Introduction: Say a Little about Yourself! {by 9/1}

Yes, it’s this again!  For most of you this is your second semester of graduate classes!  Please answer the following about yourself (some same, some different): (1) Name?  (2) What college/university did you graduate from?  (3) How has your life changed the most since COVID-19 pandemic?  (4) What was your biggest take-away from your first semester of graduate classes? (5) What are your initial thoughts (or experience) about cognitive-behavioral therapy?!?

 

Your original post should be posted by 9/1.  Post your two replies no later than 9/3.  *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.

50 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Amanda Bara
    Aug 29, 2022 @ 14:16:20

    Hi everyone! My name is Amanda Bara and this is my third semester in the clinical counseling program at Assumption. I got my undergraduate degree from Worcester State University where I majored in psychology and had a concentration in mental health. Since the pandemic started I would say that what has changed the most is my outlook on mental health. The pandemic really brought to light how important it is to take care of yourself both mentally and physically. I saw a lot of people struggle mentally during the pandemic which has motivated me more to get my masters degree in counseling! Cognitive behavioral therapy has become an important focus in the psychology world. I was initially intimidated by the thought of CBT but as my education in this program continues I have become more comfortable with the idea of it. I know a lot of individuals who have received CBT and it has really helped them with their depression and anxiety. I am excited to learn more about CBT in this course and look forward to this semester.

    Reply

    • Bekah Riley
      Aug 30, 2022 @ 17:02:11

      Hi Amanda,
      I also received my undergraduate degree at WSU! If I could go back, I would have defiantly added the mental health concentration to my major in psychology! I agree that the pandemic has had such an impact on mental health, which has also motivated me to pursue my MA in clinical counseling! In terms of CBT, I agree with your point that it can be beneficial to many individuals struggling with a mental disorder, especially depression and anxiety. I am looking forward to this semester as well!

      Reply

  2. Bekah Riley
    Aug 30, 2022 @ 16:49:25

    Hi, I’m Bekah! I started the program last Fall as a part time student, which makes this my fourth semester. I completed my undergraduate degree at Worcester State University where I began as an occupational therapy major but decided to switch to psychology my junior year after completing my level one fieldwork at Worcester Recovery Hospital. Having the opportunity to work in a mental health setting allowed me to find my passion in mental health and inspired me to switch to psychology to become a therapist.

    The rise of the pandemic has changed so many different aspects of day-to-day life. Since the beginning of the pandemic, I have really learned to appreciate the time spent with family and friends. I have family in New Zealand, where the boarders were not open to visitors from the start of the pandemic in 2020 to this past May 2022. Not being able to visit close family members for the majority of the pandemic has made me realize how important time spent with loved ones is.

    My biggest take away from my first few semesters of classes is how important Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT) is in treating a number of different mental disorders. Prior to starting this program, I had a basic understanding on CBT and how it is proven to be effective in treating depression and anxiety. However, as I have made my way through the program, I have come to find that CBT is effective in treating more than just depression and anxiety, and there are a number of different techniques to successfully implement CBT with a client.

    Reply

    • Rachel Marsh
      Aug 31, 2022 @ 22:26:22

      Hello Bekah,

      I also graduated from Worcester State and started off as an occupational therapy major but switched to psychology! I started off as a double major in OT and psych but because of the pandemic was inspired to go into counseling so switched to only psychology before starting my senior year.
      It’s awesome that you had a chance to work in a mental health setting to inspire you to go into the field. There has always been an unmet need for counselors, which has definitely been made worse by the pandemic.

      I also appreciate how you shared your experience in the pandemic and it taught you the importance of appreciating time with family and friends. The time we spend with our family and friends is something we often take for granted, but is so important for our mental health and well-being. I hope you are able see your family from New Zealand soon!

      Reply

    • Kat Gatto
      Sep 02, 2022 @ 17:10:46

      Hi, Bekah! Congratulations on entering your fourth semester at Assumption! It is truly wonderful that you have found your passion. I do not know you too well, but I genuinely believe that you would make a wonderful LMHC. It is a good silver lining that the pandemic has accentuated the appreciation that you have for your family. I hope you have gotten to visit your family in New Zealand since May 2022! CBT is really interesting and I am also excited to learn more!

