Archives for posts with tag: school psychologist

illustration by Paul Lee & Brian Horton, from, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Omnibus, Volume 3, Dark Horse Books, Jan. 2008

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[Buffy] My former self hates the new Me. –But I LOVE Me.

[Xander] I think you just warped something besides time, there, Buff.

[Willow] A time warp! Exactly! Buffy, that’s how you¬†USED to think your assignments would get done. ¬†Seemed easier than measuring out each day and week like wooden yardstick. Right? Now you know it WORKS! But we have to know exactly HOW stick with that stick!

[Xander] Quit stealing lines and sticking with sticks, Willow. Not your gig!

[Buffy] But she’s right, Xander, and the tricks she taught me should work for guys too. You know the best part? I get to HOLD TEACHERS ACCOUNTABLE. I NEED to start my assignments early. I NEED to pace them toward their¬†due-dates. Now it’s the TEACHERS who are scrambling to get stuff to ME! ¬†THE POWER!! Ooooh, this is better than my last¬†triple kill. . .

GRRRWAAHHSHSH!!!

[Xander] Oh, clever. Slayer passing discretely¬†as a slayer. That’ll throw them.

[Willow] Lay off Buffy, Xander. She’s discovered the FOUR BASIC MISTAKES¬†she was making. And she’s corrected all four. Taking notes, twinkie-eater? Here you go:

1. DON’T wait til¬†the teacher gets around to structuring the assignment. TELL them what times you have already booked to work on it and WHEN you need their deets. ¬†UP FRONT.

2. DON’T wait until you have a large block of time to work on a large assignment. Large blocks mostly get wasted. Then you are even farther behind.

3. DON’T attack an assignment as if it was all one big thing. It’s not. It’s a bunch of hidden sub-goals. You have to do the detective work first. Find all your sub-goals. Put them in the order. Be ready to do the first sub-goal. Right on that day you first get the deets.

4. DON’T lose a single day. Book one hour each day, or second day, to bank some progress. Get intense for that hour. Then lay off. Berween days, it’s still in your head. So you don’t really lose that day either.

[Xander] Cool. Can I get marks for those days off?

[Willow] Get real. My point is this. Never again will you keep forgetting what your assignments are even about. Man, I never had that problem.  But everyone I know practically pees themselves when it happens.

[Xander] Nice to know you’re comfy-dry there, Willow.

[Buffy] Be nice, you two. We’ve got work to do. Best part is this: The kill is SO SLOW. It’s against the Slayer Code to do that to a vamp. Nev-Ver! They have feelings, you know?¬†¬†BUT ASSIGNMENTS? ¬†NO MERCY!

[Xander] Buff. Chill. You’re sounding psycho. In fact, lemme outa here.

[Willow] You can do it too, Xan. You don’t have to be all vicious like Buffy here.¬†Maybe you go can undercover. Let’s shop for¬†reading glasses. Maybe a visor ‘n’ like-that. Just til you get your courage up. No-one needs to know that you’re Heaven’s Child sitting on the Hellmouth. ‘Cept — come exam time — gotta warn ya — EVERYBODY¬†wants to be your friend. Guys are the worst. And if they can get YOU to help them instead of Buffy or me, WELL! Get ready to play Popularity, Release 2.0, Mister.

[Xander] Okay. But they can get their own Twinkies. Hell! They can BRING the Twinkies!

[Buffy] That’s the spirit!

[Willow] WHERE?! …OH CRAP, BUFFY! DON’T USE THAT…It sounds different, from you.

 

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BE THE FIRSTYEAR STUDENT WHO CAN WRITE

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Professor and seminar group(ONTARIO) “Try writing like Helen over there. She can give you some tips.”¬† Prof. Claritti’s comment is a bit out there, for the lecture hall. But he means well. He likes Jac’s concepts. When he can find them.

Jac got into his first-pick university because his high school averages soared. ‚Äď On wings of math and science.¬† Now, these strict, First Year expectations for smooth, clear, concise writing are hitting Jac like a line-drive to the gut. Feedback notes on his lab reports and essays seem ‘blind’ to Jac’s best efforts.

Jac never needed special education. High school teachers consistently ‘tolerated’ his writing because he was a strong student overall (if sometimes a big show-off). His teachers had other issues to address . . .

peer editing

Teachers never had cause enough to get Jac to practice key strategies. For example:

   -Note-taking while Reading then Outlining.

