Tag: counseling

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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.