6 Oct 2008

College Notes for today (October 6th)

I feel I should add a disclaimer to this post: I sometimes mention subjects that may be upsetting or painful to read for some. In this post it will be Eating Disorders. This is not an in-depth post at all, but just some notes that I am making for future use, I have included links to a help and support group.
College was 'interesting' tonight, which basically means it was bloomin intense.
First up: My new tutor Leigh is really involved with the help and support of those suffering from an Eating Disorder. She is also heavily involved in getting the word out and about, so I thought I should definitely include this following info on my blog.
An old interview she did, which was filmed by one of her students can be found at Kensington Vision. This direct link should work: Help and Advice on Anorexia Nervosa. It is just over four minutes long and is just a brief intro into the subject, with a strong message of hope and emphasising the importance of asking for help if you need it for yourself or someone you know.
Because of that initial interview three years ago, She was then interviewed more recently for this subsequent show. So along with the mother of a girl who is severely affected by Anorexia, they appeared on inexcess- 2nd October. This is part of a series of shows that tackle all manner of mental health issues. Leigh speaks from the heart as a psychotherapist and as a mother whose child suffered with an eating disorder, as does Lynne whose daughter is seriously ill at the moment because of her disorder. The show is just shy of an hour and is well worth a watch. This has no bearing at all on the fact that she is my tutor, as I have only met the woman twice. I watched it because she mentioned it and I personally was interested in a nosy kind of way because of her. If you know anyone who you think or know suffers from an eating disorder, then watch it. Even if you don't and just want to be more informed, watch it.
Finally the charity she is involved with is called B-eat and lots of info/support/help can be found on their site. If anyone knows the best international sites to link to, feel free to email me and I will include them here.

Now onto the rest of what class was about:

Personal development 'The Experiment'
Does sitting in circle without having desks as a barrier really help when you are working on group dynamics? The answer is yes!
Leigh conducted an experiment to see how we acted/listened when talking about ourselves from behind the safety of our desks, compared to when we are sat in a circle with no physical barriers. She didn't let us in on this until we were sat in the circle. If you read my personal journal below, you will see how it affected me.

During phase one of the experiment, after I was done talking, I started to doodle on the back of my writing pad. This was meant to stop me ruining any notes that I made, but he turned into a bit of a beast. During the break apparently Leigh had a look and thought something Freudian was going on and that I was in fact doodling her! Honestly that was not in my mind at all, but I do kinda think its funny (sorry Leigh).

Personal Journal entry
As Monday is the day designated for our Personal Development, I am always aware that this is when we can and should share what's going on with yourself on a more emotional level. This week I was more concerned with the fact that I hadn't done my tapes yet for counselling sessions, so avoided the issue by going on about the boiler problems I have at home (there is no boiler and its bloody cold!).
So my main feelings where holy moly are we doomed as counsellors to talk about ourselves a lot? The urge to divulge every little thing and emotion that has happened over the week and then listen in turn as everyone does the same?
Then as everyone took their turns in talking, feelings of guilt slapped me in the face, as it was more than obvious that some of my classmates had a bloody awful week. I had been so concerned with hiding the fact that I was behind in my work that my compassion level had definitely been on the low side. I had totally zoned out and was only half listening as everyone was else was talking. By half listening I mean both ears were listening but I wasn't really engaged.
Things changed after the break when leigh made us come from behind our desks and sit in a circle. You can't hide behind your desk or doodle pad when you're in a circle. It was only then I began to hope that nobody really noticed that I was doodling and maybe got upset because it would of looked like I wasn't really listening.
Final thoughts for the lesson: Training to be a counsellor is fucking hard work, seriously.

Notes: I really recommend the site Inexcess TV it has done a great job of really focusing on mental health issues. Its the first time I have watched any real online tv stuff and I found it very watchable, with great links to support groups and further information. So I will definitely be keeping an eye on this site and will share any stuff I think would be useful.


  1. After trying to think of who that evil doodle resembles it dawned on me that you've never met my ex-husband but dang - you are right on!

    As far training to be a counselor being fucking hard work - good! It means that you really want it and that hopefully after all that, you'll be good at it, too. There is nothing worse than a dumbass counselor who thinks s/he knows everything and they end up doing more harm than good.

    Just my humble opinion, of course!

  2. "I really recommend the site Inexcess TV it has done a great job of really focusing on mental health issues..."

    Um thanks. That couldn't have come at a better time for me...Im all over that!

  3. The no desk makes me uneasy and I'm less likely to participate ... that's just type of personality ... I need a barrier!

  4. Yer Tutor Doodle is Awesome!! ;))

    My Grade 7 Geography Teacher Pearl Shanks comes to mind!!


  5. Being the recipient of a gastric bypass, I truly understand something about eating disorders!
    I eat to stuff down anger. I never learned how to properly express anger so it's like "tranquilization!"
    I lost 130# and am slowly working on putting it all back.
    Wouldn't you think, that if you know what the problem is, you could fix it? Ha! The universe has the last laugh....
    p.s. Save a spot for me when
    you're properly licensed!

  6. Not to make light of such a serious post, but I found the "no barriers" exercise very interesting. Especially when everyone lost their hair when the desks went away! :)

    And the doodle sketch looks like me when I wake up! What can I say, I somewhat bare a resemblence to Michael J. Fox in "Teen Wolf" HAHA...

  7. Must admit I like that desk barrier when I'm spouting off in class. One of my tutors from last year said she always carries a folder, even if she doesn't need it, as its her form of a security blanket.

  8. That was a real creepy doodle, Claire!!

  9. I don't think I'd feel so exposed if I could sit on the floor in a circle, but sitting on chairs in a circle somehow might feel extra uncomfortable. Maybe that's because it would expose my inability to sit in a chair without twitching and shifting a lot. :) And as Erik pointed out, I love the way everyone lost their hair when forced to sit in a circle!

  10. The barrier/no barrier thing is interesting - as anonymous says, I also like to have at least a notebook or folder as a comfort blanket but I'd agree that sitting in a circle is a good way of getting everyone to engage. I wonder how the circle without barriers would feel if the environment was a little hostile though? Like, if you were at work and you'd stuffed up a project and here everyone was to talk about it? I think I'd rather be carpeted, the traditional way :D