      Reply

  3. Sarah Kendrick
    Aug 31, 2022 @ 17:54:04

    Hello, my name is Sarah! I did my undergrad at Worcester State University, majoring in Psychology with a concentration in mental health services and minoring in Sociology. This is my third semester here and I think my biggest takeaway from my first and second semesters of graduate classes has been to be more assertive in communicating my needs both in my personal and professional life. Regarding the pandemic, I think my life has changed the most socially. Previously, I struggled quite a bit with maintaining my social life as I was quite anxious and not very open to new connections. (Hopefully) Post-pandemic, I’ve realized the importance of and have a new appreciation for maintaining a stronger social life and at least trying to engage in newer environments. I’ve been able to explore going to different concerts, festivals, conventions, and have engaged in activities I never would have thought I would enjoy or have not engaged in for a long time, such as Dungeons and Dragons, video games, and “nature walks” that include helping my friends find weird mushrooms or bugs to photograph! As for CBT, I have had quite a bit of experience with this in my undergrad as well as my work experience as a residential counselor. In the GLE, we frequently use CBT and DBT skills with our individuals and have/continue to attend trainings related to these fields (including motivational interviewing and CTR). I’m very excited to build upon what I know and to learn more about CBT, especially in how to apply these skills in a true therapy setting.

    Reply

    • Bekah Riley
      Sep 01, 2022 @ 16:04:11

      Hi Sarah,
      I graduated from WSU as well! I also found that the pandemic had a big impact on my social life, and I too have found a greater appreciation for being in social settings! After being in isolation for the beginning stages of COVID, exploring new environments and trying new activities is defiantly a very positive way to adjust back into some form of normalcy! I have also found a new appreciation for nature walks and just being outdoors in general.

      Reply

    • Rylee Ferguson
      Sep 03, 2022 @ 13:58:52

      Hi Sarah. I think the lesson regarding valuing soci life is something we all had to come to terms with to some degree during COVID. I know I had a really hard time not being able to see certain friends and family. I also think your experience CBT will be helpful in class and look forward to hearing your perspective during discussions.

      Reply

  4. NikkiAnn Ryan
    Aug 31, 2022 @ 22:00:59

    Hello. My name is NikkiAnn Ryan, and I graduated from the University of New Haven where I majored in Psychology and Criminal Justice. One of the ways my life changed most since the COVID-19 pandemic was my decision to pursue becoming a mental health counselor. Prior to the pandemic, I had other plans for using my undergraduate degrees, however, COVID-19 altered these plans. Ultimately, I accepted a position as a residential counselor at an adolescent therapeutic group home because there was an opening and through this position, I quickly became interested in counseling. I realized that I wanted to pursue counseling as a career and applied for this program. One of the biggest takeaways from my first semester is that the therapeutic relationship is highly collaborative. In each class, we discussed the collaborative nature of the counseling relationship and maintaining this balance rather than working more than the client. Although I was previously aware of this, the first semester emphasized just how important it is for effective counseling. I have some experience with cognitive-behavioral therapy through work and trainings. I like the CBT concept that clients are active agents of change in their lives, and I am looking forward to learning more about CBT skills.

    Reply

    • Rachel Marsh
      Aug 31, 2022 @ 22:35:15

      Hello NikkiAnn,

      I enjoyed reading your post! I especially like how you shared your experience in what inspired you to pursue a career in counseling. The pandemic also inspired me to change what I had originally planned on going to school for and to go into counseling instead. It’s awesome that you were able to get a position working with adolescents in a group home. Is that an age group you think you may want to work with in the future?

      Additionally, I appreciate how you talked about the client-centered aspect of CBT. You bring up a great point when you talk about the importance of the client being the agent of change in CBT. I totally agree that one of the benefits of CBT is that the client is the agent of change. I like that the client, rather than the therapist, is the agent of change in CBT because it can help instill confidence in the client.

      Reply

      • NikkiAnn Ryan
        Sep 03, 2022 @ 21:35:01

        Hi Rachel! Thanks for asking. I really enjoy working with the adolescent and young adult population and I think that I would like to continue to work with this group in the future.

