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DIY (Design It Yourself) graduate program

As you can see from the title, I reached a decision. But a bit more background on the contributing factors and the process, because I’m assuming anyone interested in reading this is almost as much of a process geek as I am :)

First of all, my original reasons for not finishing the degree two years ago are still valid:

  • I’m finding much more useful, nutrient-rich (and cheaper!) learning opportunities outside of academia, which makes me reluctant to step back into that grade-focused, accreditation-shaped structure, and pay a lot for the privilege to do so. (e.g. the Somatic Attachment Therapy course through Embody Lab, Building Bridges, the certification program in Internal Relationship Focusing, Bear Hebert's Freely course)

  • I’ve been questioning and changing how I interact with more and more systems (think white body supremacy, patriarchy, capitalism) so I’m a bit more of a radical and not that great at hoop-jumping anymore.

The "M word"

Still, another path forward to actually getting to work with clients was starting to look pretty good, because (ugh) marketing. Even with gentle and authentic marketing practices (thank you George Kao!) I was still bumping into a lot of resistance about how I wanted to show up in the world, not just for the biz but personally, too. I ceased social media posting of any kind for several months, though I did, and will continue to, write here, even if sporadically.

But there's been some light at the end of that tunnel. This recent spurt of blog activity is due to a serendipitous new co-working cohort, affectionately named Village of Weirdos (borrowed from this article by Catherine Andrews). I'm excited about having this support group for doing the hard-for-introverts work of saying what I do many more times and in more places than is comfortable. I'm also excited about Bear Hebert's anticapitalist entrepreneurship work (thanks again, George Kao, for the introduction). I mentioned their Freely course above (clear, resonant, & mind-blowing so far). And -- let's not dismiss feelings and felt senses -- designing my own graduate program just feels so incredibly me, creative and (evil grin) subversive in the introverted way I like. It's scary but also exhilarating. People have commented on the energy they hear in my voice when I talk about it. Yeah. Pay attention to that. So...

As promised:

Update on the admissions interview from my last post: it was quite brief and affirmed my already 90% sure decision to forego the academy once again. The person who interviewed me, a professor in the program, assured me that this program was indeed focused on becoming a professional counselor (not news to me) and that the accountability and protection for clients that licensure affords outweigh the (very real) downsides. She was concerned about my hesitancy and advised that a program like this takes too much investment of time and $ to go into it with uncertainty (Amen. Preaching to the choir.) So no confusing counterarguments about the merits of resistance within the system, which, I realized, is what I was afraid of getting. Cool.

Thanks for joining me here.

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