Florida…Recovery Mode is A Lot Like Rehabilitation

We had a nice Florida trip early August. Initially, the plan was for my son Nick, his friend Jolee (who’s getting married to Jeremy this Saturday!); my daughter Arin, and her friend Kassidy to make the trip in late June. But due to a hole in the plane that didn’t happen, so instead (only due to timing issues!), my daughter Arin, son Jake, and their mutual friend Bridget made it! We had a very nice trip! 

Arin  Presenting the Ocean View!

We stayed some of the time with my mom Ann and met her brand new husband Dave (he’s a keeper!!) who live in Sebring, went out one night with my sister Janice who lives and works for Ft. Lauderdale (she was recovering from a workers’ compensation related injury due to getting rear ended while driving a City vehicle from behind by a tourist driving while on his phone…read more below); splashed in to the ocean a couple times (absolutely gorgeous mixture of colors); saw an alligator in the Everglades (Jake eyed him from the road!); helped complete an over 500 piece puzzle; saw my brother Steven’s cemetery plot and where my dad‘s ashes were buried near Orlando….and then witnessed a rainbow from above on the plane ride home! 

No Stopping Until the Last Piece!  

So, think (or don’t because it was too much…) of the mileage we put on in this beautiful state over the days as Randy drove us all around in a not very big SUV…from Orlando to Sebring, from Sebring to Ft. Lauderdale, from Ft. Lauderdale down to the Everglades, through a lot of the Everglades and back to Ft. Lauderdale, from Ft Lauderdale back to Sebring; from Sebring to Winter Haven for a stop at the cemetery and back to the airport in Orlando. And of course lots of driving in between. Thanks for chauffeuring Mr. B, as I was “assigned” the back seat most of the time so one of the kids could co-pilot.

My father’s ashes are buried here….well not all of them. Janice has a beautiful urn at her home filled to the rim! 

It was incredible to view a rainbow from above it on the flight home.  And, come to think of it, I saw an incredible sunset on the way to Florida although one had to (if lucky enough for the window seat like me) really look behind to the West! When in the air one’s feelings can really affect the flight, as you may well know. 

Back to the worker’s compensation situation Janice went through. The person assigned to “help her” was rude, condescending and uninformed. My sister confided to me she wanted to reach through the phone and grab this workers’ compensation specialist by the neck and say…”Hey you! My neck really hurts and I’ve recently received medical treatment. I’m recuperating at home as has been discussed with my direct supervisor and will be back on the streets when I’m better.” And Janice did return to her job quickly considering the situation, but she certainly didn’t need any more stress placed on her by someone who didn’t care!

Another tidbit about our Florida trip…. (continual praying for Florida and all Floridians due to Hurricaine Irma…the stories I’ve been hearing)…I went into the ocean the first time with all my jewelry on (STUPID), but only for a short time before I realized I really wanted to go under and do some serious splashing with these two! Back on the beach as Randy was helping me remove my diamond tennis bracelet, it……it broke in half. I would have NOT nearly had a good time in Florida if the ocean had swallowed my bracelet.  Another Lesson Learned!

This week on Friday 9/15, I celebrate my company’s 18th anniversary in business….and my birthday too! I hope you enjoy reading my blog. And I want you to know I truly care about my family, my clients, and the work I perform. I would never be purposely rude to anyone and will always strive to understand any given situation in order to help in any way I can.

In recovery mode from Irma, Florida will be going through a lot of rehabilitation. Thank God my mom, Dave, sister Janice, good friend Bryan and all others who went through HE double toothpicks recently are safe. I hope recovery mode and your state’s rehabilitation is timely.  My mom has not had power at her house since Sunday evening and it’s too hot and miserable! I wish I could toss her an extension cord from my house! Hang in there!

Please let me know if you are interested to learn how I can help you help your clients.  Give me a call at 515-282-7753 or email vocresources@gmail.com and let me know about your legal case. 


 My professional rehabilitation counseling practice is focused on helping people participate in the world around them, particularly in their own world of work.


Alaska and Her Rehabilitation Plan…Patience Beyond that of a “Normal” Cat Owner!