¬†¬† -Listen to the ‘sound’ of writing you like.¬†

   -Write the Abstract & Conclusion, then fill in.

   -Have a friend read your draft to you, aloud, and without commenting.

Whether you form a study group with stronger writers, hire a private tutor, or qualify for learning disability Access Centre and BSWD for software like Kurzweil and WordQ, you’re among many first-year students who have a wall to climb, just to raise their writing to expected levels. If a disability is truly unlikely, just max-out your campus network by trading your highest skills for writing guidance and arm’s length editing. -And keep your ethics. Even when a friend is happy to trade in theirs.¬† ¬† KM¬†

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The key to best health outcomes for you as patient OR your child, is integrated care by as many different health professions and para-professions as necessary. Whether the needs of your child, adolescent, or you as adult are emotional-relational, or centred on learning and achievement, or both, you deserve effective, time-optimized care. In some cases, there may be both health professionals and educators on the team.

As a full member of the College of Psychologists of Ontario (CPO), both for Clinical and School Psychology, I am registered to practice with Child, Adolescent and Adult clients in Ontario. I uphold the standards of outcomes-directed practice which have made psychology on of the most progressive forces for wellness and healing, that our era has to offer.

Being also a member of the National Association of School Psychologists (US) and the Ontario group, OAPA, mean that your practitioner participates in resource and research networks that offer the most updated methods and insights, for thoughtful integration with long-established, sound, best practices.

Such a cliche is the word “teamwork” now that we can almost call it ‘the T-word’ now. On the other hand, professional¬†problem-based-learning¬†means at three things:

First, we see you as an individual; not strictly a ‘patient.’

Second, as colleagues, we’re regularly learning from each other.

Third, anything we don’t know, we find out, and we strive to do so in time for it to make a difference in your care.

Preventative health care is also a growing part of psychological practice today. Practitioners, administrators and politicians can all find themselves struggling with methods of service delivery which may unintentionally punish providers for taking ‘extra’ time to do preventative¬†work. Understandably, care systems may also reward practitioners for giving just-equitable time-per-patient. Sameness is not always fairness.¬†Care integration means that everyone works preventatively and¬†helps assemble the big picture. We exchange ideas constructively and plan strategically for your wellness, or your recovery.

Yours in health and development,

Ken McCallion, Registered, MA, CPsych Assoc

–a ‘Use-Me-Now’ resource for teens, babysitters,

maybe parents:

So how IS a peanut butter and jelly sandwich like mindfulness meditation?¬†“IT’S NOT!” ¬†¬†(…Cue awkward silence . . . )¬†

Okay,  but we can imagine. Try this:

Image  

Peanut butter is sticky. So is attention. On purpose, we stick our attention to the thing that we focus on. Just like peanut butter sticks to a slice of bread. If we’re fascinated, it’s hard to scrape our attention off that fascinating thing. ‚ÄďLike getting to the next level of a computer game. If it’s a job we would rather avoid, we have to dig out LOTS of attention, to glob onto it, until we’re done.¬†

Jelly is floppy. So is relaxation. Ever seen jelly stand straight and tall? Me neither. Sometimes when we first wake up in the morning, we feel just like jelly, all relaxed and peaceful. If we want to get up and do stuff, we have to stretch and flex our muscles, just to un-jellify them.

So let’s say we have two slices of life. (LIFE?) Okay, bread then. Let’s start with bread. And we want to fill the space between those slices with two things: Peanut butter and jelly. It’s a no-brainer that we want good coverage. No big gaps.¬† So we spread the PB evenly and flop the jelly evenly. Also, we try to keep it on the bread, and not spill globs over the edges.¬† Same with meditation. Simple! Two slices of life, with a bit of time in between. (Time, space, whatever.) We just spread our sticky attention inside ‘right now’ and try to keep it from spilling over, to other times, besides now. Then we let our floppy relaxation spread itself, all over the same time ¬†as our attention. ¬†

There’s one other way to explain all this.¬† If you’ve read other stuff about meditation, like the book,¬†Peaceful Piggy, you may have read about letting your breath just do what it ‘wants’ for a while.¬† For most people, the breath is the easiest thing to pay attention to, without ‘doing’ anything. It’s a way recognize that it’s only this time, only¬†right now, that we’re paying attention to.¬†

