Introduction: Say a Little about Yourself! {by 5/26}

Yes, this is cheesy.  However, this is your first semester of graduate classes.  Let’s at least start to sort of get to know each other.  Please answer the following about yourself (the more, the merrier, but no pressure): (1) Name?  (2) What college/university did you graduate from?  (3) Something wicked interesting/cool about you (it is okay to brag here)?  (4) What are you doing to maintain your “sanity” during the COVID-19 pandemic?  (5) What are your initial thoughts (or experience) about psychological measurement?  (6) What do you know about cognitive-behavioral therapy and/or evidence-based practice?

 

Your original post should be posted by 5/26.  Post your two replies no later than 5/28.  *Please remember to click the “reply” button when posting a reply.  This makes it easier for the reader to follow the blog postings.

 

*Strong suggestion: Write all your blogs on a separate document.  Then, copy and paste it.  This will make your life easier and less stressful in case something “wacky” happens with technology.

 

*Your first post may not immediately appear on my website.  I have strong spam filters.  So, I may have to approve your first post before it is visible.  I should only have to do this once unless you post in a different name and/or email address.

40 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Ashley Torres
    May 23, 2022 @ 14:24:49

    My name is Ashley Torres and I graduated from the University of Massachusetts Lowell this May. Something interesting about me is I’ve worked with kids for over 5 years. I started working at summer camps and loved interacting with the children. I’ve worked in a preschool and middle school classroom, I also enjoyed working as a behavioral therapist in children’s homes. To maintain my sanity during the pandemic I like to use weekends as self care days by not working and doing whatever makes me happy at that time. This can consist of just having a lazy night in or catching up with friends. I think psychological measurement is a great tool to assess someone’s behavior overall. It might not be accurate at all times of the day but I think the goal is to measure roughly how a person generally behaves. For example, I have taken a personality test and it said I was an introvert. This is accurate to me because I am an introvert in group settings and feel more comfortable when I’m around close friends. I know cognitive-behavioral therapy is used to help patients change their behaviors by addressing the thoughts, emotions, and habits that influence them. CBT focuses on thought pattern relationships and how to redirect them in order to gain long-term development.

    Reply

    • Sam Keller
      May 25, 2022 @ 12:30:39

      I think working on relaxation and enjoyment is super important! It’s a skill that takes practice and is super useful in this field.

      Reply

    • ortizmirpatricia
      May 25, 2022 @ 12:54:25

      I have worked with kids too, as an Early Musical Stimulation teacher and music teacher! I think the most rewarding thing about working with children was watching them develop skills and seeing how each one has a unique way of doing and learning things. I loved putting my knowledge of psychology and music together to help them!

      Reply

    • luz Rodriguez
      May 26, 2022 @ 08:20:08

      How was it working with children at homes and school being a behavioral therapist? I really would like to work with children and adolescence.

      Reply

  2. Amanda Bara
    May 23, 2022 @ 18:22:16

    My name is Amanda Bara and I graduated from Worcester State University. Something interesting about me is that I graduated two semesters early in undergrad. Due to COVID-19 and being home all the time I decided to take extra classes and finish early. I guess extra school work is what helped me stay sane through the pandemic. Initially, psychological measurement can be a bit overwhelming because of all the concepts that go into it. However, I think it is an important tool to understand and assess individuals in a variety of constructs. It allows counselors to objectively see their clients and take on their concerns with the upmost importance. I do not know much about Cognitive Behavioral Therapy at the moment but I do know that it allows clients to make changes in their behavior patterns. Their behaviors are able to change because they address the thoughts, emotions and influences surrounding them.

    Reply

    • Rachel Marsh
      May 25, 2022 @ 20:08:01

      Hey Amanda,

      I also graduated from Worcester State. I think it is awesome that you took the time to finish school early during COVID. That definitely sounds like a great way to stay busy!

      I also like how you described psychological measurement. You bring up a great point when you mention that psychometrics can help prioritize a client’s top concerns. It is imperative that counselor’s collaborate with clients to help them meet their needs and address their concerns. In that respect, psychometrics are definitely beneficial for informing clinical decision-making.

