Update on Mental Health Counseling in California

Hello Readers,

The last time I had updated about my mental health counseling career in California, I had mentioned that I had one more course to do. It was the California Law and Ethics course. I started it online with CE4Less at the beginning of March and finished this 18-hour course at the end of March. Since I was busy balancing other things in the first half of April, I was unable to fill out the application the California Board of Behavioral Sciences requires those who have received their master degree out-of-state to do so (Reminder: I had filled out the same application two years ago and needed to complete two more courses to receive the title needed to do mental health counseling in California). I completed this form as well as gathering the other documents last week and also mailed it in. Now I have to do the waiting game; the Board asks to give them 90-days to review the application and respond.

The title was once called Professional Clinical Counselor Intern (PCCI) but, as of January the 1st, it is now called Associate Professional Clinical Counselor (APCC). This is the title given to those that have only achieved their master degree but has not yet achieved their license. Prior to becoming a candidate to take the licensure exam, I will have to obtain so many direct hours with clients while under supervision of someone that is licensed. This would take two years to accomplish if I work regular business hours every week. The journey is long but it is well worth it.

One good thing is that I had happened to visit the website of one of the possible job positions I can have once I have my APCC title. This was the same place where I had applied for a job position two years ago in hoping to have my PCCI title soon. When I had went to their website last week, I found out that they were starting to have open interviews on Thursdays (starting on April the 25th). I was able to attend this interview and spoke to a Jason. He said that since I am so close to being able to be hired, he would continue the hiring process by having a Kris call me for a phone interview and then they would do a panel interview with me. He asked me, in return, to go back to their website and fill out the job application. I finished that on the same day.

For those that have been praying for my mental health counseling journey, I want to thank you. Hopefully, I will get this therapist job position and so I may start collecting the required direct-hours needed to become a candidate to take the licensure exam. In addition, while I continue this journey, the process of making us mental health counselors move from one state to another with more ease of using our expertise is in the making (hence the name-change this year for the title I am obtaining). Therefore, once my husband and I are able to move out of California to the state we desire to root ourselves in, the process I am enduring will be more palatable by then.

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The Voice Of An Outcast

Dear Reader,

As many of us know, humans are social beings. We crave for companionship, recognition, and validation. It helps us to develop into healthy individuals. So what happens to those that are not invited into a social group or isolated from others? How does this affect the mental and emotional status of such an individual?

I’m not here to bore you with research and statistics. Although I find all of this fascinating, I don’t have the time to look up such numbers. I barely have time to write my story (thanks to my lovely baby who just started to speak from her play pen; prior to this, she was sleeping). I want to be one of the voices to share with others about those are not included into cliques. Personally, I can’t stand cliques. I understand that we all have specific likes and dislikes and often gravitate to those that are like-minded. But, if you are aware of someone who is at a distant staring and your group, at least have the understanding that a simple smile or a wave would be satisfying to a soul who may long for human companionship.

Growing up, I was, in a way, like a goth (what is modernly called emo). Often those who are outcast become one just because they long to be with others but are somehow left alone. There is a feeling of depression and disassociation that often occurs. The mind and heart has to accept that one will never connect with others. Darkness often clouds one. The urge of acceptance and love never dies. I would have wore all black and even painted my fingernails black but I respected my parents enough to not do so (they were Christians). I wanted to pain of exclusion to go away so I started to attempt to memorize steps of how to harness energy from the sun and to remove yourself from your body. It came from a book that an elementary school classmate had found in our high school library. A cousin of mine had showed me the book and shared with me what was written therein.

Although I was successful in learning and removing the pain of isolation, I had another problem: the practice was increasing my anger. After a while, I couldn’t control whenever I wanted to use the energy that I was learning how to do. Anger increased my strength to supernatural. The time I realized I needed to stop this practice was when I became so angry with the same cousin that introduced me to these “spells” that I lifted her up and repeatedly banged her into the hallway wall at my parents’ house. So what happened to respecting my parents? What did I bring into their Christian home? I knew I needed supernatural strength  to bind whatever demon(s) that were now lurking in my parents’ home as well as in my body. That is when I became serious with God.

I learned about God when I was a child because my parents went to church and often took me with them. However, I didn’t have a personal relationship with God until I was almost 17 years old. The demon(s) that were in the house pressed upon me to end my life before I turned 16. One day, when I was the only one in the house, I found myself in the kitchen with a machete in my hand. To this day, I don’t know how I got to the kitchen but I remember being in a daze. When I came to, I dropped the knife and closed the drawer. I was totally spooked!