        Reply

  5. Rachel Marsh
    Aug 31, 2022 @ 22:14:15

    Hello everyone,

    My name is Rachel Marsh. I graduated from Worcester State in May with my B.S. in psychology with a focus in mental health services and a minor in disabilities studies. My life has changed a lot since the pandemic, but mostly with the addition of two puppies in my family and changing my career path. We adopted two puppies from the same litter during the lockdown and ever since then, our lives have revolved around them. They are two years old now and I cannot imagine life without them. Something else that changed. Something else that I was inspired to do because of the pandemic is to go into counseling. I started college with a double major in psychology and occupational therapy with the goal to become a pediatric occupational therapist. But seeing how the pandemic affected my mental health and my loved ones inspired me to drop my occupational therapy major and focus on psychology and in the process picked up a concentration in mental health services and a minor in disabilities studies. I am currently in my second semester in the counseling program and I am very thankful that I decided to go into counseling instead of what I originally planned.

    Last semester was my first semester in the grad program after having graduated one week before starting here. The biggest take-away I had from my first semester was the importance of work-life balance and taking time for myself. I currently work full time as a supervisor at a clothing store where I have worked since high school. I worked full time for most of undergrad while doing school full time and never really took time for myself to relax. Going into grad school right away, I decided to start out doing it part time because of my work schedule. The biggest lesson I learned from last semester is that while work is important, it is more important to take time for yourself to rest so that you can be more effective in the things you need to do. Learning about counseling and how to help other people with their mental health has really made me more introspective and reflective about the things I do in my own life and inspires me to make better decisions in that area.

    I don’t have much experience with cognitive behavior therapy. I did take a few classes in undergrad that covered CBT and enjoyed learning about it. I hope everyone has a great semester! 🙂

    Reply

    • NikkiAnn Ryan
      Sep 03, 2022 @ 21:32:23

      Hi Rachel,

      That’s so great that you adopted two puppies during the lockdown, I would love to see pictures sometime! It’s also nice to hear about other people who decided to go into counseling since the pandemic. I appreciate your discussion of the importance of work-life balance. I am also working full-time and need to remind myself to find time for things other than work and school sometimes. Work-life balance is going to be especially important to practice as we become mental health counselors to avoid burnout in the future!

      Reply

    • Tom Mandozzi
      Sep 04, 2022 @ 00:54:38

      Hi Rachel! I resonated with what you said about changing career paths. For a while during undergrad, I was taking business classes with the plan of going into the business and marketing field. I constantly felt myself getting bored and disinterested in these classes, meanwhile I would get so excited and passionate about my psychology classes. I had to make a tough decision and shift toward the career path that would fulfill me and align with what I was passionate about. Changing plans like that can bring up a lot of tough emotions (anxiety, fear, doubt, guilt), but I am glad you were able to follow your heart. Thanks for sharing this!

      Reply

  6. Patricia Ortiz
    Aug 31, 2022 @ 23:10:49

    Hello! My name is Patricia Ortiz. I graduated from UNPHU, a university in the Dominican Republic with a bachelor’s degree in Clinical Psychology.
    Since the pandemic in 2020, I now see a lot of things from a different perspective and I appreciate and value more things that I took for granted before. I believe COVID-19 taught me that life is too vulnerable. My first semester here at Assumption University was great. I learned a lot more about evaluating clients and the basic principles of counseling. Also, I learned a lot more about different disorders and how they affect individuals in different areas of their lives.
    CBT is effective and a good method to treat with success a lot of disorders like PTSD, specific phobias, generalized anxiety, social anxiety, depressive disorders, and many more. Also, it helps people to analyze their thoughts, feelings, and behaviors, helps them change behaviors that cause them problems in daily life and teaches them how to replace negative thoughts with more realistic and positive thoughts. I hope to continue learning a lot more about CBT and put it into practice in the near future.

    Reply

    • Amanda Bara
      Sep 01, 2022 @ 15:57:51

      Hi Patricia! It is great that you can see the positives from the pandemic and that you have created a new perspective on life. I think that I have also gained a new perspective from the pandemic as well as not taking things for granted. One thing in particular that I realized I may have taken for granted was education. I think that having in person classes again for this program has allowed me to learn and focus more. I look forward to having class with you again. Best of luck this semester!

      Reply

      • Patricia Ortiz
        Sep 02, 2022 @ 22:17:19

        Hey Amanda! Thank you so much! I also wish you the best this semester! Having in-person classes again is for sure a good way to stay focused and learn more!

        Reply

    • Rylee Ferguson
      Sep 03, 2022 @ 14:01:08

      Hi Patricia, I really admire you for coming to a graduate school in a different country and pursuing your dreams. I agree that COVID taught us how vulnerable we are and I think that can mean we have no time to waste in getting after what we want. I’m glad you’re enjoying your time here so far and I hope we get to connect further as the program continues.