      Reply

    • Ashley Torres
      May 25, 2022 @ 22:29:30

      Hi Amanda, I also attended Worcester State but transferred to Umass Lowell my sophomore year. That is awesome that you were able to graduate early! That is one productive way to stay busy during the pandemic!

      Reply

  3. NikkiAnn Ryan
    May 24, 2022 @ 22:22:57

    My name is NikkiAnn Ryan and I graduated from the University of New Haven. Something interesting about myself is that I have traveled to eleven other countries. One thing that has helped me to maintain my sanity throughout the pandemic is spending time with and observing my cat, Marvin, who must think he is a dog considering he chews my furniture, pants like a dog after running around, and plays fetch with his favorite toys. Initially, I did not think about the importance of continuing psychological assessment throughout each stage of the counseling process. It is valuable to continue psychological measurement throughout the process to continuously gather information about the client’s needs and strengths, evaluate the progress of the treatment plan, and relay information to the client about their treatment. I have learned some information about cognitive-behavioral therapy through training experiences at work. Cognitive-behavioral therapy looks at the connections among thoughts, feelings, and behaviors, specifically, how the way we think influences our emotions and behavior. Moreover, according to CBT, the way we think about situations is influenced by core beliefs and automatic thoughts. CBT focuses on disrupting maladaptive thinking patterns and replacing them with helpful thinking patterns to strengthen behavior changes and improve functioning.

    Reply

    • Sam Keller
      May 25, 2022 @ 12:29:04

      When I first got my kitten he would also play with his toys until he was open mouth panting. I thought it was so weird! I love that your cat plays fetch through, I’ve never had one that really likes it.

      Reply

    • Kiara Mark
      May 26, 2022 @ 13:47:51

      My dad had a cat that acted like a dog too! What breed is your cat?

      Reply

      • NikkiAnn Ryan
        May 27, 2022 @ 20:55:04

        I am not really sure what kind of breed he is. Our vet has made some guesses as to some breeds he may have in him but typically just refers to him as a shorthair!

        Reply

  4. ortizmirpatricia
    May 25, 2022 @ 12:05:44

    Hello,
    My name is Patricia Ortiz. I graduated from UNPHU, a university located in the Dominican Republic. I got a bachelor’s degree in Clinical Psychology.
    Something interesting about me is that I know how to play the piano and I used to be a music teacher and early musical stimulation teacher for kids.
    To maintain my sanity during these times I try to focus on doing things that I like and enjoy, for example, being around my family and friends a lot, listening to music that puts me in a good mood, and watching my favorite shows.
    From what I have been reading and reviewing, this course is exciting and essential. I remember having a similar course when I was an undergraduate student and I enjoyed it a lot, so I know I am going to get the most out of it.
    I know that Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy is an effective intervention that aims to help patients identify their dysfunctional thoughts and create functional cognitive patterns and healthier behavior. Evidence-Based Practice is important in mental health and one of its benefits is that clients receive treatments that are likely to be effective.

    Reply

    • Rachel Marsh
      May 25, 2022 @ 20:17:28

      Hey Patricia,

      It’s interesting that you used to be a music teacher! Music is such a great way to improve mental health. During the pandemic, I have also found it helpful to listen to music. Before the pandemic, I loved going to concerts with friends. During the pandemic we had virtual concerts where we would listen to music together over zoom. Doing this helped us get our minds off everything going on in the world. I also had some experience with psychological measurement during undergrad and really enjoyed it!

      Reply

    • Luz Rodriguez
      May 26, 2022 @ 08:27:09

      What would you work with the kids with the early music stimulation class it sounds interesting.

      Reply

    • Kiara Mark
      May 26, 2022 @ 13:50:36

      i also played the piano but only for five years. What is your favorite genre to play?

      Reply

  5. Sam Keller
    May 25, 2022 @ 12:26:26

    Hello! My name is Samantha (Sam) Keller and I’m a UMass Amherst grad. An interesting thing about me is that dog training is a hobby of mine. I adopted a dog during the pandemic that ended up having a lot of issues so I got into it out of necessity and found that I really enjoy it. The next dog I get I want to train for a sport or service work (not my boy Bear though, he works for me out of a desire for bacon and a grudging sort of love). I’m also a huge gamer. During the pandemic I got into woodworking/ home improvement. I like rescuing hardwood furniture from the side of the road, taking it home, and making interesting things out of it. I also built a kitchen island for my wife, who loves to cook.

