a good book or movie that could help me empathize with someone having an affair–especially someone who feels like they are not in control of their actions, or just not thoughtful, in sexual infidelity?

This is interesting and sometimes painful work I am getting myself into!

[First published on Nathen’s Miraculous Escape, February 17, 2010.]

Second Term of Grad School

[First posted as “Winter Term Begins” on Nathen’s Miraculous Escape, January 8, 2010.]

I’m back from a wonderful vacation with Reanna and my family in Joshua Tree and hunkering down for my winter term. I’ve heard that my last term had the most intense workload of the program, but now that I’ve compiled the list of reading and assignments, I wonder if that’s true, especially considering that we have our comp exams the first week of spring term, which includes writing four 6-8 page papers from memory. I’m thinking of ways to take it easier on myself this term because I lost some of my near-focus vision during fall term and I’m not cool with that. (Yes, I was taking breaks, looking up frequently etc. Reading 30 hours a week is reading 30 hours a week.) Anyway, here’s my reading and writing list for the next 10 weeks. The number codes are for the classes: 610 is my second Family Models class, 620 is my Psychopathology (read DSM and deconstruction of such) class, 621 is Professional and Ethical Issues in Family Therapy, and 632 is Medical Family Therapy. I’m excited about all of them.

620 “Remembering Masturbatory Insanity” (URL) 1/6/2010

620 “Mental Disorders are Not Diseases” (URL) 1/6/2010

620 “The Myth of the Reliability of DSM” (URL) 1/6/2010

620 “On Being Sane in Insane Places” (Blackboard) 1/6/2010

620 “Patient Autobiographies” (Blackboard) 1/6/2010

621 Corey ch 1 1/11/2010

621 Corey ch 2 1/11/2010

621 Woody ch 1 1/11/2010

621 reflection paper 1 1/11/2010

610 Nichols ch 6 1/13/2010

610 Nichols ch 9 1/13/2010

610 BB Bobrow & Ray 1/13/2010

620 Munson: Look at Visuals section. 1/13/2010

620 Munson: Read: Introduction, 1/13/2010

620 Munson: Ch. 3 (for overview), 1/13/2010

620 Munson: Ch. 4 (focus on structure of multiaxial system). 1/13/2010

620 Munson: Skim Ch. 21 1/13/2010

620 Munson: Skim Ch. 23 1/13/2010

620 DSM: Introduction, Use of the Manual, Multiaxial Assessment (through p. 37) 1/13/2010

620 Skim “APA Guidelines for Providers…” 1/13/2010

620 D’Avanzo & Geissler: Read Foreword 1/13/2010

620 D’Avanzo & Geissler: Preface 1/13/2010

620 D’Avanzo & Geissler: Appendix 1/13/2010

620 D’Avanzo & Geissler: look at index. 1/13/2010

620 D’Avanzo & Geissler: Look up people of your ethnic heritage, country(s) of origin, or with whose culture you are familiar in order to evaluate strengths and limitations of this resource 1/13/2010

