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Self-awareness. Arcadia emphasized that you need to be aware of who you are, your successes, your shortcomings, strengths, and weaknesses before you can help anyone else. And I learned that I know nothing about anyone, even when I think I do. Every person is brand-new when they walk into my office—something I learned from Dr. Michael Morrow, associate professor of Psychology at Arcadia. I utilize these lessons daily.
Dr. Angela Gillem, professor of Psychology at Arcadia, was the first professor to embrace my direct and gregarious approach to counseling. She was first to point out—in a role-play—that I had a unique style that could be very therapeutic for people. I always thought that my personality did not fit into the “ideal” therapist mold. I am learning that this difference is actually attracting clients and has proven to be helpful. I may not have believed in myself, if she did not believe in me first.
Graduating. I had all four of my children, my partner, my parents, and my siblings at my graduation, and I felt so much pride. I sacrificed a lot of family time to be in school. I wanted them to see why I did it. I needed my children to see that this is what strong women do—we make hard choices for long-term gains that will benefit the greater good of the family.