Goodbye Naked Neurons!

This is the hardest post to make, but a very needed one.

From the beginning of Naked Neurons, I have shared my motivations to be in this space: sharing everything I can about mental health and wellness, breaking down stigma and empowering others to do the same.

With those ideas in mind, every minute I have put on this blog has been worth it. I enjoy writing, sharing and researching topics. I would not change anything I have done in the past 4 years.

However, since I also believe in the power of vulnerability and honesty, it has come a moment for me to evaluate the use, need and space there is for this blog out there in the world. At this moment, there isn’t a need or interest to read what I am writing, and that is okay. It does not take away from the joy I have experienced in writing and creating.

At this moment an average of 40 people have been reading my blog monthly, and I am so grateful to every one of you. I am happy if you enjoyed any article even a little bit.

So, for now, Naked Neurons comes to an end. It will remain open but I will no longer be updating it nor working on it at all.

Before I leave, a couple of things:

  • There is a giveaway that is still active until the 14th. If there aren’t enough people participating, I will still give it away to whoever I want, but if you have an interest in the stickers, please let me know!
  • Thank you to the wonderful Itxaso Beistegui who created the logo 4 years ago. I am so happy to see you grow and know that I have such wonderful friends supporting my work as well.
  • Thanks to my husband who motivated me to continue working on this blog and read and shared every boring article. I couldn’t ask for a better partner in life. If by any chance there are any techies around, check out his wonderful blog as well.

 

So that is all for this space, but I will surely be back with many other projects and ideas because I cannot stop creating and sharing. Aha! 😀

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Blog anniversary and giveaway!

Earlier in the month, I saw an alert that said it had been my 4 year anniversary in WordPress. While completely astonished that it had been so long, it made me feel a sense of gratitude to this space I come to when I need to write and express myself.

For that, and to end May, which is Mental Health Awareness Month, I am doing a giveaway!

I am giving away two of the stickers I have on my Society6 store to two lucky winners!

To participate:

  1. Follow the blog via Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or WordPress.
  2. Share this post either by sharing to Facebook, Twitter or by reposting the Instagram post. Whatever works for you! Just make sure to do it publicly.
  3. Tag me in the post!

 

Participate before June 14. I will announce the winners on June 15!

Good luck!

 

 

Social media accounts:

Instagram

Twitter

Facebook

 

 


Disclaimer: family members of the writer are not allowed to participate in sweepstake due to a conflict of interest.

Job searching in Chicago, for therapists

Hello all!

After having been job searching for a while, I believe that I could be of use to other professionals in the same position.

The general recommendations and learnings I will share in this post come from the last 9 months of active job search + 3 years of research for opportunities specific to the city of Chicago. It is not a miracle, it is not the only way, it is definitely not a magical solution. Bellow, you will also find a comprehensive list of Chicago based agencies and employers for therapists.

The job seeking candidate would be someone with a master’s level training in counseling. In Illinois, someone eligible or who is an LPC (Licensed Professional Counselor). It may also be helpful to social workers, psychologists, and some bachelor level graduates who are looking for behavioral health positions.

Let’s get to it!

Where to start: Specify what you want

Because the field may be really wide in terms of ways to practice I would say the first thing is to know what you want to do. Even if there isn’t a niche or a population with whom you would want to work, try and concrete what type of work is of your interest. As an entry-level therapist, some basic questions can be these:

Do I want to work in the community or in an office setting?

Do I want to work for a social service agency or for a private company?

Do I want to work with children or adults or both?

Is there any specific population that I DON’T want to work with?

Work environment

You are no longer in school, and this is not your internship. Know your worth and know what you are willing to sacrifice and what not. In my case, I knew that I did not want to drive while at work, I did not want to do community work and I did not want to do nights. I was, however, okay with working evenings and weekends, and driving a little further if the agency was worth the while. And it is important that you know these things because they are going to be part of so many hours of your life.

