Today was a difficult day for me. After nine years of caring for my cat Diggy, I had to make a heart breaking decision to euthanize him. I thought I would be able to handle the process because I would be helping him to move past his misery and find peace in the after life. But, I quickly learned that there was no easy way to say goodbye. The pain that came along with letting him go was so intense.
I am grateful however that I got to be there with him as he transitioned. I got the chance to hold him In my arms, tell him how much I loved him, gave him one last kiss as I watched and listened to him take his last breath. I chose to believe that he is resting well and is in a better place. I will have a ceremony for him upon receiving His ashes, because I feel like it's the proper thing to do. He wasn't just y cat, but he was an intricate part of my family and he had a role and position here.
To all pet owners out there. Continue to appreciate and cherish the unconditional love that your pet brings to your home and to your family. Always be mindful of showing them ovenin return. Yes, they can be invasive sometimes, but that’s only because they love you so. Our pets are more than just animals that we bring in our homes to protect us from unwanted things, They are our family and they provide us with so much love, joy and companionship and enrich our lives for the better. My sweet Diggy is now resting peacefully. He and I made it through one of the hardest days and nights of his life; but today he rest and I say, so long for now!
Jan 2009. - Jan 15, 2018
Test taking is not something that comes easy for me. In fact, I down right dread it. When I see multiple choice questions, instantly I panic. So yes, you guessed it, the ASWB Licensing Exam was no different for me. Upon learning about the licensing exam, and all that it entailed, fear and anxiety over took me. I asked myself, “How am I suppose to take a test to show the ASWB that I am a competent Social Worker? What would happen if I fail this test? How will I ever get ahead, if I don’t have the credential to show that I have the Knowledge, Skills, and Ability to perform the duties of a competent Social Worker.” These questions and many more, bombarded my mind. So, in order for me to make peace with it all, I had to research and explore for myself, how best to approach this exam, so that I could achieve my goal and earn the license that says, I have Mastered the core competency Skills needed to be a competent Social Worker.
Before I took my ASWB exam, I thought nothing of it. I had no fears or anxiety in regards to taking the exam. I honestly believed that I was capable of passing my exam, simply because, “I’ve been practicing as a social worker for many years.” Well, to my surprise the ASWB Licensing Exam was not that simple. I quickly learned that the ASWB was not interested in how well I practiced as a social worker, rather they were interested in knowing if I had the knowledge and Competency Skills, that are at the foundation of who we are as social workers.
Being in practice for many years, some things got away from me. What the ASWB Licensing Exam did for me, was challenged me to a level of remembering why we practice as we do, and it re-enforced and strengthened my critical thinking skills. Once I changed my mindset and approach to taking the ASWB Licensing Exam, taking the test became something other than just trying to pass it. It became a way for me to solidify who I am as a social worker and to establish myself as professionally, competent in the field.
Simply put, in my opinion, changing my mindset towards taking the exam is what helped me achieve my goal. Im sharing this with the intent of helping you develop a new way of approaching the Licensing Exam. Too many people fail the exam because of the pressure to pass it, that we place upon ourselves. Yes, you are preparing to earn a license that will show that you have master the (KSAs) Knowledge, Skills, and Ability to perform the functions of a competent (Clinical) Social Worker, but it does not define who you are as a professional.
So as you prepare to study for and take your exam, remember, YOU ARE COMPETENT and you’re a great Social Worker. You practice these skills daily and many people lives are changed as a result of the work you do daily. Learn test taking strategies, and apply it with the skills and knowledge that you have. Remember the Social work process to help you navigate through questions. Find a reputable study program to assist in your learning process and you are good to go. There was a time when I thought that I would never be able to pass this exam, but after changing my mindset, my will and ability to achieve my goals change to. Good luck and happy studying. Now Go Get What Yours!!!!.
Are you able to adapt to new surroundings, new expectations or someone’s renewed frame of reference (way of thinking)? For many, change tends to be a very difficult concept. What makes change difficult is that it challenges you to cross over into the unknown. It seems to be paradoxical that something so stressful can end up being so necessary.
If you can, identify at least one thing in life, that doesn’t change. That exercise may be quite difficult to do because beside death, change is one of the only things destined to happen. So when you think about change, is it something that you can keep from occurring? Not so! Change will come upon you whether you invite it or not. So why is it so difficult for many, to adapt to this concept of change?
