Tourette’s Teacher #2

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There are days when having Tourette’s teacher can be brutal, boring, and scattered. However, within the disarray, there can emerge a gem of a story. This is one of those gems. 

Before telling the story, Tourette’s teacher paused and said, “Should I tell this story? It might be inappropriate.”

“Yes!!”

The answer to that question is always “yes!!” (with two exclamation points, minimum).

Tourette’s teacher’s words are in italics, while my thoughts will be normal font.

In my early days as a counselor, I was treating this older male. He told me that he had a pump, you know, not like for insulin, but for his penis. (Here we go, this is going to be good) Well, he claimed that he could no longer get it up (she just said get it up? is that the clinical term?), but I had my suspicions that the real problem was his feelings toward his wife. So I decided to try and find out (what the fuck did she do). I decided to try a little hypnotherapy; I had him lay down on the coach and just relax (I hope this does not lead to a blow job, weird, I have never had that thought before). It wasn’t long before I could tell he had an erection. And it wasn’t long before he unzipped his pants and took it out (this isn’t going to end well)! I stopped the hypnosis immediately and told him “Put that away!” but he said “I CAN’T! I AM CUMMING!!” (what the fuck did she just say?) So I told him “No, not yet” and hurried and grabbed a box of tissues. But I was too late. He came on my floor and coach, it got everywhere. (Whoa, what the fuck indeed). Anyway, that was a long time ago, and probably the strangest session I ever had. (I sure as fuck hope so, I am going to bleach my brain). 
Then a random student said “I hope you put that on his bill?” trying to be funny, but barely hitting a single. 
That’s when the DH stepped in (that’s me) and said, “I think he got it all over the bill too!” To which the class roared in delight as I stood and slowly jogged around the bases after my glorious home-run. 

(I didn’t really get up and jog imaginary bases, but I imagined it and smiled)

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Tourette’s Teacher #1

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I got my teacher to say fucker…twice. Then I said fucker once, really loud. 

This occurred during class… graduate school, for clinical mental health counseling… and it was awesome!

First off, I want to share that my teacher has Tourette’s Syndrome. Not that I think that is why she said fucker (or tells other incredibly entertaining stories), but I feel it is important to note. I do not believe that her Tourette’s is expressed verbally, not that I have noticed, but rather in a series of twitches.

We do a lot of counselor/client role playing in class. Makes sense in a Mental Health Counseling program. For this round she selected me to play the part of client (C) and she was the therapist (T).

As a client, I had poor self-image issues. I frequently called myself a “moron” and became to believe that I was indeed a moron.

T = So tell me about a specific event that lead you think you are a moron.

C = Well, for example, the other day I yelled “effer” at work because my stupid computer wasn’t working. I lost it for a second. You can’t yell “effer” at work. I am lucky I didn’t get fired. That one reason I am a moron.

T = You yelled “effer” or you yelled “fucker”? 

C = I said the actual word. I said the “F” word. Loud. Like a moron.

T = Do sometimes people call their computer a fucker?

C = Well, I suppose.

T = Replay the situation exactly to me please.

C = I was working on a document, my computer froze, and I yelled “YOU STUPID FUCKER!”

T = Do you know anyone else that sometimes swears? (and on it went)

Point is, She said fucker. Twice. I yelled it. Once. All while in school, in front of other students. They laughed. It was awesome.

Each week she has some fun story like this. I only have her a few more weeks, but I will have more to Tourette’s teacher moments

What I learned Wednesday #2

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I failed to post this in a reasonable time. I honestly didn’t have a profound moment of learning. I realized that there are a lot of therapy techniques, and what will work for each person will somewhat depend on the person, but there are techniques that work. 

I really like that there are some proven techniques. It validates the effectiveness and validity of therapy. Much like traditional medicine. One of those techniques is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT).

Here are a few things that stood out to me:

Automatic Thoughts: This is the type of thinking that occurs automatically, like you probably just thought “that’s a stupid definiton” automatically.  Automatic thoughts were described by Aaron Beck and are a component of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. Essentially, they are negative thoughts that sponteanously arise. These thoughts fall into three catagories: negative thoughts about the self, the future, and/or the world. Identifying these negative thoughts is the first step towards decreasing them and subsequently decreasing emotional pain.

Cognitive Distortions: These are type of automatic thoughts, they are similar, but also subtly different. I am going to list a few I probably do or have done.

Overgeneralization: Thinking one event is representive of all similar events. For example, one girl rejected me, so all girls will reject me. Actually, I don’t know what the big deal is with overgeneralization, everyone does it anyway.

(see what I did there..eh..eh…never mind)

Disqualifying the Positive: This is something I used to do fairly often. For example, a friend would told me I had a great standup performance, but I had a hard time believing him (still do). I focus on the few people who didn’t laugh, therefore my jokes were not funny, despite feedback telling me the opposite.

Catastrophizing: This is focusing on the worst possible outcome of any situation. “If I ask this girl out, she will say no, and I will die alone in a ditch.”