Okay, another cat blog! Yes, I’m a cat lover and I love all pets and care for all living creatures! I’m not a cat fanatic, it’s just that felines have always been a part of my life and I love it! I love to write too. I love my work. I love my family. I love my life! I love a lot actually! Amy means beloved….so it’s reciprocated in many ways : ) Read on! I’d love it!

Cat Plate
Cat Plate

Little did we know that 3 months after Max my manx was murdered in early 2002 by something in the street, (I don’t love creatures who kill pets and on the other hand I don’t like it at all when my pets kill creatures), a tiny meow would emit from our neighbor’s garden. Oh my, this long haired kitten was awesome! Felix! Welcome! (Okay, this blog is not about Felix today!)

Max, (nope this blog not about you either, meooowww) a dearly beloved yet wild cat, found me ~1987 when I was renting the basement of a brick home in Windsor Heights (it had a pool in the back yard.) Speaking of cat claws!…A word of advice from a long timer cat owner, (counselors shouldn’t give advice, but in this case, listen to me!): Don’t think it’d be fun to give a cat a ride on an air mattress in a pool. Trust me. Sure looked like I had open heart surgery!

kitten-3Now, here’s a blog devoted to Alaska. She’s the cat who strutted on down the street one Spring evening in 2012 (following my son Jacob and his friend Josh) directly into the house and to a bowl full of cat food. Score!

I recall saying “Wow I’ve always wanted a white cat!” She’s all white with beautiful eyes (I love the green one; no, I love the blue one!). Oh dear, upon her arrive she was a very thin stray! And oh dear, oh my, oh dear, I would have no idea what trouble she would end up causing over the next year or two (…..) you really don’t want to know…..it involved lots of $$$$ over time (furnishings….another word of advice regarding leather furniture and cat claws). More costs $$$ credited to this white cat was the vet bills due to her actions toward the existing female feline (my love of all cat loves SamiJo.)

The cat looked like a kitten, however the excellent vet (Dr. Michael Forret) said she was about 7 months old when she decided to ditch being a stray and chose a home. She was hungry and dirty! Even her ears where filthy. Jacob named her and she has a middle name too, but I don’t think I should let you on to that just yet!

Alaska Our Putty TattyI rehabilitated Alaska TF into one big healthy white cat!

Part of Alaska’s rehabilitation included a lot of touching. She didn’t like being touched much, probably because she had not experienced much touch. She still to this day has to be touched only upon her terms….but I like to make her think she loves being petted which she really does but tries to hide it (cats).

kitten-in-toteAJ & AK bonding!

ArinJune figured out a way to carry her around in a tote bag (and to this day I often find her lounging in one of these she found!) to feel safe. With ongoing rehab,  regular vet care, good food and water, and lots and lots of love and attention, she thrives! Treats are nice too!

AK is much calmer of late into her more mature cat years. She loves the freedom to do what felines do (….sleep…and read above [hunt]…). She continues to be “a wild one” however and she herself does her share of “killing and delivering….” But, how can I stop a cat from that? Her hunting is actually of value to where we live because of an unkept property or two in the hood. But the dismembered gifts by the back door, come on! Enough. I have purchased her a new collar with a loud bell that will hopefully help plus she only goes outside about once or twice a day.

2012-09-23 13.29.36

Alaska helping me on a case!

Good communication and problem-solving skills are required in order to counsel others. I truly in my role as a rehab counselor, want to be empathetic and I want to reveal my desire to help people fulfill their goals. Counselors need good listening skills, compassion, and patience while working with individuals who have suffered serious injury and disability.


She found this case interesting and pauses to reflect!

I know I have patience beyond that of a normal cat owner! Thank you my felines for teaching me how to listen and show my true self.

If I can help you help your client with a life care plan that includes vocational rehabilitation, please let me know!


My professional rehabilitation counseling practice is focused on helping people participate in the world around them, particularly in their own world of work.

Need Help in Telling Your Client’s Story? Here’s One About Bowling & Rehabilitation!

My husband Randy had his cardiology checkup clearing him to see the doctor every two years now. Luckily he only had to make visits for a little over three years following his cardioversion and rehabilitation.  As you may know, anytime work is done on any electrical system there’s a chance something could go awry so keep tracking your own system(s). Here’s a personal health story which all began with bowling.