After deciding to dedicate my life to God, the enemy of God didn’t give up on me easily. Since I decided not to practice those “spells,” insulting words like “bitch” was often heard in my mind but I understood that it was not my thoughts. One main threat that hurt was hearing that I would have to deal with being an outcast again and that I would never have any friends. That did hurt but I decided not to let that threat get to me because a true Christian would have an idea of what I had went through because God would impress on the heart of the person to be kind and loving towards me; let me into their social group or their individual life. So, with holy boldness, and after hearing various presentations of Seventh Day Adventist beliefs, I decided to get baptized.

The following event I will never forget because it changed my social life. One person started to smile at me whenever we had eye contact. At first, it was awkward. I felt uncomfortable. I even asked God, “Why is [name omitted for privacy purposes] smiling at me?” After a while, I started to smile back. A warm sensation was felt in my heart. Then it occurred to me that others may need that same smile. So I started to duplicate it; whenever I locked eyes with someone, I decided to smile ever so slowly. For they may need someone to simply say “I see you.”

“I see you” was a phrase that meant something to be ever since I watched that scene in The Joy Luck Club. A daughter was wondering how her mother thought about her. One day, the mother affectionately said “I see you” and the daughter couldn’t help but cry. It was healing to her tormented soul. I desire to bring healing to others just like this. One reason is because I have been there. I was once an outcast (or, in some degree, I still am). I still find myself excluded from social gatherings or social groups. I don’t have “friends.” I get tired often from conversing throughout the day because I am an introvert. But it doesn’t stop me from carrying about others. I have a warm heart. I desire to be a sound board for others who are still trying to figure out self and life. I want to be a cheerleader in the lives of others. Although I often don’t have time to write personal letters or make encouraging cards from scratch, I often pray for others. One day, I want to travel and present hope to others. I want to present topics such as stress, anxiety, depression, and share solutions. I want to be the light and the end of the tunnel that others are walking towards but don’t know it just yet.

Yesterday, I was able to finally give a track to a young lady that reminded me of myself when I was her age. Although our nationality differs, I could sense the sameness as in being an outcast. She wore her bangs over her eyes and kept her lips firmly pressed together. I often passed her by as I walk to work. After a while, this same young lady would walk with earbuds in her ears. Since it would have been a bit awkward to give her the track at the beginning of my seasonal job, I decided to only pray for her and wait towards the end of the season to give it to her. When I gave it to her, I noticed her black fingernail polish. She took the tract that says “A Love Letter From Jesus” and said “Oh, thank you!” in such an appreciative way that it caused me to want to pray that I will find someone else to pass another track to. I hope she understands that it was one way for me to say “I see you.”

In conclusion, I cannot believe that I was able to write all of this without needing to attend to my baby (it is dead silence via baby monitor; she must have went back to sleep)! Having a baby around also reminds me there is joy in life. When I was a teenager, I often helped my sister with her foster babies. It was a joy to play and talk to them. I didn’t feel lonely when I interacted with the babies. I felt like I was accomplishing someone important; helping a human being that couldn’t help themselves just yet. I ask each one of my readers to please find the joy of encouraging others who may feel alone in this world. We are all living on the same planet together and struggling with one thing or another. We need encouragement from those that see us often. And, who knows, that person may end up being one of your best friends.

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New Laptop Means More Blogging

Hello Readers,

I finally have been able to get a new laptop so, now, it’s much easier for me to pull this one out and type away. My old laptop lost the ability to view the screen so I had to project the screen onto my television; which meant I had to plug the HDMI cable AND my adapter for my laptop (since the first thing that went was my battery; not a first time I lost the ability to keep a charge in my battery).

Well, now, I don’t know what to write about… Hmm…

My baby is nine months, now. Wow! Time sure goes by. I haven written here in about three months. I cannot believe that!

I have been busy working at the front desk at H&R Block as one of their seasonal workers. I have also been busy babysitting. I haven’t taken the last course needed to get my PCCI (now called APCC: Associate Professional Clinical Counselor) title. Well, after completing the course, I submit the transcript to The California Board of Behavioral Science (BBS) and then they give me the title. I plan to sign up for the course next week; meant to do it this week but I needed to get my computer so I could have easy access to it while also watching two babies. Yes, two babies (one is mine and the other I am getting paid to watch).

I let my husband know that I always have the option to do public speaking. That is one thing I can do now instead of waiting to get a title or license. Since I already have my master degree, I can actually go around presenting things about mental health and also ask to be paid to make presentations. I have a knack in taking things that I have read and present it in a Power Point presentation. Of course, I share my references when I do so. I also have access to presentations that have already given the presenter the “OK” to present it to a large group. So, I should make myself available to do so.

Well, after saying several “wells” in this blog, I guess I am done for now. 🙂 Oh! Since so many people are loving my comments about the vacillator (I get many visits to that one blog entry), I might look into finding the presentation of How We Love and at least start presenting it at the church I am a membership of. That is a thought. 🙂

EDIT (April 29, 2019): I have no idea what I meant by the BBS giving me the title. I don’t have a title through BBS yet. I must have meant that I received the information that the title had changed from PCCI to APCC. In other words, no need to congratulate me for achieving the title because I don’t have it. Sorry for the misunderstanding.