      Reply

  7. Kristin Blair
    Sep 01, 2022 @ 00:12:38

    Hi guys! My name is Kristin, and this is my fourth semester in the clinical counseling program at Assumption. I got my undergraduate degree in Psychology from Worcester State. COVID changed so much for so many people. I think it brought to light how fast things that you may take for granted in your daily life could be gone in an instant. However, I think the BEST thing to come out of COVID…is appointments at the RMV! I think we should have been doing it that way all along!

    My thoughts and feelings after my first semester really solidified that this was something that I wanted to pursue and do with my life. I found myself really interested in the topics. Passing that semester with decent grades gave me the confidence to know that I could complete this journey for myself.

    So far, I have found that CBT is a very direct and realistic way of looking at mental health. It can be easily explained to clients, and it can be applied to virtually anyone’s life and anything that they may be struggling with. The fundamental concepts are hard to disagree with and are very compelling. I look forwards to learning more concepts and eventually applying them in the field!

    Reply

    • NikkiAnn Ryan
      Sep 01, 2022 @ 15:54:02

      Hi Kristin,

      I agree that appointments at the RMV is one of the best changes to come out of COVID. I never thought that I would have a positive experience at the DMV/RMV but when I had to go there a couple of months ago I was shocked to be in and out within 20 minutes. As for CBT, I like that you discussed that the CBT concepts can be easily explained to clients. I think psychoeducation is really beneficial for treatment progress and that CBT concepts, such as the connection between thoughts, feelings, and actions, are important for clients to understand.

      Reply

    • Sarah Kendrick
      Sep 04, 2022 @ 22:39:57

      Hi Kristin! I can also agree about the changes made at the RMV, especially being able to get services online! While I’ve always know that I’ve wanted to be a therapist, I also agree that receiving decent grades at least eliminated most of my imposter-syndrome type fears. I also heavily appreciate the more “sciency” aspect of CBT and it being empirically based, not only is it interesting but it can factually and effectively be applied to various cases (and it just makes sense…)!

      Reply

  8. Tuyen Phung
    Sep 01, 2022 @ 08:57:29

    Hi everyone,
    My name is Tuyen. I started the program at Assumption last January. I graduated from Marian University of Wisconsin in December last year with a major in Psychology. Looking back, I saw that there have been big changes in my life since the pandemic. Right at the beginning of the pandemic, the school where I was attending had to be closed completely. That made me transfer to Marian University in the same state. Also, I could not visit my home for more than 5 years until now. Positively, the challenges caused by the pandemic helped me to understand the important role of positive thinking in the midst of negative consequences.
    Regarding CBT, I have been interested in it since I worked on one of my assignments in my undergraduate course in psychology. Whenever thinking of CBT, I thought of the saying of Norman Vincent Peale, “Change your thought and you will change your world.” The way we think influences the way we behave. Therefore, to deal with a problematic behavior or state, it is necessary to deal with thoughts that cause the issue first, then appropriate behaviors can be reached through learning and practice. Others mention emotion in the circle of problems. I think it is true when there is a connection between thought, emotion, and behavior. This circle can be useful when considering causes and finding treatment with CBT.

    Reply

    • Patricia Ortiz
      Sep 02, 2022 @ 22:13:36

      Hello Tuyen! I know it must have been so difficult to be apart of your family for such a long period of time and I like how you mentioned the importance of being positive and thinking positively during hard times, it can definitely help you develop resilience to handle difficulties more easily and it can have a big impact on your physical and mental health. I also think it must have been hard to have your school closed and have to transfer to another one in a short period of time but I am glad that everything turned out well for you! I am happy to see you again this semester. I wish you the best!

      Reply

    • Teresia Maina
      Sep 03, 2022 @ 16:32:03

      Hi Tuyen,
      I understand how difficult it can be to not see your family, I haven’t been able to go visit my family in Kenya for about 8yrs now. I hope you get to see your family soon. I definitely believe that positive thinking when facing adversities is really important so that you can find a way to push forward during those hard times. I like the fact that CBT connects an individual’s thoughts, emotions, and behavior, and with all that knowledge the client can work on making positive changes. I am excited to have another class with you!