Most people struggle with change, because they tend to respond better to routine, structure, and consistency. These concepts serve as a safe boundary for many. Consistency, routine, and structure help people to feel comfortable in their environment. They love when things are predictable and reliable. When situations fall outside of what is considered to be predictable, reliable or dependable, that becomes a recipe for disaster, and could lead one into a catastrophic situation.
I know this to be somewhat true, because I love structure. I love when things are consistent, reliable, dependable and predictable. But unfortunately things don’t always work out that way, because situations change. If you view change as being all bad, then adjusting to it will not be an easy thing to do. Just know that change is not always a bad thing. As stated previously, in some cases, change is necessary. Sometimes we need things to shift in our lives in order to matriculate to the next level.
Without even recognizing it, you can become stuck in your routines if you are not careful. Being stagnant and not growing can also be very disabling. If there’s no flexibility in your structure, you may cut yourself off from the various opportunities that change may bring about. Being so structure and routine, with little flexibility for change can limit you from reaching your fullest potential or achieving more in life.
Don’t let your routines keep you comfortable and stuck. If you want to grow and become better, be open to all the possibilities that come about with change. Be open and willing to try new things, and stretch yourself past the boundaries that you’ve previously established for yourself. If you fear change, or fail to accept change, you growth and development will be stunted. Let go of the need to be in control of the situation, and embrace the possibilities of your surrounding. Change is inevitable. It will happen even when you chose not to have it occur. So instead of fighting it, fearing it, or rejecting it, the best thing you can do is open yourself up to it, accept it, adjust when change takes place.
What is it that got you feeling stuck? Are you trying to get ahead, but it feels like you’re not moving? What’s stopping you from buying that new car, or that brand new house? Why haven’t you stopped into your boss office to request that pay increase that you deserve? There are some many reasons why we fail to take the next step and grab a hold of what is intrinsically ours? What happens when you think about reaching further? Do you feel anxious or overwhelmed? How about when you think about confronting that issue that got you feeling bound, do you experience similar emotions? Many of us will remain in unhealthy relationships and stay on a job where we are not growing, because of this internal emotion called, Fear.
Fear can be a very debilitating emotion. It is one of the feelings that can immobilize you if you allow it to. What produces fear, is when you don’t know what to expect, or when you don’t have a clear understanding how your life might change as a result of stepping over, onto the other side of your situation. Fear is one of those emotions we often feel, but never discuss. Stressful situations tend to generate fear within us. It is the stressful event, which is also known as the “triggering event” that causes the brain to respond, sometimes, in negative manner. The stressful event sends a signal to your brain, telling you, that what’s happening outside of you is not good. That stress then, translates into something you’ll feel or experience.
When stress comes upon you, you may feel it throughout your body. You might experience physiological responses such as the releasing of chemicals that can cause your heart to start racing, palms grow sweaty, Knees get jittery, head starts throbbing, the rate of your breathing increases, or your muscles are energized, just to name a few. These physiological changes can be extremely un-easy for some, because it may take you into a very unfamiliar place, emotionally speaking. Whatever you do, don’t avoid what you are feeling, or experiencing by shutting, instead learn effective ways to manage the stressors that are a part of your life.
So how do you deal with the negative side of this emotion, called fear? You live! Fear happens when you refuse to live your life as it happens. Fear lives in the very thoughts that you tell yourself. So stop telling yourself negative things and spending all your time worrying about what’s going to happen next. When you do this, it suggests that you are planning to living for what hasn’t even occurred yet. As you know, with everything, there are good and bad, healthy and unhealthy ways to deal with situations that occurs in your life. Knowing what you can control vs. what you can’t control is one way to manage your fears. You will come upon things in life that you have no control over, and there’s not much you can do about it. But, when it’s a situation that you can control, set your mind to make a change, do something different; reach for what you ordinarily wouldn’t reach for. If you do nothing, you will feel defeated. That defeat will then be replaced by fear which will paralyze you and keep you achieving your goals in life. So, why stress over the thought of, “What hasn’t happened yet?”
As I bring this to a close, I want you to ask yourself this question, “Do you want to experience living life, or avoid living life? If you answer experience living life, then you must extinguish fear. Don’t let the thought of what could happen, paralyzing you from the experiences of what is happening, right in the “here and now.” You’re experiences whether good or bad, are meant to develop you and build character in you. You will experience the beauty of life, when you allow yourself to live the life you have been destined to live. Your experiences will only be negative, if you accept it as such. Even when things don’t turn out the way you hoped they would, you can always walk away from that experience with new information and a different understanding on life.
