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Centerpointe Research

Clinical psychology

Bringing The Light To All, Answering Life’s Questions

Bringing the Light to all and consulting on life changes.  Please join me here as I further my goal in life of helping others answer life’s questions.  No, I didn’t start out this way.  I was lost as many of you were or maybe still are.sun on hand gesture

Some may call this wisdom, the knowledge that I have gained.  Some may think that I have had a life changing experience or experiences, a painful one or ones at that.  Maybe the pain is what led me to seek different methods of self-help and ultimately led me to dedicate myself to the spiritual side of psychology, mindfulness, Carl Jung, and…

It all seemed to start with some unanswered questions about my life purpose, the universe, and the future.  I would like to share these answers that I have found with you and helping you at the same time to recognize that you may have had some of these questions too and even came up with the same answers.  You are not alone.

At first life’s  the answers I found may have not seemed to fit and even made me more uncomfortable than the facts that I was brought up with.  I didn’t think that so many people in this world could be wrong.

Also I have found over the years that some of the answers I did originally find find no longer worked.  I had the idea that when one made life decisions, career, marriage, children, etc. that they would stick with them.  Also I felt that only certain answers were acceptable and that what I liked to do was not necessarily what I should do.

Lightner Witmer, the father of modern clinical...

Lightner Witmer, the father of modern clinical psychology. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Also I often picked reasons for doing things that while they were the easiest were not the best.  For example, I picked a Big Ten graduate school close to home that offered a clinical psychology program (my preferred area of interest).  What I didn’t realize then was that I had to find a professor whose area of interest in research was something I would be comfortable with as I would have to do a masters thesis and maybe a dissertation in this area.

The type of practical courses offered by the school in clinical psychology were taught by these same professors whose real area of interest was research, not clinical practice.   Also some of their research was aimed at discrediting those who performed psychological evaluations and did psychotherapy.

Carl Jung integrated psychology with spirituality

The answers I found were not all out there; but they were found within.  Along the way, I found I was not alone in my search.  Others had the same yearning I did to find the answers.  Others like Carl Jung had gone on the same journey and could lead the way.

 

 

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Know Nothings And Status Envy

Know nothings, critics who don’t know what they are talking about.

English: A display of the academic regalia of ...

English: A display of the academic regalia of Harvard University. Top left: Harvard Law School professional doctorate; bottom left: Harvard Divinity School masters degree; right: Graduate School of Arts and Sciences Ph.D. degree (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Envy is the the price you have to pay for getting there when someone does not know the price you paid to get there.  As a female Ph.D., especially one from the 70’s,  I got “no respect”.  Automatically a man with a masters or less would assume that if a woman like me could do it then it wasn’t that hard to do.  Automatically they thought that if they went back to school to get their own Ph.D. or professional degree or advanced degree,  it would only take them a couple of years and it was not that big of a deal.  Women who worked under me and with me often thought I should do my own office work rather than depend on them to do it for me.  They did not expect a woman to be in charge.

I went straight through college and graduate school and it took me ten years of full time study and perseverence.  An “C” or even a “B” was not an acceptable grade and could get you “flunked out” of graduate school.  I took tough exams to get into graduate school and to get out of graduate school with my degree.  I had to qualify for scholarships all through my schooling and they were my sole source of support in graduate school.  They also accepted only so many applicants and I had to compete for one of those positions.

Lightner Witmer, the father of modern clinical...

Lightner Witmer, the father of modern clinical psychology. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Naturally I focused on doing well in college so that I would be considered and offered one of these positions.  I was aiming on going into one of the graduate degree programs that was well respected and offered only to people who whose professional goal was to get their doctor’s degree, not a masters.  People who left the program with “just” a masters were considered in other words to have flunked out. Elitist, yes but I wanted to enter a profession and to have the best credentials.  Also I wanted to be a clinical psychologist not an educational or counseling psychologist as positions in those graduate programs were often considered to be consolation prizes for those who couldn’t get picked for a position in a clinical psychology program or did not want to work as hard as they might have to in a tougher program like clinical psychology.  Worse yet, another “back door” into the field was through social work.

I am being a snob but only for the reason of making my point about how hard it was to get in a clinical psychology program and get a Ph.D. in my field.   Where I stand now on the question of what direction my professional life should take is different than it was then.  It was very competitive to have to do that.  I was very competitive.  I survived and after much experience in life and in my field.  I see things from a different perspective.  What other people think is not always the best barometer of who you are doing in life in your chosen field.  Self satisfaction and self knowledge can be a form of protection or shield against the thoughtless opinions of others.

Graduate School Blues

Graduate School Blues (Photo credit: ChiILLeica)

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Therapy is a Craft

A photo of a group conducting psychotherapy.

A photo of a group conducting psychotherapy. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

As a graduate student, I chose to go to a big name university to study clinical psychology.  What I didn’t know (until I got there and learned what kind of research the psychology professors did) was that they taught that psychotherapy and psychological evaluations were all bunk unless their processes could be broken down into scientifically measurable procedures that could be applied by anyone scientifically trained  and thus measured for outcome.  Yes, I read the recommended books and reports of applicable psychological experiments; but there were areas of clinical work that I didn’t have a clue about how to do them.  When I reached the point in my training where I went for  experiential training in a mental health clinic,  I found out that there were qualities and intuitive behaviors of mental health clinicians that had not been scientifically measured and replicated and therefore could not be proven  effective that were successful.

That was how I learned that psychotherapy was an art and psychotherapists were artists or better yet craftsmen.  It was a privilege to observe these people work their magic.  Scientists were hard put to describe or replicate this magic process.  An interesting article in the current edition of The Psychotherapy Networker  talks about the clinician as a craftsman.  I also realized when in postdoctoral training were I was training medical students that they had to observe my interview of someone behind a one way mirror and then ask me questions about what I did and how I did it.  I did not completely know ahead of time what I would say and do; but if they questioned about how or why I said or did something after the interview, I could usually tell them even if I didn’t know this information ahead of time.

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