2015-01-23 Botkin Bowling Ball

Botkin’s Black Ebonite Bowling Bowl 

I was on a business trip in Mason City, Iowa, (US Veteran clients) with my favorite chauffeur Mr. Botkin during the summer of 2013. On the way out of town we stopped at the Rose Bowl for a little entertainment. There’s a tendency to drive around even hundreds of miles with our bowling balls (yes, safely in the trunk). Ya never know when the mood to bowl strikes!

Randy’s bowling style stirs up quite a racket, especially when his ball wipes out all 10 pins! His posture at the end of his follow through looks like he’s ‘a hoppin’ on one foot ballerina! And the noise that emits from his vocal cords and Botkin embroidered on his shirt above his heart, he’s a down right bowling man!


10 pinsI’m more of a slow and steady, aiming for good form, keeping the ball lined up with the directional arrows kind of bowler (the concept similar to how I prefer to golf too) and hope for that distinct noise of scattering pins!  I’ll take any knocked down! On this summer day we bowled a few games and had a great time! I don’t remember any scores, but who cares! Okay, fine I’m sure his score was better than mine.

A few days after the trip, Randy’s neck was tilted. Questions about how he felt and the reason as to why the askew head revealed no valid answer and no comprehension he was even guarding his head. Then came complaints of “feeling out of wack.”

I took his pulse…and ahhh, felt long gaps of time before the next beat, and those beats I could feel were not the same strength.  I swear his heart was skipping a beat (and not because he is sooo in love with me), and realized his timing was off (literally)! Randy made a visit to our family doctor who referred him to a specialist. Low and behold came the diagnosis of atrial fibrillation.

Randy went through several tests and was placed on Warfarin with INRs regularly taken. Nutritionally, he had to avoid sources of vitamin K (and I love blueberries and kale!), take good care of his health and not miss any medical appointments! This is just like my dad, who has chronic AFib. They shared stories about their health. How’s your INR? Pretty darn good, what about you? Well, I could lower it a point or two…! My dad actually does his own INR testing.

Related imageKale, A Superfood!

Dad “can’t eat” kale, but Randy sure missed eating kale, and loves it now (not true!) Back to the summer of the “heart scare”… I remember Randy wearing a holter monitor strapped to his chest. The day it went off with a loud bang (not true!); and it goes in a plastic baggie for return to the cardiologist we were at an outdoor wedding!

It was determined Randy would need to have a heart restart. OMG. He had a cardioversion procedure performed on September 20, 2013. I will never forget waiting and waiting at Iowa Lutheran Hospital trying to read but not being able to focus on the words in front of me. Finally the nurse came out (the procedure really wasn’t that long) and said I could see him. I couldn’t wait any longer!

I quickly entered the procedure room and saw Randy the love of my life lying on the table groggily repeating “Did she do it?” “Did she do it?” Dr. Clark, replied, “What are you talking about?” Randy muttered again with some sort of humor (funny man) in his voice, “Did she push the button?”


No I did not push that button. But if he continues to make fun of my bowling posture…and my scores…we might reconsider...

The bottom line of this blog is to be sure to pay attention to signs and symptoms of your health and listen to your body.  People’s bodies do a good share of expressing to its’ owner it’s need and desire to be in balance.  When your body is out of balance, it will tell you and people who care will notice. Listen to it. Listen to others. Do what you need to do to restore your sense of balance. I can offer recommendations!

Thankfully the cardioversion worked and Randy’s been back in the rhythm ever since. There’s no rhyme nor reason why his heart decided to act up. Frankly, I love to check Randy’s pulse and his heart is really strong! He loves to brag that his blood pressure is perfect (a quote from the nurse!) The beater is good to go for a long, long time! Rehabilitation was successful!

I could also blog about my son Nick and his blood pressure problems (thankfully much improved; he’s on long-term medication); and my mom’s blood pressure health which is good but needs watching. Or I could blog about Randy’s dad’s serious heart condition (which ultimately took his life while asleep in 2005). But instead I’m going to end with saying to my readers (including my husband of course!),  “I love you with all my writing heart. Please take great care of  your systems and yourself!”