While we’re busy paying attention, we don’t have to actually DO anything. ¬†(WHAT?!) That’s right. Sure, it’s weird to think of paying attention to ‘nothing.’ So it’s not quite totally nothing. ¬†That’s where the breath comes in, because it’s one of the things¬†that our body ‘does’ all the time. ¬†We don’t have to work at it. (Okay, other stuff too, but we’re keeping it polite, here.) ¬†

Here’s where the magic of relaxation comes in. ¬† Ever been so tired that you just HAD to do nothing? ¬†Maybe it was a ‘good’ kind of tired because you played hard or got a big chore done? ¬†That feeling is really close to what meditation feels like.¬†

‘Noticing’ is an even better word than attention. All we have to do is keep quiet and keep ‘noticing’ what our breath feels like doing, in each moment.¬† It changes a tiny bit, now and then. That’s got the sticky attention part going. What’s cool is that the floppy relaxation part kind of just spreads itself.¬† We just let it.

If we notice some particular tense muscle somewhere, hey, flop some jelly on that part — okay not literally. Just let that part relax, especially.¬† BUT: Just so we don’t fall asleep, we find the most comfortable-but-alert position we can. First time learning this, that might be sitting straight up. It might be in a chair or on a cushion, legs crossed or not. “Is there such a thing as TOO relaxed?”¬† Well, only in meditation.¬† If our PB & J sandwich has one whole jar of jelly in it, we won’t get to taste the normal-size layer of PB.

Same principle here: If we’re TOO relaxed, we can’t pay attention. We just fall asleep. ¬†The opposite is kind of disgusting too:¬† A whole jar of peanut butter in your sandwich means you won’t get to taste the normal-size layer of jelly. (Same thing: If we work SO hard at paying attention, there’s NO WAY we can relax.)

‘Breath’ to the rescue. It’s totally enough, just to keep bringing our attention back to the breath. For sure, our attention will sometimes slop over a bit, to other times besides now (things that happened; things we have to do; things we worry will happen) kind of like a puppy that wants to run here and there to explore. We call our attention back gently and kindly, as we would that puppy. ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†. . . Happy breathing! ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†

Yours in health and development,

Ken McCallion, Registered, MA, CPsych Assoc

If you have questions or would like to see about an appointment, feel free to use the contact form, below.

Psychology-Psychiatry-Blog-Version-No-para-Minimal-text

Psychology is a health profession, all on its own. Psychology has many ‘practice areas.’ The ones that most people know about are clinical psychology, school psychology and counselling psychology. In most provinces and states, psychology never uses the term ‘specialization’ (whereas, the medical profession does.)

Medicine is of course a separate health profession. One of its specializations is psychiatry.  The subdivisions of psychiatry are Paediatric and Adult.

Psychiatists, as physicians, can prescribe drug-based treatments. They may use other therapies, as well. Psychologists use only evidence-based treatments — and a very wide range of them. So-called ‘talk therapy’ may be a component (and sometimes invaluable) but other examples include home-school collaborative behaviour consulting, experiential therapies, mindfulness training,¬†covert sensitization/desensitization, and many others. ¬†Each is finely tuned to the types of issues or disorders one brings to the work — even when it seems it’s unheard-of, many are surprised to learn that it’s well researched and the psychologist knows exactly what to do. ¬†But there’s more: ¬†Based on a full, human appreciation of your strengths and needs, psychologist and client take that already-fine-tuned therapy and tune it, further, to who you are as an individual. This is very far from being just ‘pigeon-holed’ into a Diagnosis X and being given Treatment Y. ¬†This gives the client a truly dignified and proactive way to confront a serious, psychological concern.

Unfortunately, the title ‘Psychotherapist’ has a long history of not meaning much at all, in Ontario and some other places. Efforts are underway to structure a new healthcare college, to regulate the use of ‘psychotherapist’ so that appropriate candidates can work for it, earn it, and use it proudly for the first time.

Children and teens usually don’t buy any of this, at first. Keep in mind that NO-ONE EVER wants to go to a psychologist¬†(OMG) unless there’s gonna be FUN. Damn straight. The thing that surprises many parents is how insight-generating the fun can be. Parents also find out what kinds of collaboration and teamwork they can build with their child, through attachment-oriented or ‘dyadic’ sessions and separate, parent-only, consultation sessions.

A future post on this blog will say more about what kinds of dynamic teamwork that psychology and psychiatry can sometimes pull off, when client needs require it.

If you have questions about this topic or about psychological services at this clinic, feel free to use the contact form, below.