    My experience with psychological measurement before school was some of the tests that were given to me in therapy and sometimes being a reluctant practice subject for my Mom when she had to learn to give assessments for school. I started out in a grad program for school psychology so I have a little experience with the WISC and WAIS through my classes. I have some experience with CBT and DBT working in group homes and through my other graduate classes. I like that it is more measurable and how effective it can be.

    Reply

    • ortizmirpatricia
      May 25, 2022 @ 13:06:47

      I also have a little experience with the WISC and WAIS. I had to review them in one of my courses when I was an undergrad. I really enjoyed that.

      Reply

    • Kat
      May 27, 2022 @ 19:38:17

      Hey Sam! It’s awesome that you have trained your dog and helped him! I will have to ask you for advice if I ever come across a discarded piece of wooden furniture. It’s so much more economical to fix something up yourself, plus it’s like giving the piece of furniture a second life! I hope you continue to expand and utilize such a healthy and productive hobby.

      Reply

    • Luz Rodriguez
      May 27, 2022 @ 19:46:02

      Have you ever thought of animal therapy and looking into it? I did couple sessions with horses and I absolutely loved it !

      Reply

    • NikkiAnn Ryan
      May 27, 2022 @ 20:31:11

      Hi Sam! That is so cool that you create interesting things out of old furniture. That sounds like such a clever and practical hobby! I also worked in a group home where I became more familiar with elements of CBT and DBT.

      Reply

  6. Luz Rodriguez
    May 25, 2022 @ 12:59:26

    My name Luz Rodriguez and I Graduated for Becker College last year in May and it is my second semester in Assumption. I am a stepmom of three children two girls and one boy, and I worked for Saint Vincent hospital for 20 years in many departments gaining knowledge and experience before injury on job since I have been unfortunately out of work, but I decided it was a perfect time to go back to finishing school. So, for past couple years while dealing with an injury I been dealing with school and finishing school. Something interesting I am first in my family to go to college and finish with associates in human services, certificate in criminal justice and bachelor’s in psychology now working towards my master’s degree. Things I do to maintain my sanity would be when I am home alone, I read, go for walks or small adventure trips with friends and other times its as simple as being with my children planting exploring and doing activities with them and having fun with them. My initial thoughts about psychological measurement were “ here we go again with statistics “ because I struggled a little understanding at first but know that I have some kind of understanding. I will have a better understanding it will help me to understand and assess a behavior. As for cognitive Behavioral therapy I do not know too much about but what I do know is that it helps clients to modify there behavior and emotions to be projected in a different way then previously.

    Reply

    • Tuyen Phung
      May 27, 2022 @ 10:50:53

      Hi Luz,
      It is nice to see you in this course and other courses this semester since we entered the program at the same time. It was surprised to me to know that you go to school while taking care of your three stepchildren. I think it might be hard to balance your time of home and school responsibilities. Like you, I also think of statistics when I first heard of this course, but I think it may not be as hard as statistics and we do not have to deal much with “numbers,” I hope so. Overall, reading the first chapter brings me more insight into the topic and less worry.

      Reply

      • Luz Rodriguez
        May 27, 2022 @ 19:52:51

        I definitely agree after reading. Chapter and discussions we had in first class I do think it wouldn’t be has hard as I thought. Yes I was surprised also see you in class but it nice to see familiar faces makes class more comfortable when you already know some of students in class. Yes sometimes I ask myself as well as others ask me how do I manage 3 children and school. I have a supportive husband that helps when I at work as well as family members that help with care so i have to say i fortunate and blessed that i have the help . As well as having injury and being out of work has helped me to put my all into finishing school so I am very thankful.

        Reply

  7. Rachel Marsh
    May 25, 2022 @ 19:59:57

    Hello All,

    My name is Rachel. I just finished undergrad two weeks ago at Worcester State with my B.S. in Psychology and a minor in disabilities studies.

