What Second Semester Holds: Part I

What Second Semester Holds: Part I

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As much as I have enjoyed six full weeks of break, I am excited to once again begin classes!  So what does this mean for a second-semester DMT & C graduate student?  As classes resume, I will continue with part II of my courses in Counseling Techniques and Dance/Movement Therapy Theory, but I will discuss these classes in further detail next week. In addition to those, I will be taking classes in Psychopathology and Research Methods.

Like all students enrolled in the Dance/Movement Therapy & Counseling graduate program at Columbia, I will eventually complete a thesis in order to receive my MA degree.  While even just the words “masters thesis” were a bit alarming at first, my anxiety has definitely subsided since having my first research class this past week.  In order to prepare me for this long and somewhat daunting journey, the department has a sequential curriculum, which requires me to take several research courses.  Each of these classes plays an integral role in preparing students in the department with the necessary skills to develop and complete a masters thesis.  I am currently taking my first steps as I begin the research methods course, taught by Laura Downey who is also the head of The Department Thesis Committee at Columbia.  She will be my professor for all research-related courses as I go through the journey of completing my thesis.

The class that I am currently enrolled in, Research Methods,  is essentially an introductory course in research.  This class will teach us the methods with which research may be obtained.  This course will also provide information about resources that I may use both on campus and online.  My assignments will range from critique papers to reading current research articles, giving me the opportunity to delve into different topics, which will hopefully give me inspiration as I begin to develop ideas for my thesis!

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Alongside Research Methods, I will also be taking Psychopathology.  There is a lot of responsibility that goes along with becoming a mental health professional of any sort.  That is why this course will be critical for me as an aspiring DMT. This course is taught by Dr. George Savarese, who has a background in forensic social work.  Having worked as a consultant on cases dealing with malpractice, he brings much insight to us about how to make a proper diagnosis.  I will become versed in the essential guidelines for assessing and diagnosing patients, which is vital to any person entering the field.  Without having the skills to properly diagnose a client, one cannot create a coherent treatment plan.  This course will provide me with necessary information to do so! Throughout the course, I will read several case studies and provide a complete diagnostic assessment for each case.  My final paper will be that of a complete psychological report in response to a case study with a treatment plan included.  This course will teach me not only the symptoms that underlie each diagnosis in the DSM IV but also the ability to create a coherent treatment plan.

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