632 Sapolsky ch 1 1/15/2010

632 Sapolsky ch 12 1/15/2010

632 Sapolsky ch 16 1/15/2010

632 Medical Family Therapy ch 3 1/15/2010

632 Medical Family Therapy ch 6 1/15/2010

610 BB Shields & McDaniel 1/20/2010

610 Tomm part 2 1/20/2010

610 reflection paper 1 1/20/2010

620 Munson: Ch. 19, 11 1/20/2010

620 DSM: Adjustment DOs (p. 679-683), Anxiety DOs (p. 429-484) 1/20/2010

620 Kessler 1/20/2010

620 Barrett 1/20/2010

620 Ung 1/20/2010

620 Burroughs 1/20/2010

620 Munson 14 1/20/2010

620 DSM: Dissociative DOs (p. 519-33), 1/20/2010

620 DSM: Eating DOs (p. 583-595) 1/20/2010

620 Schreiber 1/20/2010

620 Knapp 1/20/2010

632 Rolland part I 1/22/2010

632 Rolland part II 1/22/2010

621 Corey ch 3 1/25/2010

621 Corey ch 4 1/25/2010

621 Woody ch 8 1/25/2010

621 reflection paper 2 1/25/2010

621 reflection paper 3 1/25/2010

610 BB Tomm part 1 1/27/2010

620 Munson: Ch. 10 1/27/2010

620 DSM Bipolar DOs (p. 382-401) 1/27/2010

620 DSM: Mood DOs (p. 345-382 1/27/2010

620 Styron 1/27/2010

620 Jamison 1/27/2010

632 Rolland part III 1/29/2010

621 Corey ch 5 2/1/2010

610 Nichols ch 13 2/3/2010

610 BB carr 1998 2/3/2010

620 reading to be assigned 2/3/2010

620 quiz 2/3/2010

620 summary of small group discussion 2/3/2010

632 Gawande 2/5/2010

632 Patients from different cultures ch 2 2/5/2010

632 Patients from Different cultures ch 4 2/5/2010

621 Corey ch 6 2/8/2010

621 Woody ch 7 2/8/2010

621 reflection paper 4 2/8/2010

621 professional disclosure statement 2/8/2010

610 BB Gergen 1985 2/10/2010

610 quiz 1 2/10/2010

620 Munson 9 2/10/2010

620 Munson 16 2/10/2010

620 DSM: Schizophrenic spectrum DOs (p. 297-338) 2/10/2010

620 Alda mother 2/10/2010

620 Love mother 2/10/2010

620 Steele 2/10/2010

620 Hunt 2/10/2010

620 “lobotomies” coleman 2/10/2010

620 Dully and Fleming 2/10/2010

620 El-Hai 2/10/2010

620 Grand Rounds 2/10/2010

632 Shared experience ch 1 2/12/2010

632 Shared experience ch 14 2/12/2010

632 Shared experience ch 15 2/12/2010

632 Medical family therapy ch 4 2/12/2010

632 Medical family therapy ch 11 2/12/2010

632 Sherret 2/12/2010

632 health genogram due 2/12/2010

621Corey ch 7 2/15/2010

621 Woody ch 3 2/15/2010

621 reflection paper 5 2/15/2010

610 Nichols 12 2/17/2010

610 BB Molnar & DeShazer 1987 2/17/2010

620 Munson 20 2/17/2010

620 Munson 16 2/17/2010

620 DSM: Personality DOs (p. 685-729) 2/17/2010

620 Wurtzel 2/17/2010

620 Levine 2/17/2010

620 Miller 2/17/2010

620 Crimmins 2/17/2010

620 DSM: Alzheimer’s (p. 147-158) 2/17/2010

632 psychotherapist’s guide to psychoparmacology 2/19/2010

621 Corey ch 8 2/22/2010

621 Corey ch 9 2/22/2010

621 Woody ch 4 2/22/2010

621 reflection paper 6 2/22/2010

610 reflection 2 2/24/2010

620 review readings 2/24/2010

620 Exam 2/25/2010

632 LBL chapter 1 2/26/2010

632 LBL chapter 3 2/26/2010

632 LBL chapter 7 2/26/2010

632 Candib 2/26/2010

621 Corey ch 11 3/1/2010

621 Corey ch 12 3/1/2010

621 reflection paper 7 3/1/2010

621 legal statutes and rules summary 3/1/2010

610 Nichols 11 3/3/2010

610 BB Goldner 1992 or so 3/3/2010

610 OSCR reflection 3/3/2010

620 trans readings TBA 3/3/2010

632 LBL chapter 8 3/5/2010

632 LBL chapter 9 3/5/2010

632 Becvar 3/5/2010

621 Corey ch 10 3/8/2010

621 Corey ch 13 3/8/2010

621 reflection paper 8 3/8/2010

621 Take home final due 3/8/2010

610 Nichols 14 3/10/2010

610 quiz 2 3/10/2010

632 interview project due 3/12/2010

610 final paper due 10 am 3/15/2010

Grad School Reading Begins

[First published as “One Half of My Fall Term Workload” on Nathen’s Miraculous Escape, October 1, 2009.]

