Archive | February, 2012

Matched!

28 Feb

I landed an internship, and Ted and I are headed to the great state of North Carolina! That’s right, I’m going to be living in the birthplace of human-powered flight, where the squirrels roam and… is that a yam? I guess also where the yams grow. This Microsoft Word clip art is not very informative.

This post will also not be very informative, due to all the things I need to get done this week… but I promise to put up a real piece in the next few days.

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A Great Way to Get Less Sleep Tonight

21 Feb

If you haven’t read this article in The Atlantic and are looking for a) new ways to fuel your nightmares or b) an interesting read on a unique line of schizophrenia research, check it out:

How Your Cat Is Making You Crazy

If you’re like me, you’ll probably read the headline and first paragraph, chortle because you can already tell that this article is going to be the stupidest article ever, and then feel a growing sense of horror as you continue reading and realize that the article is actually pretty well-researched and maybe there really are cat protozoans that can subtly puppet a human brain. You will look suspiciously at your cats. You will do a cursory lit review on Google Scholar, hoping to find evidence that all of this stuff is made up and/or the product of blatantly crappy research, and you will not find the comfort you are looking for. Oh, no.

Admittedly, this line of research could potentially have really cool implications for our understandings of schizophrenia etiology and treatment, and that’s worth getting excited about. But it also brings up some disturbing thoughts. If T. gondii really is capable of discreetly altering human behavior, what other microscopic “puppeteers” might be out there? Have cat ownership and my lazy approach to vegetable-washing already converted my brain into a teeming mass of protozoan cysts? Could these protozoans be early evolutionary precursors to a Yeerk race bent on taking over the world via brain infiltration? You know, rational thoughts like those.

What reactions do you guys have?

Awesome Stuff That Happened This Week

12 Feb
  1. Prop 8 was overturned!
  2. Rep. Maureen Walsh made this speech.
  3. I submitted my rank order list for internship. I read a deeply inspiring article a couple months ago about a circus psychologist, so I put “Cirque du Soleil: Cavalia Rotation” as my top choice. Sure, maybe Cirque du Soleil isn’t officially participating in the Match, but once they find out I ranked them first, they’ll be so blown away by my go-getter attitude and sassy confidence that they’ll immediately create and accredit an internship just for me.
  4. TWO of my friends successfully proposed their dissertations this week. Way to go, Kasey and Matt!
  5. Although it’s too early to tell for sure, my friend Wesley appears to have beaten the odds and narrowly avoided death by brain-eating amoebas despite constant misuse of his NetiPot.
  6. I reacquainted myself with the cinematic masterpiece The Neverending Story.
  7. An eighth grader with autism described me as a “smokin’ hottie” and asked me to be his valentine. Watch out Ted, you’ve got competition. Among the middle school set… with serious social and behavioral difficulties. You know what, never mind.
  8. My cat demonstrated improved comprehension of the “play dead” command. Admittedly, this trick is pretty close to his usual preferred state.

Inclusive Art in Therapy Rooms

4 Feb

I spent a lot of time touring mental health care facilities last month, and many of these sites – especially university counseling centers – demonstrated a clear commitment to decorating their walls in a culturally inclusive way. I saw Peruvian wall hangings, portraits of African-American jazz artists, a Buddha painting, Frida Kahlo prints, and West African masks. One training director explained the rationale for her site’s decor as she shepherded me and other internship applicants through the building: “We want everyone to feel represented here.”

I also spent a lot of time sitting around in airports last month, which provided ample opportunity to sort through my own ideas about what makes “good” therapy room decor, and what I might do to make a room feel inclusive. If I get an internship this year, it’s likely that I’ll be given a space to decorate. And I really like the idea of channeling the ol’ creative juices into making a therapy room my own. I am, after all, a person who guiltily and avidly follows a bunch of craft and decor blogs, feverishly pinning projects to a Pinterest board to make “eventually.”

Prior to my trip, I had always imagined myself decorating in a soothing, blandly nature-themed way. And while I certainly still want my theoretical room to have a positive vibe, and I like things that are shaped like branches far too much to abandon the idea of nature-themed decor entirely, I think I could accomplish more with art that conveys inclusiveness.

A small (and not at all exhaustive or fully inclusive) selection of art I’d love to put in a therapy room:

Pakistani Girls Show Their Hands Painted with Henna Ahead of the Muslim Festival of Eid-Al-Fitr by Khalid Tanveer; from allposters.com

Unite with Pride; image from advocate.com

Peaceful Moment, by Monica Stewart (from allposters.com)

Disability is an Art, from the University of New Hampshire Institute on Disability

Balloons, Mexico by David J. Negrón (see the artist’s site here)

Cherry blossoms painting, identity unknown – I came across this one here and loved it, but I can’t find its name or the artist who painted it anywhere. Does anyone recognize it?

**Note: A friend informs me this is Chinese Painting by Jun Wan. Thanks, Wes!

The Path of the Shapeshifter, by Helena Nelson-Reed (artist’s website here)

Any sculpture by Shelly Tincher Buonaiuto (below: Wind)

To other future psychologists or current therapists: do you ever daydream about therapy room decor? If you already have a room of your own, how have you chosen to decorate it?

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