Dressed Professionally

Week #11 of counseling internship. I have a total of 151.75 hours (yay!) Here is the specific breakdown: 26 hours face to face, 4.25 hours individual supervision, 5 hours of group supervision, and 116.5 hours of related activities hours.

I’ve been lucky the past few years that I’ve never really been required to dress professionally on a regular basis. I had some nicer outfits for interviews et cetera, but working as a student worker for a high school missions program even as an office supervisor wearing one of our organization tshirts and jeans was fine. This presented with a challenge when I was moving into the internship face of my education, I had not updated my wardrobe on a consistent basis and many of my dress shirts were too short now, or my dress pants too tight.

Therefore, I knew I was going to need to spend some money up front. My apparel at work and designing outfits instead of simply pairing a top with a pair of pants has been a huge focus for me, as I know its important to create a sense of security for the client. My face and body seem particularly young (I’ll appreciate it one day when I’m older so I’m told), so it was my focus to appear older/more professional to, again, help the clients feel more secure. Our new office manager was always ridiculously sweet if I displayed these nerves at the beginning of my internship telling me that she told her children “you have the same holy spirit that everyone else has” reminding me that age is not always an important factor. (I told you she was the best birthday present ever!)

However, recently during a supervision meeting my supervisor suggested that I dress slightly more professionally, just amp it up a little bit. I explained that it was something that I was working on, and would continue to focus on. After polling our counseling intern facebook group for ideas, other friends on facebook, and studying the outfits on Pinterest, I had some guesses as to what I needed.

This is what I was wearing for the meeting, which my supervisor stated that the sweater was more casual looking.

Casual sweater

These other outfits were what I wore to see clients those next few days. Supervisor saw them and approved!

Professional outfit #1



In this instance it helped to pull my short hair into a bun, and focus on smaller details like decorative belts, cardigans, and jewelry to really piece the outfits together. This is going to be different at each location and with each set of counselors. At my private practice I work with many seasoned counselors so I think their style is to lean towards the more professionally dressed side of things, whereas other supervisors may create a more casual environment.

I’m simply excited to have experimented in this realm and to have learned something that I didn’t know as well before. Our outward appearances are only part of the package, however client first impressions are VERY important, and I’m grateful for the little details like pulling my hair up, if it helps the client to feel more secure with me. :0)

Taught DISC Personality Styles in Counseling

Counseling internship week #10 with a total of 126 hours! Broken down this is: 23.25 face to face, 4.25 individual supervision, 4 group supervision, 94.5 related activities.

The other week my former supervisor was asked to share about DISC personality styles during group supervision/staff meeting. The office manager passed the printed handouts to me to give to her. I glanced down at the sheets to see the very familiar material that our former organization used to teach the teenagers about teamwork to reduce the drama on our short term mission trips. I heard this lesson at least 8 times a year during my 4 years with Xtreme Impact.

However, when she shared this, it opened my eyes to how I could use this material within the counseling session. She recommended that she taught this personality style method a lot with adolescents struggling with personalities, for clients involved in relationship struggles (to understand themselves and others better), as well as during career counseling.

I never considered teaching about personality styles in session because I thought it seemed more like “pop” psychology. However, I realized how simple yet beneficial it could be with clients.

If you’re unfamiliar with DISC personality styles they are very similar to the animals (D-Lion, I-otter, S- golden retriever, and C-beaver) as well as Sanguine etc developed by Robert Rohm, PhD. What makes this personality style distinctive is that in understanding how each person is usually a combination of 2 of these types, they can understand the characteristics in these types. For example, someone who is a “D” is dominant, likes to be in charge, is task oriented and less relational, as well as  they can tend to be very bossy. Meanwhile someone who is an “S” is sensitive, sentimental, shy, they may not be as task oriented, and they can be naive and taken advantage of. When everyone understands this about themselves it can be very helpful, especially during short term trips focusing on teamwork, but with less time to get to know each other. Then, someone who is a “C” can say, “You know my ‘C’ may be coming out here, but I think it might be better if we do it this way…” instead of them just saying whatever they are thinking that may be construed as complaining.

