The Big D and the Problem of Time


I studied for the better part of two months over the winter for comps. Actually, no, I prepared for two and a half years in my doctoral program by completing coursework. I literally consumed hundreds of journal articles and seminal works both in my courses and during my intensive prep for comps. I conducted research and taught courses. I vigorously prepared for one week of writing and answered four questions. After writing 76 total pages and answering my comprehensive exams over seven days, I completed exams in order to become a doctoral candidate. Courses are now complete. Research assistantship is over. Teaching assistantship is mostly done. With all of this emerging free time, what do I do with it?

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Comprehensive Exams II: Reflections & Helpful Strategies

Comps Blog Pic

I passed exams! Excitement and relief are the emotions I feel when asked, “How does it feel?” Thankfully, I will never have to do that again. Even though I passed, it was a brutal week. It was as much about managing my own thoughts and feelings as it was about answering the questions. So relieved to be done and move from PhD student to PhD candidate. Now I obtain the green light from the university to begin my dissertation.

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The Mentoring Process: Steps Along a Path


Taking a cue from the Star Wars universe, mentoring can sometimes feel a lot like Force-sensitive training: a mysterious process that’s difficult to access.  I realized this mystery, sipping on Starbucks while attending the Association for Counselor Education and Supervision (ACES) conference in October.  However, I did not take time in the moment to fully process what the realization meant. Continue reading

A Daunting Reality: Preparing for Comprehensive Exams

Surreal and unbelievable are words that describe how I perceive my current place in doctoral work. It is hard to believe I am experiencing this 3rd-year reality, as it seems like a recent memory that I was receiving the good news that I had been accepted into the Ph.D. program. That was well over 2 years ago.

As I slowly realize this unfathomable truth, I am forced to reflect upon a more daunting reality of approaching comprehensive exams (referred to as “comps”). Continue reading

Two Lessons Learned from a Third Year Doctoral Student


During the past two years of my doctoral studies in counselor education and supervision (CES), my experience has come with several personal and professional lessons. Some of those lessons are unique to helping me develop as a counselor educator-in-training. Having worked in the mental health profession for over a decade before entering my CES training program, I quickly learned that the lessons specific to counselor education can be quite different than lessons learned as a licensed professional counselor.

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Exposing The Myths Of PTSD: Creating Awareness In June

Disaster Pic

I decided to take a little break from academic blogs in order to write about something that I’m passionate about – Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and trauma.  Starting in 2010, Congress designated June 27th as National Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) Awareness Day.  Additionally, for the past 2 years, Congress has also set aside June as National PTSD Awareness Month.  While they have not yet said if this is happening in 2015, I wanted to offer some information about PTSD, including some common myths believed to be fact by some in our culture. Continue reading

Submitting a Collaborative Proposal: First Lessons Learned


During my last blog entry, I wrote about the power of networking at conferences and how valuable the experience can be as a doctoral student. Part of that blog post included me connecting with a colleague for the 2nd time and discussing the possible exploration of a presentation proposal. Good news! We actually followed through with that original idea. This blog entry is a description of that collaborative process.  Continue reading