    Some interesting things about me are I am a dog mom to three dogs. When I am not working on school I have a full time job, go to the gym, and go to Maine a lot in the summer. In my spare time I also love finding new recipes to try and am currently learning ASL.

    During the pandemic, my family adopted two puppies. Training them and keeping them entertained definitely kept me and my family busy and was a fun distraction from working and online school. During COVID I was extremely fortunate to be able to keep my job. Working was also a nice distraction from school because it allowed me to get out of the house and interact with other people in a safe way.

    I do have some experience with psychological measurement from a research assistantship I did in my last year of undergrad. Two research projects I was part of involved used the Five Facet Mindfulness questionnaire to examine facets of dispositional mindfulness. Overall, I believe that psychological measurement is beneficial for both diagnostic and research purposes. One could administer an assessment such as the FFMQ in a clinical setting to examine an individual’s level of dispositional mindfulness to inform decisions regarding their treatment. Likewise, one could administer the same assessment to a group of participants in a study to examine the relationship between the materials on the instrument and other variables that might impact it. For example, when my group used the FFMQ, we examined the facets of dispositional mindfulness in the questionnaire and how they impacted an individual’s stress and well-being. I don’t have much background with CBT, I do know that it involves changing unhealthy/maladaptive behavior and cognitions to healthier/adaptive ones.

    I hope everyone has a great semester!

    Reply

    • Ashley Torres
      May 25, 2022 @ 22:36:08

      Hi Rachel, I also graduated two weeks ago but from Umass Lowell. I took ASL in high school and really enjoy the language. I think you will love learning ASL and find it really rewarding when you’ll be able to communicate with a Deaf or hard of hearing person.

      Reply

    • Tuyen Phung
      May 27, 2022 @ 10:42:19

      Hi Rachel,
      It is interesting to know that you are raising the dogs and your family is adopting two puppies. I think you may enjoy being with them to get away from the stressful studies during semesters. It is also surprised to me to know your practical experience in psychological measurement. It is very beneficial for you when you take this course and in your future practice. I am interested in listening to your past experience during this course.

      Reply

  8. Tuyen Phung
    May 25, 2022 @ 21:36:56

    Hello all,
    I am Tuyen. I am a nun and come from Vietnam. I came to the United States more than five years ago. I graduated from the Marian University of Wisconsin with a major in Psychology. I like doing craft things when I have free time, including making clothes and embroidering. During the pandemic, sanctifying hands and surfaces around me becomes one of my habits.
    When I first heard about psychological measurement, I thought that it can only be implemented by professionals with higher education. Recently, I have recognized that it is quite popular in educational and social contexts. However, I do not have deep knowledge about it. I am eager to learn about it in this course. About cognitive-behavioral therapy, I think it is a therapeutic approach used to help people with mental health issues by changing cognitive distortions and applying appropriate behaviors. I have learned thoroughly about it in my undergraduate program and liked it. This is one of the reasons why I chose the program at Assumption with CBT focus.

    Reply

    • Amanda Bara
      May 26, 2022 @ 20:05:46

      Hi Tuyen! I think it is so awesome that you chose Assumption because of it’s concentration in CBT. I also find it interesting that you make clothes in your free time which must be very hard. I also do not know much about psychological measurement and I am excited to learn more about it. I did not think that as a counselor we would play an active role on taking assessments. I look forward to seeing you in class.

      Reply

    • Rylee Ferguson
      May 27, 2022 @ 20:37:43

      Hi Tuyen! I also like to craft but I have done more so crocheting and knitting than embroidering. Have you been able to visit Viet Nam at all or has the pandemic been difficult for you with travelling? Have a great long weekend and I will see you in class!