I was excited about the possibility to actually “teach” something in counseling! Instead of simply teaching through talk therapy I could use the white board. I can’t wait to be able to share this in the future with clients.

Made My Own Laundry Detergent

A few months ago I mentioned on twitter that I was interested in learning more about homesteading including: canning, and making my own detergent. A friend replied back saying that she made her own detergent all the time, and it was super duper easy. Of course this was all of the encouragement that I needed.

Supplies to make your own detergent

According to her you’ll need: ivory bar soap, a cheese grater, plastic bag/container, 1 cup of borax, and 1 cup of washing soda. The directions are super simple. Grate the bar of soap, add 1 cup of each item into the plastic bag, and mix.. To wash use 1-2 Tablespoons per load.


For my first batch I actually used a regular bar of soap, because I thought it was ivory because the box was ivory. When I grated it, it turned into a very fine powder. Also, my wrist was sore, but it only took about 5 mins or less to grate. However, when I experimented with a few loads of blankets and it seemed to work fine.

Camay grated/powdered soap

By the end of the night I’d gotten melted chocolate from a s’more onto my green and pink sweatshirt, it was time to put the detergent’s stain fighting power to the test.

Chocolate stain

The first round I placed it in the washer with about half a tablespoon of detergent since I was washing it by itself. After drying it I realized the stain was still there. Then, sprayed it with spray and wash, used 2 full tablespoons, and the stain was pretty much gone! I think if I would have used the spray and wash and more detergent first there would be no faint dark spot at all.Slight dark stain

Later, I did end up purchasing ivory soap bars to make a bigger batch.

I’d read that the ivory soap you can zap in the microwave then simply mash up with your fingers. I zapped it for about 15 seconds, and it was very mashable (which was also kind of messy). It was more difficult to get it into the smaller powder.

Microwaved Ivory soap

Crumbled Ivory soap

For the second bar I decided to use the cheese grater, since I knew this bar of soap was very soft. It grated like cheese, and easy pressed together when I grated too much on top of each other! (At least though when you’re messy with soap you’re also cleaning, right ;0) )

Cheese grated ivory bar soap

In the end, when I mixed all of the cups of materials together the earlier chunks from the microwaved ivory bar soap became very powdery like the rest of the mix. So, next time I think I’d skip the cheese grater since that also involved making a mess.

My homemade detergent

As far as saving goes. I compared the cost of this to our usual brand of laundry detergent: Xtra which according to the label will wash 166 loads and costs about $7.98.

Ivory bars (3oz each) came in a pack of three for $1.24, Borax (76 oz) is about $12.09 or $0.16/oz, Washing soda (55oz) is about $9.30 or $0.17/oz so for 3 cups of each item this batch cost approximately $9.16 and will wash 72-144 loads depending if 1 or 2 Tablespoons are used per load. However, I’ve no idea if our liquid detergent is actually washing 166 loads, you could save more by making bigger batches at once, you save in gas if you keep the materials on hand, this detergent is cleaner and potentially better for young children with sensitive skin, and I’ve seen other recipes where only 1/2 of borax or washing soda is used per 1 cup of ivory bar soap.

Update!! I’ve recently learned that you can purchase these items in large quantities from places like Amazon. If you subscribe to have regular deliveries of said item every 2-6 months you can save even more. The price of 16 bars of ivory soap is $3.79 this way!!

Anyways, now I know how to make my own detergent, you know if case of zombie Apocalypse, Derechos, Snow, or Hurricanes. ;0)

Feel free to post any questions or tips!

For more frugal tips check out this blog hop!

Liked My Husband the First Time We Met

Feet Dorm 1In honor of Valentine’s day I thought I’d share a cute story about husband and myself: I didn’t actually like him the first time that we met.

In college one of my roommates (the one that I hadn’t previously known) during freshman orientation week (when that was still a week long) asked me if I wanted to go to the movies with her then boyfriend (now husband). They wanted to go to the cheaper dollar theatre and tickets were only .50 cents each in groups of three or more. So I asked coyly, “Does he have any friends that he wants to bring along?” And then my husband appeared at our window (such a big deal for non coed dorms as I’ve explained in the post about the Dorm 1 photo shoot).