I just entered the assignments listed on the syllabi from my first two (of four) classes–Family Theory and Gender & Ethnicity in Family Therapy. It’s all reading and writing. There are about 20 assignments that I have on repeat in my PDA, so they only show up once here. Still, I anticipate that this is about half of my workload for the next 10 weeks.

Virtual dialog entry for Family Theory    10/6/2009
Two questions from readings–Family Theory    10/7/2009
Personal Epistemology essay 1    10/7/2009
616 e-reserve Glasserfeld    10/7/2009
619 Genogram    10/7/2009
McGoldrick ch 1    10/7/2009
Read Genogram Materials folder    10/7/2009
619 Read AAMFT Code of Ethics URL    10/7/2009
619 Read Chronister, McWhirter, & Kerewsky [In Ecological Model folder]    10/7/2009
Personal Epistemology essay 2    10/14/2009
616 Pragmatics ch 2-3    10/14/2009
616 e-reserve Bateson Theory of schizophrenia    10/14/2009
616 Sullivan lecture 1    10/14/2009
619 Ecological risk and resilience worksheet    10/14/2009
Read a chapter of McGoldrick et al. that relates to your family of origin, and one that seems very different. Write in your journal about these chapters, particularly in relation to yourself.    10/14/2009
Read McGoldrick et al., Appendix: Cultural Assessment    10/14/2009
Skim McGoldrick et al., Chapters 36, 37, 38    10/14/2009
619 Genogram and ecological worksheet due    10/14/2009
619 Read Shachtman    10/14/2009
619 Skim Paniagua    10/14/2009
619 Read McIntosh URL    10/14/2009
619 Read Kincaid    10/14/2009
Personal Epistemology essay 3    10/21/2009
Family theory quiz 1    10/21/2009
Pragmatics ch 4-5    10/21/2009
616 e-reserve Jackson on Homeostasis    10/21/2009
616 Sullivan lecture 2    10/21/2009
619 Read Gone    10/21/2009
619 Read Phinney et al.    10/21/2009
619Read Sullivan et al.    10/21/2009
Personal Epistemology essay 4    10/28/2009
Pragmatics ch 6-7 and epilogue    10/28/2009
616 e-reserve Jackson on Study of the Family    10/28/2009
Sullivan lecture 3    10/28/2009
619 1000-1500 wd reflection paper (weird format–look in syll)    10/28/2009
Read McGoldrick et al,. Chapter 20, 21, 27    10/28/2009
619 Read Serdarevic & Chronister     10/28/2009
619 Read Boyd-Ball & Dishion    10/28/2009
619 Read Nguyen    10/28/2009
619 Read Ung    10/28/2009
619 Read Littleford    10/28/2009
Personal Epistemology essay 5    11/4/2009
Tactics, beginning to end of ch 2    11/4/2009
616 e-reserve Jackson: sick sad savage sane    11/4/2009
Sullivan lecture IV    11/4/2009
619 Begin reading Him    11/4/2009
619 Read Hertlein    11/4/2009
619 Read Grealy    11/4/2009
619 Read Grealy    11/4/2009
619 Read Decker    11/4/2009
619 Read Kerewsky    11/4/2009
619 Read Steele    11/4/2009
619 Read Mahalik et al.    11/4/2009
Personal Epistemology essay 6    11/11/2009
Tactics ch 3-4    11/11/2009
616 e-reserve Jackson, Myth of normality    11/11/2009
Sullivan lecture V    11/11/2009
619 Responses to clinical vignettes due    11/11/2009
619 Read Davies et al.    11/11/2009
619 Read Loschiavo et al.    11/11/2009
619 Read Swofford    11/11/2009
619 Read APA Guidelines for Psycholological Work with Girls and Women    11/11/2009
619 Read Ali    11/11/2009
Read McGoldrick et al., Chapters 10, 22, 23     11/11/2009
619 Read Beatie    11/11/2009
619 Read Carroll, Gilroy, & Ryan    11/11/2009
Personal Epistemology essay 7    11/18/2009
Family theory quiz 2    11/18/2009
Tactics ch 5-6    11/18/2009
616 e-reserve Dramatization of Evil    11/18/2009
619 Clinical paper    11/18/2009
619 Read hooks    11/18/2009
619 Read Lott    11/18/2009
619 Read Miller & Thoreson    11/18/2009
619 Read Beah    11/18/2009
619 Read Williams & Williams-Morris    11/18/2009
619 Read Reeve    11/18/2009
619 Read Root    11/18/2009
Read McGoldrick et al., Chapter 5    11/18/2009
Skim McGoldrick et al., Chapters 6, 7, 8, 9    11/18/2009
Personal Epistemology essay 8    11/25/2009
Family theory paper presentation    11/25/2009
Tactics ch 7-9    11/25/2009
616 e-reserve Tomm on Milan FT    11/25/2009
619 Read Yardley    11/25/2009
Tactics ch 10-12    12/2/2009
616 e-reserve Madanes on Stratigic FT    12/2/2009
619 Read doctoral students’ summary of Sue et al.    12/2/2009
619 Read Georgas et al. (2 parts)    12/2/2009