Types of positions

In relation to what I was saying above, there is a variety of positions that you will read about and be offered. What can we do and what is out of our scope?

Doable

It may be needed that you work some evenings or weekends.

Some case management is to be expected as well, but not as the main focus of your work.

Having a large caseload and doing many hours may be needed.

Undoable

We cannot do therapy with sleeping people, so if it’s a night shift, you are just a technician. Please don’t hire someone with a maser’s to do nanny work.

Full time on the phone counseling, not completely undoable, but be suspicious.

Positions that are described with action words like assist, organize, administer usually belong to jobs bellow master’s level.

Use Glassdoor

This is not only in terms of how Glassdoor can help you, but how you can help others. It is important to share our salaries and experiences with other colleagues, as that is the best way we can assure that we are treated fairly.

If you haven’t done so yet, submit your salary anonymously and help others! I have previously shared my experiences while going through the interview processes so that people know what to expect.

Networking

Sure, this is the trick that everybody knows but nobody wants to follow. There are a thousand tricks in regards to this topic that you can find anywhere else, but I won’t go there.

Specific to Chicago, I feel like there are so many fairs. There are health and wellness fairs, student and intern fairs, job fairs, cultural fairs… Most of the times the same group of employers will be there, trying to know and hire recent graduates. Take your resumes or business cards with you and talk to people about what they are looking for. Shoot them an email that night thanking them for their time.

Get trained, licensed, and certified

This is something that we should all be doing regardless, but that will also differentiate you from other candidates. Especially if you are interested in any of the “trendy therapies” like DBT or ACT, show that you have trained in those areas.

At the same time, complete your certification (NCC) or licensure (LPC) so that you are more marketable. Even if not completely required, employers and recruiters value the clarity of those certifications when looking for candidates.

Spanish speaking counselors!

Know your worth! I have kept hearing over an over about how great of a need there is for Spanish speaking counselors. However, because of obvious discriminatory reasons, I believe there is a higher chance that a Latina therapist is underpaid and underemployed. So, overall, know your worth and go for it. 

 

The real meat

Okay, I hear you saying, “all of this is great but where do I apply?” Don’t you worry, I got you.  Here you will be able to download the list of my most thorough research. 

This list includes many Chicago based agencies that will hire mental health clinicians. You will find links to their career page and sometimes a link to their Glassdoor page. These are not all of them but are some of the most relevant. Review each to see what they are looking for and if it fits with what you want.

 

So that’s it! I hope this helps you and if you know someone who is job searching, please share it with them!

And as always, contact me if you have any comments or questions.

 


Donate 🙂

Do you want to support my work? Click here to learn more!

 

 

Types of therapies: Family Systems Therapy

Welcome to another exciting #TheoryThursdays!

Briefly

The most important thing I know about family therapy is that working in therapy with a family does not mean you are having family therapy. The second most important thing I know is that you can use family therapy without a family present.

Family Systems Therapies are the theoretical approaches that use the family system to understand what is not working and to solve it at the same time. The idea that small change can lead to big changes is importantly rooted in this approach.

Therapist

A professor of mine once told us that the greatest family therapy session is that in which family members forget about the therapist being there.

The therapist will remain as objective as possible, without taking sides, and try to intervene as they would do with an individual client, to serve as a sounding board for what the family is bringing.

The use of genograms is fairly common in this approach, although it is not unique to it. A genogram is the graphic description of a family, that may include different generations, important events, and relationships and dynamics among members.

Client

A slight difference with other kinds of approaches is the use of the identified patient or identified client (IP). Usually, when a family attends therapy, they have targeted someone as the patient, the person who needs the help or around whom some problems have developed.

This does not necessarily mean that in the therapeutic journey this is the sole focus of the therapy. While there is an identified patient, the whole family unit, even the members who are refusing to come, are the clients for the therapist.