Outside our dorms, my roommate and her boyfriend ran into a friend then knew from back home and invited him to come to the movies with us. Thus began the theatrics of loud (now) husband taught in the southern ways by roommate’s boyfriend to challenge this other guy in said dating role. I basically had two dates to the movies, each trying to race to open the car door and pay for my ticket. I ended up paying for my own ticket because I wanted to be a strong independent woman, lol.

I actually preferred the other guy to my husband at first glance. Husband announced himself as a senior, so I assumed him to be much older than me (husband just graduated early as a home school student), whereas this other guy was a freshman like me. Also, the other guy was reading his Bible when we met, and he said that he wanted to study youth ministry (like me). My first impression of my husband was that he was “loud and obnoxious northerner” (A fact which has not changed ;0)) And he thought I was just shy and quiet, (gosh was he misled ;0)).

It was only later that we ended up chatting on instant messenger that I got to talk to him about what God was doing in my life, my passion for youth ministry, and hear more about his heart. After that we started out as really good friends awkwardly skirting the “talking” stage as my husband was patiently sweet to be a friend first, and back off enough for me to establish many female relationships, as I worked through a painful breakup.

Basically, the beard grew on me. here we are having known each other for over 6 years! I’m grateful to have found my forever Valentine, and will pray that God will continue to help us in our relationship. Communication I think will always be a struggle between men and women until we exist in our glorified forms! One of those communication struggles is whether we celebrate Valentine’s day. Either way though, I’m a pretty lucky gal, and I’m not just saying that because of all of the free tech support I get. I’m thankful that God has given me what I needed with him, instead of what I thought I wanted. I’m glad that God knows better than me.

Here is husband and my life verse:

Proverbs 3:5-6

Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
and do not lean on your own understanding.
In all your ways acknowledge him,
and he will make straight your paths.

I wish I could make each of you duck tape roses like I used to for friends and prayer group while in college. Don’t forget that God’s love for you is eternal.

Duck Tape Roses and Romans 8:38

Had a Nightmare About Self Defense

erinar15The other night I awoke early in the morning after a scary nightmare where I needed to use self defense, but was struggling to do so. I thought that scary was needing to run away in a dream and feeling like you couldn’t.

I found myself (in my dream) in a situation where I was in a house with 4 other friends. One of which does carry a firearm regularly, but did not seem to have any knowledge about guns in this situation. All of a sudden there were guys trying to break in, so we fled into a part of the house that we could better defend. We went into a room where there was furniture that we could hide behind and make a “defensible position.” The men were still chasing after us they entered the doorway and walked through the stairway (stairway in a room…I blame weird dream architects for that one). It was up to me to take them out as they approached one by one. Their advancement was relentless, there had to be about 20 guys, and each trigger pull was a struggle. In my dream it was like I couldn’t physically pull the trigger as I found my finger placement behind the knuckle instead of using the pad of my finger.

The next morning I describe the dream to husband, and he admitted to having similar nightmares. I know I’ve also had other dreams before international trips where I forgot, and brought my firearm with me into the country. Surprisingly in these dreams, I got it into the country (Jamaica and Italy) but was freaking out about how to get home without getting arrested in those countries!

Have any of you ever had to defend yourself with your firearm in your sleep?

Clocked 100 Hours In My Internship

Internship OutfitWeek #9 in my counseling internship, and I have just clocked 100 hours! This means that I only have 500 more to go, it is awesome to see it adding up so quickly. Here is the breakdown: 18.5 hours Face to Face, 3.25 hours of Individual Supervision, 4 hours of Group Supervision, and 74.25 hours of Related Activities. By far the easiest hours for me to earn have been in Related Activities. For this any hours spend contacting area churches and businesses, hours of office work, or any hours reading materials, preparing for sessions, and writing case notes count.

The biggest struggle that I have had is earning face to face hours. I currently have two clients, at my practice I work with mostly licensed counselors and two MA level counselors. If our clients have insurance then they work with a licensed counselor, if they do not they work with either the MA counselors or myself. It turns out that in most cases most of those who contact us are insured, therefore it has been a struggle to find clients for me.