Eating Tip of the Day: Pistachios are Heart Healthy.

Let me know what I might do to help with educating your client; or better yet, let me educate others about your client by writing his or her story!

I love to help with litigation regarding work and disability and believe it’s helpful to tell your clients story. I also believe in exercising, eating right and balancing! Give me a call at 515-282-7753 and let’s discuss your case. I offer free initial consultation!


 My professional rehabilitation counseling practice is focused on helping people participate in the world around them, particularly in their own world of work.

It Was 36 Years Ago…and I Made It Through

On June 15, 1979 I was in a car accident…..and I made it through. Just a remember to myself how important rehabilitation following an injury really is. And a shout out to you my readers to realize rehabilitation is so important for so many people for so many reasons. Thank all rehabilitation counselors!

Read more about it (my accident) here How did I Get into Rehab Counseling? Here’s a Little Story  posted November 21, 2011.

What makes my story even more special to me is that I “ran” into the woman who saved my life last Saturday (June 6, 2015) at the Iowa Falls Boat Club for a memorial service. I was sitting across from her at a banquet table with my sister and two other people. After chatting with the two, I asked the woman directly across the table what her name was. (Silly me.) She knew who I was and after it dawned on me (because my sister told me) I just stopped, thanked God, thanked her, and asked her if I could give her a hug! Which I did.

2015-06-06 14.34.18Thank You Teri

Upon considering all that happened that day, I was 15 and she would’ve only been about 17 or 18. Yet she literally saved my life! She came upon the scene that night and stayed with me until the ambulance arrived, even riding in the ambulance until we arrived at the hospital in town. She didn’t leave me until I was transported to another hospital out of town. From what I hear the medical staff and others involved thought she was a nurse!

Green Gran TorinoI used to despise Gran Torinos…especially green ones, until Randy pointed out the bulk of the front end of the vehicle was another huge part in saving my life.

Oh, and when I was at the Boat Club (learned more of the history of the place), and went on a boat ride on the Scenic City Empress, I took some good shots.

Here’s one of Arthur, our neighbor in Iowa Falls skiing many moons ago.

Arthur Skiing
Arthur Skiing


And here’s one of a chair made out of old skis. Pretty cool, huh! 2015-06-06 17.37.14



The waterfall, (shh, it’s man made)! Janice is the blonde with her hand over her face.

2015-06-06 Waterfall Iowa River

The point of my blog is that life really brings surprises, talent and beauty. Live it to it’s fullest and you won’t be disappointed. Each and every day is a new beginning. I know what it’s like to almost lose your life.

Use What You Got! If you click here you’ll read a 2011 article about me from the Des Moines Register (and see another picture of the Iowa River.)

Okay, in closing, I’ve got to add a bit more. Yesterday, Randy and I and Bella were out and about, and on the way home were traveling in my car on Broadway. We turned around when we saw the crossing gates lowering and the red signal lights start to flash. But just a couple seconds or so after, they stopped, so we turned around again to prepare to cross the railroad tracks. But the crossing gates and red lights began again. Seeing no train, huh? But we stopped and waited for the gates to raise (some fool of a driver drove around us and around the gates over the multiple crossings.) It was quite apparent the gates were malfunctioning. Ever 60 seconds or so. So I did my civic duty and noticing the UP’s sign, called the 800 number and reported the issue to a nice railroad worker out of Omaha. I don’t know, but I’m thinking this has some irony to it…maybe a closure of sorts for me. I do not care for railroad tracks when there’s a training approaching…..gives me the chills. But I did my part to help.

So, in closing of this blog, I stray from my loving attitude and will end this post as such:

Rock Island Flip Off

You can find this train car in Hampton, Iowa and flip it off if you’d like…for me!

(BTW, my lawsuit against Rock Island Railroad was a failure……perhaps we chose the wrong attorney, perhaps the timing was bad as the railroad went bankrupt, perhaps we should’ve settled, or perhaps the jury simply wasn’t given or didn’t understand all the information….there were no cross bucks….the train had parked for the night until the conductor or whoever realized the few box cars [no caboose back then either] were covering the tracks….that’s why the train moved, dragging that green car with me implanted on one of the bolts of the box car…..)

