My two-week break from school is over tomorrow when I start my second theories class. It's an online/in-person classes hybrid and I'm excited to have so much flexibility with my schedule as TexProtects ramps us for the 86th legislative session. I'll also be starting to learn the basic techniques needed to become a counselor. I've had some experience through my work with SAFE and with the guidance of my diversity class professor. This technique class will involve recording ourselves role-playing as counselors and then receiving feedback based on those recordings. We'll be graded on ... our level of empathy! If we don't meet a certain standard of empathy, we will not pass the class. In the class, we'll learn those stereotypical small things you see therapists do in movies and TV. I'll learn how to reflect your emotions and narrative back to you. I'll learn how to negotiate, open and close a session, deal with client anger, and do crisis management for people who are suicidal or experiencing other acute, immediate mental health challenges. I'm ready to dive in!
In Basic Techniques, we'll also be talking more about choosing our theoretical orientations, the building blocks of how we think about the innate aspects of humanity, what we believe creates change in human behavior, what creates mental health challenges and atypical behavior, and what our particular practice of therapy looks like. At the moment I'm incredibly interested in Constructivist Theory/Narrative Therapy, and Feminist Theory and Therapy. I've also been digging into Adaptive Information Processing, the theory behind the Eye Movement Reprocessing and Desensitization (EMDR) technique. In my summer theories class this past semester, we were asked to write two papers: one about our core beliefs about humanity and one comparing and contrasting two theories of psychology. Follow the links to read each!