Tag: counseling

My Grandmother, My Mother, and Me: 100 Years of America

 

This study of three generations, although cherry-picked, subjective, and anecdotal, does tell us something.

  1. Although easier and more luxurious, my life is more complicated than my grandmother’s.
  2. In daily living and career options, the ordinary American citizen has prospered in ways that stagger the imagination.
  3. Families in the ’40s and ’50s  labored to provide housing, food, and clothes, while my increasingly pampered generation fights to keep perspective on what is real and important.

 

Member Post

 

As someone whose marriage has gone over the edge, metaphorically speaking, and crawled its way back up, I believe I have some helps to offer for those in a similar struggle. By “over the edge,” I mean that we were separated for a year and a half as we painstakingly worked our way upward and […]

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If I Could Change 1 Big Life Decision, I’d Listen to My Faculty Advisor

 

I was a psychology major in college, for the wrong reason. Earlier, when I was in junior high school, my parents took me to the University of Washington Adolescent Clinic. It was their opinion that I was a screwed-up kid, and needed help. In my opinion, I was just fine, and someone else in the family was the problem. But since I was the kid, parents ruled. The intake procedure for the clinic was a big meeting around a conference table, with me, my mother, and four clinicians, including a psychiatrist. They asked me and my mom questions, and we answered. I enjoyed the meeting and answered everyone’s questions honestly. After the meeting, I met with the psychiatrist, a very nice lady. What she told me was that I was correct. I was fine. Mom was the problem. That took a huge weight off me, and I decided then and there that I wanted to be a psychologist when I grew up. Uh, wrong.

So I majored in psychology at college. I really, really wanted to be a counselor, so I could help kids like I was helped. In my senior year of college, I was required to take a course called “Research Participation”, or “rat-running” in the local psych slang. I had to design an experiment involving running rats through a maze; compile the data; and write a paper with the results. I had no real interest in research, but I did it anyway. I came up with the bright idea of exposing one group of rats to loud noise, and the other group of rats to no noise; run them all through the maze afterward, and see if the two groups’ performance was different. My lab partner was my boyfriend, who was afraid of rats! So I handled the rats, and he compiled the data. We found some really screechy music, and I took the record to the AV lab and made a continuous loop of tape with this really awful music, to play for the study group of rats (the others were the control group). Then, every night for a week, I would go to the lab and for an hour I played the noise for the study rats, then spend some time with the control rats, so they all saw me for the same length of time.