Author Archives: Valerie McCullough

FIRST CLIENT

My first client at the Mental Health Clinic was an eighth-grade girl who dreaded going to school.  In fact, she complained of stomach aches on most school mornings. I met with both Andrea X (not her real name) and her … Continue reading

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TOP NOTCH THERAPISTS

In this column and subsequent columns, I will share my perceptions of working in the mental health profession. Names and identifying information—such as race, gender and ethnicity–have been changed. Names of colleagues have also been eliminated.  Any resemblance to persons … Continue reading

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NEW JOB

Memories of my first few days as a psychotherapist-in-training at the mental health clinic were heady, exciting and vivid. I began this aspect of my training on a gray, cold day March on 1972. I remember meeting two bright Ph.D. … Continue reading

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SHAKING IN HIGH HEELS

I didn’t sleep well before my first day of work. It had been 16 years since I’d worked outside the home. As a 1950’s housewife, my life revolved around my husband, four daughters and neighborhood coffee klatches. It was a … Continue reading

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THIN SKIN

The session with my supervisor Ann snowballed downhill. “I’ve wasted three years working for my Masters,” I said to myself as I sobbed in her office. I went on the think, “And that doesn’t count the thousands of dollars in … Continue reading

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TOO MUCH TALK

My immediate supervisor’s name was Ann.  She was a step ahead of me in grad school—thus qualified to assess my progress as a counselor-in- training. Lively and outgoing—impish looking with her short gray hair and a petite figure—Ann she looked … Continue reading

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THE ONE WAY MIRROR

Dear Readers: This is the 16th episode of the series: Help, I Want To Get Out Of The Kitchen. If you are new to this series, you may want to start with Chapter One–If They’d Had Hamburger Helper Back Then. … Continue reading

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VALIUM BUT NO VALOR

Since the pursuit of over- the- counter sleeping pills was feeling more and more devious, I finally called my doctor for some prescription sleeping pills. “What’s going on?” he asked. “Nothing,” I stammered—not daring to say that I had ventured … Continue reading

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THE SEARCH FOR SLEEP

Dear Readers: This is the 14th episode of the series: Help, I Want to Get Out of the Kitchen. If you are new to this series, you may want to start with Chapter One–If They’d Had Hamburger Helper Back Then. … Continue reading

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THE YEAR OF THE SLEEPING PILLS

Dear Readers: This is the 13th episode of the series: Help, I Want To Get Out Of The Kitchen. If you are new to this series, you may want to start with Chapter One–If They’d Had Hamburger Helper Back Then. … Continue reading

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