So, I leave you with this, you can plan for tomorrow, but you can’t live tomorrow, today. So, stop planning to prevent what might happen, and start preparing to live what is happening “Here and Now.” There is no real security with living life. So instead of living to prevent, prepare to live. Leave Fear behind.
Having a role model, while going through life changes is one strategy that can be used to assist you with achieving your goals in life. Having someone that you can look to, is almost like having a blue print or a roadmap of which way you should go. Role models can serve as a vision, or focal point. Being able to see what someone other than your self has gone through, and what they have accomplished in life, in spite of their trials, can be awe inspiring. Choosing a role model is not about trying to be like someone else, but it more so serve as a means of achieving something in life that you desire to have or someone that you strive to become in life.
It’s nice when you can see what the outcome of what you want to achieve, might look like. There are many people in this world that have gone through life trials, and found their way out of it. They made it out because they’ve made the choice not to stay stuck in their mess. They decided to do something different. I’d venture to say that not only did these people make it up on their mind that they want something better, but they were able to vision how their lives might play out through the life of someone else.
So what is a role model? A role model is a person whose actions, way of living, or success in life, is or can be modeled by others. A role model is someone who other individuals aspire to be like, either in the present or in the future. Having a role model is important as having a role model can help you become the person you want to be, and inspire you to make a difference in life. So how do you choose a role model:
If you were sick, would you see a doctor? How about, if you had a tooth ache, would you go see a dentist? What if your hair was a wreck and you needed to have a conditioning treatment, would you see a cosmetologist or barber? Here’s another one for you, what if there was a dinner party you’ve been invited to and you wanted to look and feel your best, would you seek an opinion from someone you love concerning how you look? I’m assuming that most of us would answer yes to these questions. Almost everyone want to feel good and look their best. Most people will try anything possible to beautify their outward appearance, but won’t take time out to make sure our their insides are feeling good as well.
People don’t like to talk about how they are feeling. Most of this is because they struggle with being able to express how they feel, and find it easier to express what they thinking instead of what they’re feeling. Take for example: If you ask your friend how does he feel about going to the dinner party, he’s more than likely to respond by giving you his thought, as opposed to his feeling. He might respond by saying, “I think it will be fun, so I am going to attend.” Well, thinking and feeling are two different things. Because I’m interested in knowing how he feels, a more appropriate response might be something like this, “I’m excited about going to the party. I can’t wait to attend.” Notice the word, “excited” which expresses a feeling. When we can’t find the right word to express how we feel, we tend to explain it away with our thoughts. We do this often because we’ve been socialised to believe that talking about how we feel is a sign of weakness. Showing weakness is one of the many reason why people avoid seeking therapy. There is an irrational belief that if you seek out therapy then that means, that you’re not strong enough to handle your problems on you own. This type of thinking keep people from getting proper help when they may need it most.
I wish I could say that there are no stigma's associated with therapy, but the truth is, there are. People avoid getting help simply because they don’t understand what therapy entails. They believe the stigma's. I'm not trying to convince you that therapy can be useful in various ways, such as assisting you with making decisions, raising your children, bettering your marriage, choosing careers, and overall emotional health just to name a few, but I want you to understand that therapy is so much more than the negative connotations attached to it. As a therapist and a consumer of therapy services in my past, I encourage you to give it a try. You just may be surprise by the results that you'll get. What do you have to lose besides becoming a happier version of you.
Click Sarcasm is a mean form of communication and it's an indication that you are angry about something. When you are being sarcastic, it's because you are hurting inside and possibly angry about something and you just want to get back at that person that has hurt you. Words are like seeds you plant in the ground. You can not get good fruit from bad seed that has been planted. When you speak negatively and bad words towards others, be prepared to reproduce negative results.
Think about this; when you open your mouth and sarcasm comes out, what does that communicate to the person you are talking to? It communicates that you are hurt about something and you're possibly being defensive about something. When someone tells you that your are being sarcastic and what's coming out of your mouth is offensive to them, and you're response is "No I'm not", "No it's not" or "I didn't Mean anything by it." Consider this, "Yes you are, and yes you did mean to hurt that person," that is why you said it to begin with. Most times, when we speak out of emotions, we are revealing what our hearts truly feel.
There are some people that struggle with thinking positive or saying positive things for many reason. Maybe throughout their journey they've been hurt, or put down. When you behave in like manner, it reveals what's really going on inside of you. When the going gets tough, take some time out to regroup, and talk with the someone you trust. Ask for guidance and help. We don't always think so, but just maybe a change is needed. Use your words in a positive way. Use your words to encourage, strengthen and build others up. Words are powerful. They could either build you up, or tear you down. Are you building people up, or are you tearing them down by what you say? Think about it. Sarcasm hurts!!!
