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University of Southern California
University of Southern California
USC Chan Division of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy
USC Chan Division of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy
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Practicing What I Preach


by Kate

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In the past 2 years as a graduate student, I have learned skills I will need as a clinician, including how to use therapeutic communication and different therapeutic modes with different clients. I have learned how to ask the right questions and inquire about my patient’s interests, occupations and goals. I have learned to speak realistically, yet positively, and help people live healthier, happier and more productive lives. As the weeks between now and graduation narrow, and I as take the necessary steps to plan for my future, I ask myself if I am practicing what I preach to others.

How am I speaking to myself? How am I treating myself — my body and my mind? How am I spending my time? Am I devoting time to the occupations I value? Am I treating my friends and family in the same manner in which I would treat one of my patients? I want to change the conversation I am having with myself, especially as I gear up for what might be a stressful transition from graduate school to the “real world.”

This means taking the time and making the effort to exercise, exploring a local farmer’s market, buying myself fresh flowers every week, writing in my gratitude journal, seeing nature by taking a hike, drinking more water, and spending time with my friends that will lift me up and encourage me. Negativity is out the door…. Positivity only! I want to create a balanced life for my patients, and I know that I need to lead by example. Cheers to that!

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