Hi all, I know it has been a while since I’ve posted again. I’ve just been riding things out. When I got the committee notice I was devastated. I felt certain I was going to get kicked out, this near to the end. But, I proposed a solution: I step back from practicum, don’t see clients, but I get to stay in my other classes. The committee accepted this proposal but added their own stipulations: we meet again in the summer and I can’t take practicum until the Fall. Since all I have left is practicum and internship, that means either taking a break or taking extra electives. I’ve decided to take classes in clinical psych to pass the time, to become more well rounded.
This is their letter (they put words in my mouth and they took things I did say out of context). It is clear to me now that nothing I said would have made any difference, as they were listening for evidence, not listening to hear. Only one of the four professors even looked at the 20 letters I brought indicating that I was already successfully working in the field with clients, that I have been in therapy for over a year, and that I have been making progress.
I thought this experience was going to break me but then I decided I wasn’t going to let them have that kind of power over me. I know who I am and I don’t have control over whether or not my professors are willing to see me for who I really am. So, I’m just going to be the best version of myself, I’m going to keep striving for success, and we will see what happens.
In the interim, this experience has inspired me to create a group for others who may also be struggling with finding the balance between living with mental illness and fighting the stigma imposed upon us by our schools and society at large. This group is primarily a safe space for students to engage with people who get it but I would love for those who’ve been students, who have graduated already to be a part of the group as well. And for those who would regard themselves as allies to join, too. I think our voices become louder when we come together in community. Here is the group page. I hope to see you all in there.