      Reply

  9. Rylee Ferguson
    May 26, 2022 @ 08:11:30

    Hello! My name is Rylee Ferguson and I graduated from Assumption University. Once on a hiking trip in the adirondacks, right as we were getting ready to sleep, my friends and I were approached by a black bear. It was dark so we did not notice it until it was about ten feet away. In response we sang showtoons very loudly and poorly until it left us alone. I maintained my sanity during the pandemic by spending time with family and doing outdoor activities like fishing. One thought I have about psychological measurement is that it is important to create balanced definitions and criteria in order to both include all the nuances and various manifestations of disorders while also not being too broad or vague, and thus leading to overdiagnosis. I think that CBT is a helpful tool for many individuals suffering from mental disorders and that it can even be combined with other treatments such as medication to improve outcomes. I think that it is important to use evidence-based practices whenever possible because these treatments are founded on research rather than theory alone. If one was to use unfounded techniques with a struggling patient it could wind up being a waste of time or even create further issues. Existing research may not be definitive but it should be a guide that informs treatment.

    Reply

    • Kat
      May 27, 2022 @ 19:44:42

      Hi Rylee! That’s so cool that you have hiked in the Adirondack Region, it is on my bucket list! I love to hike mountains, my best hikes to date have definitely been in the White Mountains. I love scenic adventures too, and have quite a few travel stories related to them! I’m glad you and your friends were okay after the bear-scare!

      Reply

  10. Kiara Mark
    May 26, 2022 @ 13:44:36

    Hi, my name is Kiara Mark and I graduated from Assumption University. I am on the Assumption University Dance Team, I like to watch anime and I have learned some Japanese from it. During the COVID-19 pandemic I stayed sane by spending a lot of my time with my family and a close friend. I also started talking to various people online and when the cases started to decrease I got a job on top of doing school online. I think psychological measurement is very interesting. It can be beneficial but also detrimental to an individual. Previously, I had an internship where I worked with the school psychologist and I watched her assess students of various ages. I think it is important because informs people not only about themselves but if they need to improve. CBT is a helpful tool in certain aspects but it can be used with other treatments. There are times where CBT is not the best option but it can be useful for someone who has anxiety.

    Reply

    • Rylee Ferguson
      May 27, 2022 @ 20:41:27

      Hi Kiara! Some of my previous roommates are on the Assumption dance team. Congrats on nationals! I think it will be interesting to see how your internship experience will work to inform your perspectives during class discussion. Enjoy your weekend and I will see you in class.

      Reply

    • Sarah Kendrick
      Jun 04, 2022 @ 13:57:41

      Hi Kiara! I unfortunately did not have a very educational or insightful internship but your experience sounds like more of what I hoped mine would be! It sounds like and I hope it was really informative and at least interesting to see how the school psychologist assessed the students, especially of different ages. I also think it’s really cool that you’ve learned some Japanese from watching anime. French was my favorite class growing up and my teachers always provided music/films for us to view as they swore that hearing it more naturally was the best way to learn it. I like to think they were right!

      Reply

  11. Kat
    May 26, 2022 @ 14:33:56

    My name is Kat Gatto. I received my bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Assumption University one year ago. One interesting thing about me is that I hiked Mount Washington in a day. In the Northeastern United States, Mount Washington is the highest peak. It was a phenomenal hike and quite the productive day.

    I work out frequently during my free time to maintain my sanity in COVID-19. When the pandemic was starting out, I ran two to three miles every day. Now that there are more vaccinated individuals, I frequent my local gym. My favorite class is a cardio mixed martial arts class called Combat, but I take other classes that range from yoga to strength training. I actually enjoy lifting and time under tension training quite a bit. I honestly think I would have been too sleep deprived to function if I did not have at least one workout class a day.

    I do not know too much about psychological measurements. I do believe psychological measurements are important tools that help clinicians diagnose their clients. When the psychological measurement is a multiple-choice standardized test, it may be easier for the clinician to use. However, standardized multiple-choice tests also provide less reliable information from the client. It is easy for a client to check any box or sequence of letters without paying close attention to the question or otherwise answering inaccurately. Regardless of these psychological test limitations, psychological measurements in a variety of mediums can help a clinician paint a more holistic idea of the client’s potential struggles and what interventions may be necessary going forward.