However, helping to train our new office manager definitely has its perks! Our office manager is a sweet heart and when she gets information for new clients she always keeps me in her thoughts as to whether it might be a good case for me to observe.

Recently, I was discussing observation vs co-therapy with my supervisor. In the descriptions for my school’s paperwork it describes observation as not interacting with the clients, but silently watching the session. At my site though, as I’ve mentioned, the counselors treat me like a colleague and encourage me to ask the clients questions and participate in the therapeutic process. In explaining this to my supervisor she said that I could write up the sessions as co-therapy, if that would be helpful, since essentially that is how the counselors have me act. This is an exciting way to get more hours!

During one of my intensives one of the professors mentioned the benefit of voice recording sessions and then typing the transcripts. I decided to do this a few weeks ago and produce the transcript to be able to have my supervisor evaluate my abilities. Transcribing took very long! For one 45 minute session I was transcribing for over 3 hours and I didn’t even transcribe the entire session! So, I think instead I’ll continue to audio the sessions to be able to listen to them to refresh myself when I do not have access to the client files and my notes, and transcribe short segments for my and my supervisor’s benefit. Audio recording was helpful to be able to attend better to my client, knowing that I get obtain more of the information afterwards, also I was able to mull over client’s specific words and detect more of the themes that ran through our sessions together.

I’m learning so much! One of the biggest things that I am learning is how important it is for me to be digging into the Word daily, not only of course for my own spiritual growth and development, but the more familiar I am with the Word I do not have to stumble when I’m trying to remember a specific passage or reference for a situation that a client is dealing with.

My biggest worry is getting my face to face hours in, I can’t make clients appear out of thin air. However, I can pray. I can pray that God will send me the right people at the right time. Maybe right now I just need to focus on the two clients that I have. I’ll see in time with 500 rest of my hours!

Feel free to leave suggestions, ideas, books/resources you recommend. I spend a lot of my time rereading books from previous classes.

Had “Signal Leakage” Disrupt My Internet

Sorry for the lack of posts, this time it wasn’t completely my fault. Since the 28th of January our internet access has been unreliable. Off and on we suffer from slow speeds from our service with Comcast, but that early Monday morning we were suffering from complete lack of internet. So, poor husband was on the phone with them on that Monday, eventually getting us a new modem. Our internet began to work again and we thought that was the end of it. Instead, the next day our internet had the same problems.

It was too the point where after work we returned campus in order to get things done!

Poor husband would call them every day, only to speak with people who either didn’t listen to him or were condescending. They kept insisting that it was a problem with the modem, when we had just gotten a brand new modem.

Each day it was a surprise if our internet would work, and the Comcast call agents were little help. We scheduled to have a tech come out on Saturday, and we decided to keep the appointment as the internet was out that entire weekend. Husband spoke with the tech who checked everything, and told him that everything was working. So we waited to here what was next.

Having not heard anything for a few days husband called them, only to learn that the ticket had been marked “Resolved” which was news to us as the situation was not resolved. Husband was told that they needed to mark it “Resolved” as he would need to call the Sales department to open a new ticket in order for them to send out a higher level tech. This was where we both start beating our head on the car dashboard wondering if our internet would ever work reliably again.

Then, husband was finally able to speak with someone at the local office to send out techs. And they were not kidding, they sent out an entire fleet!


Upon looking at the wiring in our apartment, some of the wires were not correctly placed causing something called “Signal Leakage” basically, there was interference which was reducing Comcast’s signal to our modem. Our cables were mangled with those in another apartment. For more information about “Signal Leakage” you can read about it here. Now that you’re aware of this you can see if that is your internet problem.

I just wanted to explain where I’ve been the past two weeks. Hopefully, now that my internets are back to being reliable *crosses fingers* I can bring you more fun posts about my counseling internship, firearms, and do it yourself projects! :0)

FYI I totally recommend marrying a computer geek, just for the record. If I had to deal with Comcast, well I’d probably be stuck in an infinite loop of getting new modems, paying random fees, and sitting in my apartment to wait for techs to tell me that everything is working fine!