Let me know how I can help with your cases. (I actually worked on many workers’ compensation railroad cases in the earlier years of my career.) I will do all I can to help you represent your client.


My professional rehabilitation counseling practice is focused on helping people participate in the world around them, particularly in their own world of work.

10 years Flew By, Do You Remember Anything from Fall 2004!?  

I do! I remember the Fall season 2004 when I was winding down my role as a Drake University student! Specifically, I remember the DAY I was taking the CRC exam. It was October 30, 2004 (do you remember what you did October 30, 2014?!).

Index cards

Boy did I study in Fall of 2004!

And that being the year 2004, the test was taken in the paper/pencil format. I remember sitting in an auditorium on Drake’s campus, feeling kinda nervous, while also feeling confident that I would pass this test!

And I did! Which earned me the coveted CRC (Certified Rehabilitation Counselor) designation in my field. Of course, I didn’t know for sure if I passed and had to painstakingly await the results…..

PaperandPencil Test

Computerized Now

Back then, the CRC test was paper administered using pencils (lots of em #2 with sharp points and good erasers…which could be hard to come by for me during those days as all the other members of my household were also in need of the good ones for edumacation reasons!)

Here’s a link to my November 7, 2011 post where you can go for more information on me and on the field of rehabilitation counseling and when I first wrote (plus a few edits and a great picture of a bulldog named Fat Amy) about passing the test! Since 2004, I’ve had to complete enough CEUS (for the Rehab Counseling certification every five years ~ it’s 100 hours including 10 of ethics) twice.

Anyway, the remainder of this post is written in pre-post fashion, which I don’t typically do! My reason is being out of town on a weekend!  For a family get together in Creston, Iowa hosted by Marjo Brown, Randy’s aunt who  recently moved from a house to an apartment; and her sister Sherry Rodrigues who is in town from Hawaii (Ooooooooh). And, then on to Kansas City for the Chiefs versus Jets game Sunday (Oooooh).

Here’s a link to my December 8, 2012 post where I highlight the skills of a professional football player. In that post I also talk about how much football players  earn and some of their common injuries, as well as one of my fantasies!

I am, of course, a Chiefs fan, but I also like the Jets, although I remain conflicted on my feelings for their QB, who is expected to start…..  The Chiefs are doing very well, and the Jets, well, not so well. Go Chiefs! Go Jets. I’m taking a variety of sports clothing in case I change my mind during the game who I really want to win!

KC ChiefsChiefs V Jets


Sunday November 2, 2014!


I may add exciting details later about my weekend!

Because of my eventful weekend plans, I wasn’t able to attend the National Rehabilitation Association’s annual meeting also being held, and hosted in our beautiful downtown Des Moines.  I am proud Ellen Sokolowski, the current president of NRA, is a fellow Iowan (and Drake University graduate to boot!)  I hope the conference was great and I hope to get some detail on what I missed.

As always, I serve as a resource to persons with disabilities and if there is a lawsuit involved, I answer questions involving matters of employment in both plaintiff and defense litigation.

Contact me about how I can help you! But if you ask me about how to play football, I’d have to refer you to Randy, the star of the Saydel football team in the Fall season of 1980 or so!


My professional rehabilitation counseling practice is focused on helping people find a place in the workforce

Des Moines, I am Proud to Be a Resident!

As a rehabber, it’s my natural tendency to want to change things to function better or differently than from before! And yes, my focus is rehabbing people, but you could ask anyone around me and know that I also rehab plants, animals and just about anything else that engages my rehabber tendencies! My motto is “use what you got!”

I love to see improvements within people and within existing places. I get a thrill from seeing enhancements, more functioning, more beauty and more lovely spaces and places to go! Simply put: a higher quality of life is good for all.

I’ve been a DesMoinesian since the mid-1980s. I’ve seen our town improve greatly! Last week I attended an event at the Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden. While touring the outdoor area….I kept on repeating “wow” over and over.  Very cool.  The pathways above the water and to the to be completed waterfall are  spectacular!