    This is only my second semester of graduate studies, so I have not taken a cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) course quite yet. My knowledge about CBT is limited, but I know it is considered an evidence-based practice. Evidence-based practices refer to interventions that have been supported in several clinical peer-reviewed studies. Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is an evidence-based practice. I know cognitive reappraisal is a huge component of CBT. Cognitive reappraisal is when someone has an initial maladaptive thought, and they counteract this first thought with a more adaptive second thought. The foundation is that maladaptive thought patterns contribute immensely to psychological problems, so CBT aims to eliminate maladaptive cognitive patterns.

    Reply

    • NikkiAnn Ryan
      May 27, 2022 @ 20:49:52

      Hi Kat! That sounds like a fantastic hike. I love exploring new hiking trails and would love to try hiking Mount Washington one day. The Combat class also sounds like an exciting, healthy workout class to try. It is a good point that the different formats of psychological measurements may yield different kinds of information. I am looking forward to learning more about these assessments including their limitations and how to determine which tests to administer in different circumstances.

      Reply

  12. Amanda Bara
    May 26, 2022 @ 20:09:23

    Hi Rylee! That is a scary story about the black bear but I am sure that is a memory you will never forget. I also like to fish and enjoy going out on my grandparents boat in Rhode Island. I like that you spent time with your family during the pandemic as a lot of people were not able to see their family members in such a difficult time. You made a very important point about research being fundamental to CBT and improving outcomes for clients. I agree that using evidence-based practices should be focused on in order to get clients the outcomes they deserve. I look forward to seeing you in class!

    Reply

  13. Jonas Horan
    Jun 01, 2022 @ 12:13:15

    My name is Jonas Horan and I graduated from the University of Dallas with a Bachelors in psychology. I was born in Leuven Belgium so I like to tell people that I spent three years living in Europe. It sounds more impressive when I don’t mention it was the first three years of my life and that I don’t remember much!
    The University of Dallas is a relatively small liberal arts school with a focus on existential phenomenology in the psych program. Because of that there was a lot of focus on human freedom and responsibility, and how that informs the meaning we encounter in the world. Generally I was presented with a perspective that was fairly skeptical of traditional measurement techniques, mainly because the program focuses on qualitative methods instead of quantitative. CBT also got a bad rap because it was seen as reductive. Though I appreciate what existential phenomenology has to offer, I picked Assumption because I believe in the efficacy of CBT and want practical tools that get measurable results.

    Reply

    • Sarah Kendrick
      Jun 04, 2022 @ 14:09:07

      Hi Jonas! Good for you for owning your impressive fact! It’s probably easier to just state it as opposed to always prefacing that you were too young to really remember. I’ve had my eyes set on Assumption for so long that I kind of forgot that other programs existed and could be different…it’s definitely interesting that you were schooled on a different perspective and I’m glad you found your path with Assumption!

      Reply

  14. Sarah Kendrick
    Jun 04, 2022 @ 13:38:35

    Hi! My name Sarah Kendrick and I graduated from Worcester State University. I’ll admit, working and going to school full time has made me less interesting…but I generally enjoy going to concerts, collecting crystals, and going for nature walks. Speaking of nature walks, they’re definitely something that have helped me maintain my sanity during the pandemic. Pre-COVID, I would go on a lot of day trips and explore artsy and historic towns. Nature walks helped me to get outside and feel like I was doing something/still exploring, but without the risk. I also get “cabin fever” very easily so even a walk around my neighborhood was greatly appreciated!

    I’ve had a bit of experience with psychological measurement. Outside of my undergrad statistics, psychometrics, and research courses, I also participated in two independent studies. From choosing the appropriate measurements, making our own measurements, administering and scoring measurements, and all the fun of evaluating them, I like to think I had a decent amount of experience. Of course that was three years ago now so I once was experienced, not so much anymore! As for CBT, I’ve had experience with it working as a residential counselor. We use and are trained to use a lot of CBT/DBT techniques with our individuals and coach our individuals to utilize these techniques, teach them new ones, as well as practice with them. We also hold groups at our program and dedicate at least one group a week to mindfulness and coping skills as well as generally try to involve mindfulness at the start or end of our groups. I’m very excited to be a part of this program and learn more!

    Reply

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Adam M. Volungis, PhD, LMHC

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