Thursday, May 1, 2008

Semester's End

Well, it has been a while since I posted anything here and I thought I would give you an update.

It has been a busy month or so. My last post dealt with my experience with "Ne'igalomeatiga", my kidney stone. Turns out that it is a common type: a Calcium Oxalate stone. That means that I'm likely to get another one if I don't watch it... soooooo... I hope I can minimize the risk.

Since my last post, it feels like the level of academic work that was due, impending or otherwise looming at the end of the semester has all been compressed into the space of a week or so. I'm on the downhill side of the onslaught though, having attended the last official class session this morning. Now all I have left are two write-ups for my Assessments class, a take home essay test from Internship 1 and a final exam from Advanced Psychopathology between now and next Wednesday. Oh, and supervision and clients and work and sermon prep and processing about 800 wedding pictures for two different clients. Shouldn't be too tough.

I'm actually in a kind of melancholy mood right now. It might have something to do with the fact that it is midnight and I should be either sleeping or working on something that will make my life less hectic tomorrow (paying bills, doing homework or such). Nevertheless, I am blogging so I'll share my emotional state with you.

Firstly, I know that counseling can be an emotional drain on a therapist, and I expect that downt the road it will be, but right now, I feel pretty energized with the few sessions that I've gotten under my belt. Part of the reason is that it challenges my mind to process the stories I'm being told and to push them through a filter of all that I've learned in the past few months and try to make connections and see patterns and make sense of the jumble that spills out in front of me in the therapy room. As this happens, it is not just my clients who are in therapy, but I am there too, so I'm part of this process of examination and exploration. I walk away from a therapy session having been subjected to new information and I have to find some way to make it make sense. Therapy changes people... mostly the therapist, I think. Perhaps I'm still too new to the process and so that is why I feel like I'm taking so much away from each session. Time will tell.

Secondly, my family is undertaking a shift in our level of comfort. As you may know, we have been living with Amelia's parents for a little over three years now, since we moved back to Abilene. What was a short term plan has turned into a long term proposition as it quickly became apparent that living rent-free was a wonderful way to begin the process of getting out of debt. Part of the debt was self-inflicted, part of it was medical emergencies and part of it was sudden job loss related. However we got there, we didn't intend to spend so much time leeching off of Amelia's extremely gracious parents. So, three years later, we've decided that despite the lousy housing market, despite the rising cost of food, gas and general living expenses, that we need to be a household unto our selves. This will not be easy. So far, it has mostly been discouraging. I was supposed to spend some time tonight getting our expenses lined out, calculating our debt and monthly expenditures, but after doing my required duties at the hospital, I only managed to watch LOST and work on my sermon for Sunday. I'd appreciate any prayers you could send our way.

Thirdly, I've been giving a little thought to a paper that I'll have to turn in later this summer called the "Theory of Change" paper. We have been instructed to formulate a theory of change based on what we know from some experts we have studied (Prochaska, primarily and his theory of Transtheoretical change). We are supposed to integrate two of the therapy models we've studied and weave them into this model and come up with our own "meta-theory". It should be an interesting exercise. Recently, I've become wrapped up with a song that is occupying my mental processes and informing my outlook. I have, in fact, set up another blog just to explore this train of thought, so I won't blog about it here, but direct you there to read those ramblings, if you care to:

Finally, I'm really, really, really enjoying doing Photography. I shot my first solo wedding last weekend and it went great. In yet another shameless plug, go visit my page for my budding business and tell your friends. I give awesome discounts to friends, poor college students, families, complete strangers everyone who asks... I'm just enjoying it so much. I appreciate all the affirmation and validation I've gotten from the work. Have a great weekend.

Emery's Memories : Fine Photography

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