My Seven-Month Little Girl

Hello Readers,

It’s been seven months since I had my baby girl and she keeps me very busy! I’ve been wanting to write here but whenever i get a chance, I’m either too tired or I’m far away from my computer (I rather type on a keyboard instead of tap on my mobile device). As of now, I’m typing with one hand while holding baby (that is falling asleep) in my other arm. She is such a joy and receives hugs and kisses from all four of her immediate family members.

Baby has been teething for a while and one tooth (bottom front tooth on her left side) finally started to sprout last night (YAY!!!). She’s not crawling forward just yet but knows how to move from side to side and also turns from tummy to her back and visa versa. Baby was also determined to sit up on her own at six months and is doing it very well but sometimes still fall down. She loves getting on the floor and often tries to wiggle out of my arms (when I am sitting on the couch) to reach the floor on her own.

She only wakes up once in the middle of the night and the time varies between midnight and 2:00am; depending on her last feeding. The next time is an early time (around 5:00am) so I don’t technically count that as a middle of the night feeding. It often takes a while for her to go back to sleep for this feeding.

Baby has been enjoying her addition of baby cereal puree into her diet for two months, now. It appears that her favorite baby cereal is oatmeal and her favorite puree is sweet potato. It’s a joy  to feed her; even at midnight. She has a unique personality and I just adore her!

 

The Response From The California Board Of Behavioral Sciences – Part 2

Hello Readers,

I have mixed emotions in sharing the update of this original post: https://belovedgeliebt.wordpress.com/2017/09/16/the-response-from-the-california-board-of-behavioral-sciences. Simply put, I didn’t make the deadline and here is the official letter from the California Board of Behavioral Sciences.

Response from BBS - September 2018

I will have to do the application once again and also pay a high amount of money to do so. But it isn’t smart to start this process again in California because my husband and I will not be staying in this state for long. I will reapply when we move to another state. Not all states are as strict as California so I will have to read up on the requirements of the state we plan to move to and follow the guidelines of that board.

My Baby Girl Is Here!

Hello Readers,

Ugh! It’s been bloody murder in trying to get back here on my blog to update you all! Finally, I am able to get on because my lovely baby girl is sleeping more in the afternoon (passed the 15-20 minute power nap I get in the noontime). So, this is how the moment of her arrival went.

On May the 27th, Sunday, I thought my water had broke. I saw some odd “liquid” that came out of my that morning. My husband was already at work (Sutter Medical Center – Sodexo) so he couldn’t be my ride to the same hospital that he works at. I called my Mom and she told me to get the boys up. My Sister was in town so she also headed to the hospital. They ran two tests and concluded that it wasn’t my amniotic fluid. My Sister and I was like “Okay, if it isn’t amniotic fluid, then what was it?” Never found out. But I DID find out why my tummy was so big (no, no twins). I was carrying almost three times the average amount of amniotic fluid! So my baby girl was well protected! LOL!!!

The two tests they did was (1) using a cotton swab and taking that to the lab (took a long time to wait for the results; I just lay there listening to the heartbeat and hiccups of my unborn baby girl) and (2) an ultrasound to measure the amount of amniotic fluid I was carrying.

So, when the evening came, my water finally broke! I was sitting on my bedding and looking over past Bible studies I had done to find out if I had did one that I had written on a Post-It note and had placed as a memo in my Study Bible. To this day, I still don’t know if I had did that Bible study! Hence I have been so busy taking care of my baby girl that will be a month old this coming Monday. Why on Monday? Because I had my strong contractions about 10:00pm and didn’t have my C-Section until after midnight; on Monday morning.

It was very comical on how my water broke. I was so glad I was curious that evening even though it was after 10 o’clock at night. So, while slowly turning the pages in my greenish-blue folder, I felt an intense contraction. I said to myself “I should start timing these contractions because that was a powerful one.” So, when the next one came, liquid just oozed out right away (rather warm and squishy). I yelled out at 10:20pm “[Husband’s name]! It’s time to go to the hospital!” This time around, the boys were spending the night with my Sister and my parents.

Once again… wait! Was this the time when my Sister had came to the hospital? Or did she come twice? Eh… I dunno! I will have to ask her and edit this (I need to keep typing up quickly before baby wakes up). Well, once again, I was raced to the hospital without breaking the law. LOL!!! I was so in pain every three or four minutes. My contractions were hitting that frequently. I had to explain while in pain to the registered nurse that I was sitting at the desk that I was scheduled for a C-Section early tomorrow morning but my water had broke tonight. I was actually leaking so bad (my amniotic fluid) that the nurses had to mop it all up. One almost skid in it!