      Reply

  9. Teresia Maina
    Sep 01, 2022 @ 11:15:39

    Hi everyone! My name is Teresia Maina and this is my fourth semester at Assumption. I graduated with my Bachelor’s in Psychology from Fitchburg State University. Since the pandemic, I learned to enjoy the time I have with my loved ones and to just live in the moment. I’m originally from Kenya and still have family there including my grandmother who ended up contracting the virus and at some points, we did not think she was going to make it. It reminded me how important it is to spend enjoy every moment with my friends and family. During the pandemic, I also learned the importance of self-care. I worked as a certified nursing assistant at the beginning of the pandemic and it was so easy to get burned out and not want to keep going. When I first started in the program I did not have a lot of experience with CBT but one of my biggest takeaways so far is how CBT can be used to treat many different disorders. In one of my summer courses, we briefly talked about how CBT helps clients make connections between their thoughts, behaviors, and emotions and how to change those patterns. I’m excited to learn more about CBT skills this semester!

    Reply

    • Tuyen Phung
      Sep 02, 2022 @ 21:24:47

      Hi Teresia,
      It is nice to see you in this class. You impressed me with the idea of self-care and time spent with loved ones during the pandemic. In the midst of the pandemic, I just saw that many people had negative thoughts about their lives because of sudden challenges and uncertainty. Therefore, self-care was one of the ideas that I have heard of during that time. With the knowledge I have learned about CBT, I think that CBT can be applied not only to the treatment of mental disorders but also to our mental well-being. It is nice for people who are not in the field to know about the connection of our thoughts, emotions, and behaviors so that they can live mentally healthy in their daily lives.

      Reply

    • Kristin Blair
      Sep 03, 2022 @ 15:25:03

      Hi Teresia! I’m glad you’re in this class with me! That must be incredibly hard to have family across the globe during a pandemic! I can’t even imagine! I can see how that would really put family into perspective and make it even more of a priority. I also agree with learning that CBT connects thoughts, feelings, and behaviors! I can really understand how it helps change negative patterns in people’s lives!

      Reply

    • Sarah Kendrick
      Sep 04, 2022 @ 22:32:55

      Hi Teresia! I also worked during the pandemic but I was/am a residential counselor in a group home. I definitely understand the struggle of getting burnt out, especially when having to enforce COVID regulations in the more healthcare-type settings (we even had a time where they suggested staff live in the programs…). These settings further emphasize the importance of spending times with loved ones as well. A lot of my coworkers have family in Kenya and Ghana, it truly is a tough and often times unimaginable worry to have a pandemic and family you seemingly can’t support. I’m glad that you found the importance of spending time with friends/family and I hope everyone is okay. I too am also excited to learn more about the skills of CBT this semester!

      Reply

  10. Rylee Ferguson
    Sep 01, 2022 @ 12:17:00

    My name is Rylee Ferguson and I graduated from Assumption University in the spring of this year. Life has changed a lot over the course of the pandemic. Looking back it seems so long ago that we didn’t know what COVID was. I think the biggest change is that I am more of an independent adult. I no longer live at home and am balancing working and going to school. Before the pandemic I was more heavily dependent on my parents and now I feel more capable and responsible. My biggest take away from graduate classes so far has been how different it is from undergrad even though I am at the same school. People are more passionate and involved because they care about the content. Also everything isn’t just schoolwork anymore. I have to schedule my time wisely so I can work enough to support my situation while also having enough time to attend class and complete assignments. Graduate school has helped me further see the importance of scheduling and discipline. As far as CBT goes, I only really know what little we have touched on in my previous classes. I know it is an evidence based treatment approach that has a lot of success helping people with various disorders like depression and anxiety. I think it approaches peoples feelings, thoughts, and behaviors rather than just early childhood experiences or psychoanalysis. I think it is intriguing and sounds very beneficial so I look forward to learning more about it.

    Reply

    • Ashley Torres
      Sep 02, 2022 @ 14:03:53

      Hi Rylee, I also graduated in Spring, but from Umass Lowell. Sounds like we both jumped right into graduate school, since our first semester was in the summer. I also agree that graduate school feels a lot different than undergrad. I am pleased that students are passionate on the content because it keeps classes exciting. I also feel like I learned a lot more in one semester of graduate school, than my four years of undergrad. I believe it’s because we are focusing on material that will support our future professions rather than just getting a degree.