Additionally, as I was hinting above, an individual can benefit from working within a systems perspective even if they are going to treatment by themselves. Exploring this person’s genograms, generational trauma, focus on client’s relationships with others and how does interact with current difficulties are some of the examples of how that may look like.

 

To be honest, I believe Family Systems to be of particular difficulty to practice in therapy. And it is because of that that I have a great admiration for anyone working within the approach.

What do you all think? Anything I have missed? Any experience with this treatment

 

Resources/More

Corey, G. (2017). Theory and practice of counseling and psychotherapy. Boston, MA: Cengage Learning.

Pi Day!

π Today is Pi Day! π

Whether you celebrate it for its numeral significance, or to get yourself a good piece of dessert, I wish you a happy Pi Day! 

It is also my brother’s birthday, who is a mathematician, so it has always been a great celebration in my family. Maybe because of them as well, I have grown valuing science in its many fields.

I love science and human scientific achievement, and while maybe not completely related to mathematics, the therapeutic field owes a lot to all of the scientists who have devoted their lives into finding ways in which to improve our own. 

I want to send a special shoutout to all the women scientists out there. Yoy may be doing field work, developing new methodologies, elaborating some type of research, you may be working in a lab, or teaching others, but in any case: big thanks for your hard work. 

Take time today to honor those known or unknown scientists who do so much for society, sometimes with so little credit!

Happy Women’s Day

Happy International Women’s Day!!

To all the women, women identifying and femmes out there: thanks for fighting the good fight!

I want to take a little bit of space to express how encouraged I am by all women back in my home country, and I will do so in Spanish.

Me siento muy orgullosa de mis compatriotas por todos los movimientos feministas que han salido en los últimos años.  Hace no mucho, ser feminista era ser algo horrible, algo sucio. Ahora no tenemos miedo de luchar por lo que queremos, y decirlo en voz alta.

Mañana muchas de vosotras vais a ir a la huelga feminista. Otras no podréis. Sé que de alguna manera estaremos todas unidas por la lucha. 

Desde Chicago, intentaré apoyar la huelga en la manera que pueda, y os tendré a todas muy en mente. 

¡Un abrazo amigas y a seguir la lucha! 

 

 

Types of therapies: Postmodernism

Welcome to #TheoryThursdays!

Continuing with my long-awaited series on theoretical orientations, I wanted to follow up with some generalizations about what is considered postmodern theories of psychotherapy.

 

Briefly

I believe that essentially all that came after humanism is considered postmodern, although the approaches may differ greatly from one another and shouldn’t be put together (as I am about to do now).

On the field of psychology, someone’s perspective was starting to be considered more important, creating the notion of social constructionism. Even some humanist approaches, where starting to show postmodern signs on their development.

Thus, having the person (or the community) es the center, these theories base the therapeutic work on the client, and not on the knowledge of the therapist. Some will do that by listening to a client’s storytelling (Narrative therapy); others will try to work with what the individual has done great so far, and try to use that to their advantage (Solution Focused Therapy); while others will focus on the understanding of societal gender roles and racial discrimination (Feminist Therapy).

Therapist

The therapist usually works from an informed-not-knowing perspective. This means that therapist will be trained and informed about human nature, but will enter the therapeutic relationship with the curiosity needed to learn from the client.

The therapist strives to create a collaborative relationship in which therapeutic knowledge, positivity, and curiosity guide, but don’t conduct, the therapeutic journey.

Client

The client is, as I described with human theories, the one with the knowledge and power to create change.

The client is co-facilitator of their own therapy. This perspective wholeheartedly believes that clients can be trusted in their own recovery and that they have the capacity for healthy development.

 

Overall, I have greatly benefited from these approaches both as a therapist and as a client. Do you have any experience with a postmodern therapist? Please, I am eager to know! 🙂

 

 

Resources/More 

Corey, G. (2017). Theory and practice of counseling and psychotherapy. Boston, MA: Cengage Learning.