Just a few facts about a child who may be struggling academically or behaviorally in school. There could be multiple reason why your child may be acting out. There could be so much going on inside of his brain and he lacks the ability to effectively communicate what it may be. Teachers, workers and parents alike have to stop looking at the child as just being a problem child, or child that does not like to listen well, and start investigating and exploring more into what the root of the problem may be.
Children who have with sensory processing disorder struggles in ways that we could never imagine. They are contending with so many sensory inputs at one time that life tend to becomes extremely overwhelming for them, and sets them on overload at a much faster rate than you and I would ever experience. With this extreme level of intense sensory overload, our children have to find a way to release the pressure, therefore a behavioral meltdown will occur. My son has sensory processing disorder. One of the major deficits he struggles with is being hyper sensitive to sound, or ound sensitive to specific frequencies heard at loud levels. These frequencies are typically labeled 'problem' frequencies. Autistic children are good examples of this. They can tolerate some sound at normal or even loud volumes but some frequencies are difficult to tolerable.
Hypercausis on the other hand is a condition that arises from a problem in the way the brain’s central auditory processing center perceives noise. It can often lead to pain and discomfort. Individuals with hyperacusis have difficulty tolerating sounds which do not seem loud to others, such as the noise from running faucet water, riding in a car, walking on leaves, dishwasher, fan on the refrigerator, and shuffling papers. Although all sounds may be perceived as too loud, high frequency sounds may be particularly troublesome. Needless to say, this describes my son as well.
In addition to they hypersensitivity to sound, he also has Auditory Processing Disorder. Auditory Processing Disorder (APD) is a listening disability, wherein the individual has difficulties with processing what he/she hear. APD is about not being able to process sounds that you hear, including speech. Rather, those who have APD struggles with following conversations, and understanding verbal instructions. What's very frustrating is that you can not see his disability and to the natural eye it doesn't exist.
Because of this disorder, a child can be a perceived inappropriately. My son who reads very well, struggles in the classroom setting because of his auditory processing, and not being able to comprehend all that is being said to him. He can hear very well, but often times the various noises in the background becomes a distraction and keeps him from being able to focus and concentrate on the task at hand, and/or sends him into overload because he's trying to process too much information all at once. So as you can imagine, his behavior then becomes a problem. He can read a book and process information individually, but group earning and formal instruction become a problem because he can't effectively processing Verbal Instruction, with all the other sensory related issues going on.
Just you imagine being in a crowded room where everyone is talking, horns are blowing, the piano is playing, a baby is crying, someone is laughing, and chairs are scratching the floor. All this is going on at the same time, and you can hear it all, at very loud decibels. How can you make sense of what you need to focus on, or what's being said or directed at you, when you have to contend with other the other sounds going on around you? Needless to say, you can't! do it It becomes difficult, overwhelming, and to hard to handle. Now, just imagine not being able to escape that noise and you're being force to stay in the area where its occurring, your frustrated, it's causing you distress and pain and your forced to deal with it. Will you will fight your way out?
I get it and I understand it. This is why its important for those who work with our vulnerable children to learn about the various facets of autism. Sensory Processing Disorder is a real thing and it impact many children on the spectrum Our children aren't being bad and destructive just because they think it's fun. No, these behavioral, emotional, physical and aggressive meltdown are occurring for a reason. I say to you, don't be afraid to dig deeper, and find the root cause of your child's problem. You can change your child's life for the better if you seek the answers!
I hope this has helped someone. Leave a comment, like and share.
April is Autism Awareness Month. My goal is to spread awareness to everyone about this developmental disability, known as ASD or Autism Spectrum Disorder. Autism affects 1 in every 68 individuals. More boys are affected by this disorder than girls. Research shows that it is four to five times more likely to occur in boys than in girls. Currently, there is no single cause or known cure for Autism Disorder, just as there is no one type of autism. Over the last five years, scientists have identified a number of rare gene changes, or mutations, associated with autism. A small number of these are sufficient to cause autism by themselves. Most cases of autism, however, appears to be caused by a combination of autism risk genes and environmental factors.
I'm a licensed Clinical Social worker, license to work in the State of Pennsylvania. I have over 19 years experience working in the Mental Health Field as a Child Welfare Worker, Administrator, Consultant, Educator and Clinician. I'm dedicated and committed to the work I do which includes impacting and changing lives. In my spare time I like to write poetry, watch movies, and share my thoughts through blogging.