      Reply

    • Kristin Blair
      Sep 03, 2022 @ 15:31:41

      Hi Rylee! I definitely agree with you on the difference between undergrad and graduate school. I feet the same way. It’s like, this is when people REALLY care about school haha. Congrats to you for being out on your own and having that independence! It always feels so bittersweet, like, “look at me out here adulting,” but then, “OMG throw pillows and paper towels cost HOW much?!!” But for me, the time management skills have been the toughest for me to master. Sometimes I just feel like there aren’t enough hours in the day!
      I like how you pointed out how CBT can help so many different disorders! It’s really pretty cool that this one method is so versatile in helping so many people!

      Reply

    • Teresia Maina
      Sep 03, 2022 @ 16:42:17

      Hi Rylee,
      I agree that undergrad and graduate school are completely different and learning to schedule yourself is really important. I remember before starting graduate school I thought that I was actually really good at scheduling my time. Learned that was not completely true especially since a majority of the work in grad school you do by yourself. Grad school also taught me that between work, school, and even spending time with friends/family using your time wisely is really important.

      Reply

  11. Yoana Catano
    Sep 01, 2022 @ 13:41:25

    Hello everyone, my name is Yoana Catano, I graduate in Psychology from Manizales University in Colombia (5 years) plus one-year concentration in family system therapy. I also have a Master’s degree in Clinical Health Psychology from European University of the Atlantic (Spain).
    The pandemic gave me the best gift: my daughter, it also helped me to be more familiar and find more activities to do at home, it was also a good time to finish my thesis and being able to graduate from my Master.
    I started this Master in Assumption last summer, and my biggest take-away has been learning about many was to deal with ethical concerns that are part of the daily professional life, also the big differences that culture represents in the conceptualization of a problem, hence the adjustment of the treatment.
    I have around 10 years of experience in counseling, in my opinion, cognitive-behavioral therapy is a great resource for population with trauma, individual therapy, and group therapy. I am excited to go through this course and learn different ways to implement effectively CBT, learn about the evolution of clinical practices, and to develop new skills for my clinical work.

    Reply

    • Amanda Bara
      Sep 01, 2022 @ 15:54:24

      Hi Yoana! It is so awesome to hear that you have a big background in psychology. I think that you will provide a lot of insight to our class and give us a more experienced perspective on therapy. Your educational background is amazing and it is so cool to see that you have been to several different countries to study. I am excited for this course and I am sure that you will enjoy it just as much as I will! Best of luck this semester.

      Reply

    • Patricia Ortiz
      Sep 02, 2022 @ 21:59:24

      Hello Yoana, you must be proud of yourself for achieving all of those things and for having studied in different countries, it gives you a lot of experience and is for sure very enriching for your career as a counselor.
      I also love that you graduated from Manizales University in Colombia! I have always wanted to travel to Colombia and explore the culture and the famous Arepas!! I hope we can share some of them in the future!

      Reply

  12. Kat Gatto
    Sep 01, 2022 @ 14:13:54

    Hello class, my name is Kat. I graduated from Assumption University with a major in Psychology. I started the graduate program last Spring. I am excited for my third semester! I think one of my biggest takeaways from graduate studies overall is how important it is to find ways to manage work, health, appointments, school, and self-care.

    My life changed in a lot of crucial ways since the COVID-19 pandemic. COVID-19 made me value my health, and all the initial isolation made me yearn to get out and move. I started avidly hiking during quarantine, since it was COVID-19 safe, and fell in love with the hobby. I joined a local gym about a year ago, once the pandemic had calmed down somewhat, where the community could not be more welcoming. When I was not doing well, they reached out virtually to ask why I had not been going to my usual workout classes and to make sure that I was okay. When I am there, they cheer me on. There is this intense and priceless communal support, whether I am physically there or not, that has already helped me persevere during challenges.

    If I am being entirely transparent, my therapist is an Assumption alumni and LMHC who values CBT. I have seen firsthand how what we think can positively, or negatively, affect the way we interact with the world. I still mostly only know about CBT in practice, though. I know what it is like to neglect cognitive reappraisal when you need it the most. However, I also know how it feels to utilize the technique when times are hard for whatever reason. The Counseling Principles course briefly went over some of the logistics of CBT, and I know a little about the cognitive triangle. The premise is that our thoughts affect our feelings which impact out behaviors. Thus, thoughts, emotions, and behaviors all influence one another cyclically and when one part of the triad changes then the other two parts can as well. Therefore, when someone feels hopeless and thinks that they cannot do anything, nothing is exactly what they will do. Conversely, when someone follows feelings of hopelessness with thoughts of encouragement, they may try to accomplish something meaningful and end up feeling hopeful. I look forward to learning more about CBT.

