SELF CARE

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The challenge of this program isn’t rigorous academics as it might be in physics or philosophy. Instead, the challenge is that you will need to balance three very different tasks:

  • Mastering academic material (the traditional graduate workload),
  • Performing a discrete set of clinical skills (common in professional programs), and
  • Growing as a person (unique to clinical programs).

Juggling these three very different tasks is the greatest challenge of the program because you are asked to perform in so many different ways. Taken separately, the coursework is not particularly difficult and personal growth can be fun. However, when you must complete a research paper in precise APA format while also seeing clients with severe mental illness and working on changing how you react to problems in your personal life—now that’s tough. Thus, we recommend you make self care a top priority.

  • Plan your time so that you can get enough sleep/rest (in the Library counts), eat well, and regular exercise. It is important to maintain a sense of personal balance as a new therapist.

  • Take time to do things that are truly rejuvenating, and unless you have few other commitments, this means finding expedient means to renewal. For example, watching television or playing video games can be fun but these activities often are not very efficient ways to emotionally and physically recharge, especially when compared to meditation, yoga, or exercise. Thus, consider which activities provide the most effective forms of relaxation, because you will not have as much time as you had in the past for such activities. Thankfully, in most cases, your favorite television shows can be rented after graduation.

  • When you feel overwhelmed speak to a friend or a therapist for support.

  • Don’t be afraid to approach a teacher or advisor when you are having difficulties.
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University Resources for Students
Oasis Wellness Center
http://www.csun.edu/oasis
Center provides wellness services for students and faculty. Services include massage, nutritional counseling, acupuncture, art therapy, meditation classes, yoga, reiki, and wellbeing workshops on a range of topics. The center also provides a relaxing atmosphere with fire pits and sleep pods for power napping.

Counseling Services
http://www.csun.edu/counseling
Mental health services, including individual and group counseling for a range of mental health and relational concerns.

Student Recreation Center
http://www.csun.edu/src
State-of-the-art center that provides exercise and leisure activities, including intramural sports, yoga, Pilates, group fitness, pools, rock climbing, youth programs, nutrition counseling, personal training, etc.

Health Services
http://www.csun.edu/shc
Student health services provides medical, dental, vision, immunization, x-ray, pharmacy, laboratory, substance use counseling, smoking cessation, nutrition counseling, gynecology, podiatry, physical therapy, lactation, and dermatology services. Reduced fee acupuncture, chiropractic, and massage.