These are just a few, but one can see how this automatic thinking and cognitive distortions can lead to depression, anxiety, and other emotional problems. Identifying them can be a big step towards better emotional health… and who doesn’t want that.

(stay tuned for stories from Tourrette’s Teacher, these have made for interesting moments in class)

Learning

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I am currently in school, for the third time. I am working on my Masters degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling.

I started this blog with the intention of it being focused on my growth, progress, and observations as I explore the world of comedy. But in reality, it is a blog about me, and my overall growth as a person. I try to keep it light and funny, but I also want it to be genuine. 

Since I have started school, I have not written much on here. Maybe it is because I write so many damn papers now that I have little motivation to sit and write for the sake of writing. But this is something I need to remedy. I enjoy writing. 

So my plan is to add to this blog. It will no longer just be about jokes and standup. It will also be about my progress towards my new career as a therapist. I am going to journal the things I learn, the things that fascinate me, the things that frustrate me, and the things that make me laugh. 

Before I go, I want to talk a little bit about goals. School is a goal for me, as is learning. Grades, on the other hand, are not! I should qualify this with I get good grades, and will likely continue to. My feeling is that as long as I focus on learning, then the grades will take care of themselves…as long as I write all the effing papers! 

Another goal of mine is to post a blog about my education every Wednesday. Maybe I will give it a clever title like “What I learned Wednesdays” or something much better. 

Stay tuned!

Name change/career change

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I am thinking of changing the name of my blog to “tittleo – rookie”

I am not focused on comedy at the time. I am actually back in school for the third time! Ironically, school is one thing where I am not a rookie. 

I am changing my career. I am seeking my clinical mental health counseling degree/certification. It is something I have always wanted to do, and now I am starting. It is going to be a long journey to get there, but the view from the top of my mountain will be great. 

I still plan to make jokes. 

Success 2013; seminar; motivation; buy this…

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So a few weeks ago I attended a pretty cool business seminar… if you want to call it that. It was called “Success 2013.” So spectacular. It really wasn’t about business success, but more about personal success. There were some amazing and inspirational speakers who made you feel like you can accomplish anything if you bust your ass and overcome obstacles.

There was also a lot of selling. In between people like Larry King and Rudy Giuliani were people selling a stock trading program (TNT), or how to get rich quick with real estate. And don’t get me wrong, they were also inspirational and motivational. And I am quite certain that they have your best interest at heart… as well as your wallet and hopefully how they can get some of your cash out of it. 

I get it, they need to pay Larry and Rudy and all the other amazing people. But don’t try to hide that fact. The point is, the whole conference is about getting you to sign up for another seminar. And if you act now, the price is reduced from $2,000 to just $99! How can you not give, I mean invest, $99 to get rich!

Here’s the deal. From what I understand, once you go to the seminar (TNT for stock trading for example), you will learn something. But you will be sold on packages that will guarantee wealth…for a small $25,000 fee. 

Anyway, so my point is this, if you get the opportunity to spend $5 to go to a Success 2013 seminar, do it. There will be amazing people there and it will be worth your time. However, use caution in signing up for these extra seminars. Plan to be sold something. They are there to make money, not really to make you money. That is just my opinion. 

FWIW, I am signed up to attend the Ebay weekend. Not sure if I will be able to go or not, but if I do I will make sure to write about it. 

At ease

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I am going back to school…again. 

This time will be for my 3rd degree, my second masters. 

This feels different though. Not like how school felt before. Almost feels like a hobbie, like I am just working on perfecting something I enjoy. (my tune just might change once I start getting homework again)

Anyway, I am excited to begin this next installment of life. Feels like it is going to be a good one and the one that I am in control of. It is what I want. 

Meditate

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I am making what seems like my 100th attempt at serious meditation. Ok, actually it is probably my 4th real attempt. 

It is something I have thought about a good majority of days over the past couple of years, but like a lot of good habits, it was hard to just get started. 

It is also difficult to know what to do. Here is what I have learned so far:

1. Help. Get a phone app to help track days and remind you. I use a free app called “lift” and so far it is great. There is something very motivational about keeping a days-in-a-row streak going. 

2. Chaos. Your mind will wander. A lot. That’s just part of being a rookie. Stick with it and you will get better. I am seeing improvements every time. 

3. Posture. This one has been tricky for me. I started on a week when my back was pretty sore, so it was hard to sit up in the standard mediation pose for too long before I just started focusing on my sore back, so I laid down. Posture seems important and is something I am going to continue to work at. 

4. Research. I am going to look into techniques to get better. Especially with the posture.

5. Educated. I am going to hopefully get to the point where I can teach others. Our brains are so full of so much traffic all the time. Sometimes you need to stop, get out of the car, and then the right path will become clear.

6. Feedback and tips. Please send me any ideas that you might have. I am open to try anything (well, just about anything). 

Thanks friends. Happy meditating.