    Reply

    • Tuyen Phung
      Sep 02, 2022 @ 21:12:52

      Hi Kat,
      You and I started the program at the same time. I am glad to see you in this class. It is interesting to know your experience with CBT as a client. I think that you know how it worked for you and can tell about your experience with others about CBT. I also see it true that when someone has a positive thought and feeling, their behaviors reflect the thought and feeling. I think this is obvious in people with emotional issues such as depression and anxiety. I am eager to learn deeply about the approach.

      Reply

    • Sam Keller
      Sep 03, 2022 @ 22:44:26

      Hi Kat! Your exercise group seems like a really supportive and inclusive place. That’s so great that you had that during the pandemic! Hiking is also a great way to slow down mentally, absorb some nature, and exercise. My own therapist tell me that there is something about the smell of plants and dirt that can be so healing. Despite my personnal knowledge of if this hypothesis is back by research or not, I am inclined to agree. It must be good to have a therapist that allowed you to experience a CBT approach as a client. That expereince should come in handy in the future!

      Reply

    • Tom Mandozzi
      Sep 04, 2022 @ 00:48:41

      Hi Kat! I really appreciated what you said about taking care of yourself and finding comfort in a sense of community of people to support you. I think we all had to pivot during the pandemic and look for ways in which we could connect with others despite the uncontrollable and isolating nature of the pandemic. I am glad you found hiking and exercise helpful! I can relate in that I have found walking and spending time in nature a helpful escape throughout such an isolating time. Looking forward to class this semester and learning more about CBT as well!

      Reply

  13. Tom Mandozzi
    Sep 01, 2022 @ 14:37:43

    Hi everyone! My name is Tom Mandozzi and I got my BA in Psychology here at Assumption. This is my fourth semester in the program. I think the biggest way in which my life has changed since the start of the pandemic is being able to be more present and taking time to slow down. The pandemic really helped me shift priorities and to focus on what is most important. My biggest takeaway from the courses I have taken so far is how important mental health is and how much of a need there is for mental health services. I especially liked learning about and practicing some counseling skills last semester in Counseling Principles and Practices. In this course I learned some introductory aspects of CBT and I am excited to learn more about this type of therapeutic interventions! Looking forward to class this semester.

    Reply

    • Tayler Shea
      Sep 03, 2022 @ 15:31:34

      Hi Tom!

      During the pandemic I also realized how important mental health is and taking things day by day, while appreciating everything. It can be so easy to get wrapped up in our routines and frustrations without valuing our health. I also enjoyed our course last semester and practicing counseling skills. Im excited for another semester!

      Reply

    • Sam Keller
      Sep 03, 2022 @ 22:37:38

      Hi Tom! Slowing down and taking more time to absorb everything around us is a great skill. It’s probably one of the best things I was working on during the pandemic so it is cool to hear that you were too! I agree that personnal mental health is super important in this field. No one is perfect, but having the tools to deal with stress and negativity can stop everything from piling up and becoming too much. Look forward to seeing you in class!

      Reply

  14. Ashley Torres
    Sep 01, 2022 @ 15:59:03

    Hi everyone, my name is Ashley Torres and I graduated from Umass Lowell in May. During the pandemic I was able to get a job as a behavioral tech, which would have not been possible if I was on campus. I believe this experience really benefited me because I learned so much about ABA and working with clients. Last semester was my first semester in the program, and I enjoyed it. My biggest take away is how powerful therapy can be. It is something bigger than I initially thought. We are treating people using words and skills which is something amazing. I felt like I gained new perspective on the profession. I did not have experience with CBT before but from what I have learned, it is unique and adaptable. By this is I mean that anyone can be treated using CBT and it is not cookie cutter stuff even though there are different steps in the helping stages.

    Reply

    • Tayler Shea
      Sep 03, 2022 @ 15:23:07

      Hi Ashley! I love how you were able to find a positive way that covid changed your life! Working hands on with people in the field is such a valuable experience and I am glad you were able to have that opportunity during covid 🙂 I like how you described CBT as “not cookie cutter” because that is so true! Each client has their own unique treatment plan and goals, I love that also.