The doctor that was on call for my doctor examined me and gave the okay for me to have a C-Section that night instead of waiting for the early  morning or having me to have it naturally. They gave me some nasty fluid to drink since I had told them I had just ate about 9 o’clock so that I wouldn’t have any nausea. They also prepared for me to have a spinal tap instead of an epidermal (I had an epidermal last time). I mentioned that I had scoliosis and it was a good thing because they had to be very careful to not hit my spine.

I was rolled into the surgery room at 12:17am (I looked at the large LED clock and sighed because it meant that my baby wouldn’t be born on May the 27th but the 28th; both dates were given as her due date, the second one was given first). I asked if my husband could come in before I was numbed and they said “no.” I started to panic because it was him that caused me to calm down last time. This time, I had to pray to ask for God to be my strength and oasis. It was VERY HARD! I felt so close to death.

The operation team asked for me to move CLOSER to the needle, curve my back like a ball, and sit by bending my legs up and out (placing my feet together). They were taking so long that my legs started to get numb and I couldn’t scoot towards the needle once they asked me to. I had to ask them kindly if I could place my legs down so that the blood could flow back to them. The two that was paying attention to my spine was paying so much attention to that certain part of the body that they were neglecting to look at my body as a whole and not realizing that when I had said my legs were numb that I wasn’t talking about the medication was inside my body already; I was talking about the lack of blood flow. Once they allowed my legs to relax, I could move my body closer and my spine could curve like a ball. Curving my spine was rather difficult because I had taught my body to sit straight because of two reasons: (1) I used to use a back brace and (2) to allow no pain in my spine, the medical publications that my doctor gave to me as an adolescent recommended me to keep my posture straight. So, I have to do something that was not natural during the time my body was already under stress—contractions every three minutes.

Once they were finally able to numb my body, I slowly felt relieved. They told me to quickly slide down in the position they needed me to be in so they could start the operation. THEN my husband and Sister came in. Oh, it was so great to see them! While the needle went in, I had cried and screamed. I couldn’t hold the pain in any longer. Giving birth either vaginally or by C-Section is painful! It was much worse since my body is getting older and I am so tiny. I know it’s not the same for everyone. Some ladies go through birth with ease. I am one of those that are in intense pain. But it’s so worth it! You quickly forget the pain once you see the wonderful baby girl or baby boy.

They had a blue screen up so I couldn’t see the operation. My Sister asked me if she could record it and show me later on. I said “NO!!! I don’t want to see myself cut open. That’s a huge cut to be seen!” It’s not like a small paper cut. I would puke!

I remember the first thing I noticed about my baby girl. Her cute, little mouth and her perfect curve of her tongue resting above her bottom gums. So cute! ^_^ They took her away to get her clean. My husband and Sister rush over to where they took the baby.

I remember them taking me to my room. The next thing I recalled was noticing that they had placed a catheter in me. I was so annoyed to find this out! I guess I kept peeing on myself. I thought that was hilarious. But I had wanted to not have it in this time around (last time, it was an option that I had asked for so I didn’t have to get up and down to go to the bathroom). Last time, the tube rubbed so much on my leg that it started to peel my flesh off (I’m that tiny).

Sorry for the gruesome details! But giving birth is gruesome to some. I’m just glad I can recall this now and wanted to place the moments down somewhere before I am not able to relate them.

I was in the hospital for two days. When it was day two, my doctor came in to ask if I wanted to be released. I told him that it was really up to him. At the end, I stayed there for that second day. When he came the next morning, I kindly asked him if we (as in the baby and I) could go home. So he signed my release forms. Day two was just too stressful! I had so many medical and others come in to check me, check the baby, and also give us forms and other “stuff” (even take pictures while in the hospital). I was so annoyed that I had to ask for my husband to talk to them when he came into my room during his lunch break (remember, reader, that he worked at the same hospital I gave birth). Even my baby was crying whenever someone else came into the room on day two. She was even ready to leave!

When I had my first child, the medical (and other) personnel came on the first day and not the second day to bombard me with all of the questions and extra forms that could help baby and I. I guess they couldn’t come the first day because it was a holiday (Memorial Day).

Well, there you have it. That is how it all happened. 🙂

Oh! I forgot to mentioned how I felt nauseated when I had tried to get up when the medical personnel said I could attempt to try (was that day two, not sure). The catheter was still inside of me so the registered nurse had to hold the tub around the bed so I had room to move. I had to sit back down and try another time. It was very hard for me to do so. It was the same day, I think, when they wanted to remove the band-aid that was around my surgical cut for the C-Section but they never got to it. Then I had an accident the following morning and had to remove it on my own. I had called the registered nurse so she would know where I was (in the bathroom) and to also let her know that the baby would be unattended so, if she cried, no one would be able to aid her.

So, yea, I went through a lot but I have survived! And baby girl is here and receiving a lot of love and care!