A non profit organization, dedicated to providing resources and educational workshops to mental health professionals in Northern nevada
It took me a long time to get licensed as a MFT. At that time, CA required us to pass a written and verbal exam. I passed the written with no problem. It was the verbal exam that floored me. Imagine if you will that you are meeting two examiners, strangers, sitting at a table with a tape recorder in a hotel bedroom. Panic! Try to remember anything! it took a long time to jump through this hoop, and getting there did not require more studying -- I got some help from a psychologist on presentation. Let me offer some words of advice and encouragement to interns who may be struggling and wondering if they are doing the right thing: Don't give up -- you are doing the right thing, only it puts demands on us that can be grueling. Get some help, some encouragement, don't let yourself down. There are a lot of hoops, but you'll make it through them!
That was back in the day, when the school could tell you what you could and couldn't do. And being back in the day, if you did not finish your four years with a "Mrs." you blew it.
Somehow I got married before graduating (the dean was very angry). Was it Minuchin who said, "all first marriages are a mistake"? That may well be true also.
I learned English grammar in 4th grade, and typing in high school, and landed a job at MIT, editing the quarterly reports to the Atomic Energy Commission in a physics lab. I worked with a number of very well known physicists, and found their world fascinating. I moved to California and soon landed another physics job, this at the Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory, working with a group of high energy physicists who published an important reference book on high energy physics experiments all over the world. Let me tell you a little secret about scientists (mostly the male kind): a scientific lab is a little like Alaska (the odds are good, but the goods are odd).* I found this to be true later when I was at Stanford, only by then I had learned about Asperger' s, quite a feature of Silicon Valley.
The Laboratory was interested in Affirmative Action for women, and put on a career identification workshop. I signed up and guess what? I found out I was meant to be a therapist! We were required to take some action on our findings, and I was able to find a graduate school with evening classes, and a few years later I was on my way with a master's degree in counseling.
How do you gauge if you're doing a GOOD JOB with your clients?
Once in a great while I will get a call from someone I saw years ago, saying "thank you, you really made a difference in my life".
But mostly we don't know what happens to people when they leave therapy, and have to hope we did our best.
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3 important qualities/characteristics
that a therapist should have:
1. patience, so you won't push your client too quickly
2. a sense of humor
3. the ability to really put yourself into the client's shoes.
Everyone has always told me "You should be a therapist! You listen so well." I had no idea how to do that. I grew up in Rochester NY, the oldest of four children. Someone once told me "50% of the people who go into clinical psychology are trying to fix their own families." That may well be true. Going to college has always been the honorable way to leave home, so off I went (Tufts University) and declared my major to be psychology. "You can't do that", the professor said, "you wouldn't like it".
My Hobbies & Activities.
One thing I enjoy a great deal is putting together people who would enjoy and benefit from knowing each other For instance, recently I met the son of the author of The Four Agreements, which I learned about at the annual Intensive Summer Spanish Institute at Lake Tahoe Community College. I asked him if he had heard about the institute and that the book was taught there. He did not, and was positive about my getting in touch with them to say he and his family live in Reno. LTCC was ecstatic because they could not find a teacher for this year. They met up and all are happy that he is now teaching there! I love making connections like this.
I sing, read, garden, listen to a great deal of music, knit (this was a surprise -- I thought I didn' t like it). I like knitting hats and scarves for the needy.
I study Spanish as well as the piano. I'm proud that every one in my family does volunteer community work.
Also I like very much to do nothing.
Don't we all like that sometimes?!
Do you have any tips for those that may have struggles with passing state exams?
My husband and son
bringing in our sailboat to dock
Our son and daughter in law: proof they have a fun sense of humor.
The best part of Private Practice:
Best part of private practice - being your own boss, not having to put "corporate policies and decisions" into what I do, making my own schedule.
Worst part of private practice - ugh, the paperwork and collecting fees (I have had an assistant for two years. It makes a difference. Loneliness (but I am mostly an introvert), no one to chat with at the water cooler. My only published work was a study of telecommuting: do you prefer working at home or at the office? Everyone gets lonely and they all like to come in to meetings. I am a big fan of study groups, consultation groups, consulting in general.
McCavity, the cat
About taking the verbal MFT exam:
" Imagine if you will that you are meeting two examiners, strangers, sitting at a table with a tape recorder in a hotel bedroom. Panic!"
Jane and David at the Kentucky Derby party of the Reno Chamber Orchestra on their 43rd anniversary.
Jane has a green thumb. Look at her Wisteria!
Jane Kingston, MFT
Thanks for talking with us, Jane! Please tell us about your practice.
Mental Health Peer Connections
A private non profit organization dedicated to providing resources to mental health professionals. Advocating for excellence in mental health care.