      Reply

    • Yoana Catano
      Sep 05, 2022 @ 22:18:19

      Hi Ashley, it is interesting how you bring the power of therapy, I think sometimes we don’t realize the responsibility that we have when we work in therapy, it is the power and the trust that clients have on us, that we are responsible for providing the best treatment possible. That’s why working with evidence based treatments gives us more confidence in being able to help people. The satisfaction of seeing clients to achieve change, and improve their symptoms is very rewarding, but also making sure we are no causing damage by using non evidence based techniques. I am glad you were able to experience it in your job.

      Reply

  15. Tayler Shea
    Sep 01, 2022 @ 16:40:18

    Hi Everyone! My name is Tayler Shea. This is my third semester at Assumption. I graduated from Eastern Connecticut State University in 2019 with my bachelors in Child Psychology and a minor in health. I work for a non-profit in Connecticut called Northeast Opportunities for Wellness (NOW). The mission of NOW is to provide social, emotional, and physical wellness programs to low-income children and families.

    The COVID-19 pandemic taught me how quickly everyones lives can change and how important it is to remain adaptable and empathetic, in all situations. My life changed quickly when all of my work programs for children in need in my community were closed and I had to find ways to adapt. I think the pandemic made me a more flexible person, overall. When COVID first began I was responsible for youth programs for NOW. Within the first 3 weeks of COVID our Executive Director (at the time) quit with no notice…… and I absorbed all of her responsibilities…..at 22 years old…. within 1 month of moving out of my parents house….during a strange situation (a global pandemic)….. in grad school. THAT is how I learned to be adaptable!

    My first semester of graduate school was challenging, as I am also working full time (and part time…). I learned time management skills and how to plan ahead. I really like this program and all of the friends that I have made and professors that I have learned from. When I started this program, I did not know a ton about CBT, but I am quickly learning. During my undergrad degree, I had a professor who studied CBT. He encouraged me to research Assumption and the CBT program. I appreciate that CBT is a more wholistic approach to therapy by incorporating thoughts, emotions, and behaviors together. I also like that CBT focuses on building the client-therapist relationships and learning skills to empower clients to use skills to feel better, rather than becoming dependent. Also…. I like that CBT is scientifically backed through research studies. I am excited to learn more about CBT this semester and throughout the rest of this program.

    Reply

    • Ashley Torres
      Sep 02, 2022 @ 13:55:32

      Hi Tayler! Sounds like the pandemic threw huge challenges and you were able to conquer them all! You went through so many changes in a short amount of time and sounds like you made the best out of it. It is great to hear that you used that experience to build adaptable skills, that will also be useful later in life. Your work with children is amazing and I am exciting to hear how you connect our classes with children!

      Reply

    • Yoana Catano
      Sep 05, 2022 @ 22:07:08

      Hi Tayler, thanks for sharing the opportunity that life gave you to be adaptable, that is a big challenge, but I believe you were able to manage it, it means you are made for big things. I also understand what means to be working full time and attending this Master, it takes a lot more organization and time management.

      Reply

  16. Sam Keller
    Sep 01, 2022 @ 20:44:35

    Hello! I am Sam Keller and I graduated from UMass Amherst. My life has changed since covid because I got a dog. He is my ride or die problem rescue baby and I love him dearly. He also accidently closed himself in the bedroom recently and tried to eat his way to freedom. My biggest takeaway from my last semester is to never mention your SAT scores to Dr. V. Also that when people start hyping up difficult assignments it’s never as bad as they make it out to be. My experience with CBT is that it would come up in my work as a residential counselor. We would do the occasional worksheet with clients but didn’t have extensive training on its use. The more I learned about it the more it appealed to me, so the fact that this program is CBT focused was a huge plus for me when I applied.

    Reply

    • Katie Gatto
      Sep 02, 2022 @ 17:03:54

      Hi, Sam! “Ride or die problem baby who you love dearly” definitely seems like the perfect description for your dog Bear. You have positively influenced his life in so many ways! He is a sweetheart, and he definitely loves you dearly too. Also, I think you should know, your name in my phone is “Sam 800 SAT”. We joke about; however, I hope you are genuinely proud of that accomplishment because that is what you deserve. I look forward to another class with you!

      Reply

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Adam M. Volungis, PhD, LMHC

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