About to Start Grad School

I got back from Vermont and Not Back to School Camp last night and spent today scurrying to get ready for the start of my term. I’m doing a masters in Couples and Family Therapy, starting tomorrow. I’ll do a year of theory (lots of lectures, reading, and writing) and then a year of practice. I’ll be taking clients next summer. Here’s the list of classes for the first term, with the descriptions provided by the program:

Research Methods Research strategies, statistics, and techniques relevant to the field of family therapy provide evaluative skills for interpretation of statistical data, qualitative and quantitative research methods and the bi-directional continuum for research design.

Introduction to Family Therapy Overview of the major models and methods of systemic counseling as they have evolved in the field of family therapy. Application of systemic therapy models to assessment and treatment protocol for common presenting problems.

Family Theory A study of the major theoretical orientation and general theories relevant to the study of the family including exchange theory, symbolic interaction, general systems approach, conflict and phenomenology.

Gender and Ethnicity Introduction to thinking critically about clients’ and therapist’s group memberships and identifications, and the effects of these on the therapeutic relationship and interventions. Particular emphasis is placed on understanding both enduring and changing human diversity contexts through the use of Bronfenbrenner’s Ecological Model and genograms as both assessment and intervention techniques.

[First published as “I’m Back from NBTSC and About to Start Grad School” on Nathen’s Miraculous Escape, SEptember 28, 2009.]

My Couples and Family Therapy Cohort

I just spent ten weeks with these fine future family therapists. It’s pretty cool to have the same people in every class, about twelve hours a week, and all doing the same assignments and reading. (About 30 hours of reading a week and between 5 and 20 hours of writing a week.) I think I’m getting to know them pretty quickly. It’s a little like how I felt doing my honors thesis in the psychology department with a bunch of people I would be graduating with, but I only got a year with them, and only had a couple of them in each of my various classes–the CFT masters is on a set track, where two undergraduates in psychology might only have taken a couple classes in common. I’m getting something like 21 months with this cohort, and spending a lot more time with them throughout.

This is them just before I gave my presentation, “Intervention at the Level of Systems versus Individuals,” on our last day of Family Theory class. We were all pretty exhausted–on the home stretch. Marc, our instructor, is in the lower left.

My CFT Cohort

[First published on Nathen’s Miraculous Escape, December 5, 2009.]