2014-10-04 17.50.14

I’m happy the rainbow sculpture didn’t go far! 

I’ve always had a fascination with along the rivers and the Capitol area…and downtown too!! Luckily, I often see this beautiful building ~

Capitol Building picture

Built 1871-1886

Des Moines is getting really cool….which is incredible considering our town was stalled for awhile. I’m proud to be a resident of Des Moines, Iowa. And I’m excited to be a part of where we all are going! This City is Cool! I’m looking forward to what will be yet to come with the new Cowles Commons, formerly Nollen Plaza.

“Crusoe Umbrella” It was also a good beer holder!

My brother Steven and I loved going to Seniom Sed in the 80s. I’m also quite fond of Gray’s Lake and recall how it was so many years ago, pretty hidden and not nearly as impressive as it is now. My brother loved to play hacky sack with his buddies in the grassy area near the the north entrance.

Gray's Lake Bridge

Steven’s plaque is on the southeast end of the bridge

Hacky Sack Anyone

In Memory of Steven J Prochnow

Hacky Sack Any1?

Des Moines is rehabbing our downtown (East Village! Good Gravy! Nice!) in an incredibly tasteful fashion, in my opinion! Our old buildings are turned into new beauties. We are seeing lofts going up in warehouses, the new YMCA…and what will be of the Younkers building? I used to work there as a clerical temp in the marketing department in the 80s!

Have you been inside Central Campus, the DMPS building which is still getting rehabbed? (Where my husband has worked and will be relocating to early next year.) Oh, and did I mention the downtown library (all libraries have seen great improvements) and the sculpture garden? I could go on and on you know!

This is a blog I can always add to! Des Moines ~ I love this town!  Please add your input on your thoughts of our town.

Oh BTW, tomorrow is garbage day……keep your home, yard and community beautiful!


My professional rehabilitation counseling practice is focused on helping people find a place in the workforce

Counseling is an Art and Loving to Read is Too!

This is a repeated blog entry from 5-14-12 and it fits right in with my writings on Art & Science. Plus I’ve included a video published 7/9/14 titled the Art of Counseling developed by CRCC (Commission on Rehabilitation Counselor Certification.)

CRCC (Commission on Rehabilitation Counselor Certification)


A couple blogs or two back, I wrote about reading (and working!), and the type of books I commonly read. I held a questions and answer session with my daughter Arin, who is a connoisseur of books.

One Cute Bookworm

Arin is currently reading Heir to the Empire: Star Wars: The Thrawn Trilogy, Vol. 1, by Timothy Zahn, independently, and Their Eyes Are Watching God, a 1937 novel by Zora Neale Hurston, for her English class.


Stack o Books

Grandpa Jimmie Botkin was definitely a bookworm. He would read up to four books at a time. (I couldn’t do that!) My brother Mike Prochnow is like that too, well, being a bookworm. I remember growing up he would be reading a book in the living room and we (his nice brothers and sisters) used to act up a storm and try to startle him out of reading…..never worked. We even contemplated bringing in the Iowa Falls High School marching band into the living room to see if he would look up from whatever book he was reading at the time.

My Grandma read a lot too! And my son Nick. He has a love of reading as well!

Nick reading a Harry Potter Book while lounging in Ann & Dick’s motor home.

And Randy.  Geez Leweez! He’s actually in a book club!

Check out this 30 second video I created titled Randy Reads!  It took Randy awhile to get the fact that I needed a little attention.  The point here ties back to empathy and counseling. The counseling profession is based upon a helping relationship. The counselor takes on the role of a helper. He or she tries to help one or more people, by providing counseling with respect to some kind of a problem, issue or concern.



Loving to Read is an Art!  Put Your Readers On!

In my opinion, Counseling is an Art, but okay, Counseling is a Science as well.  I do have a Master’s Degree in Science and I’m a Counselor.  And Randy has a Master’s Degree in Art and he’s a Teacher.  There. Point Made!?!?

Any comments? Drop me a line at vocresources@msn.com to let me know what you’re reading…..and why!



My professional rehabilitation counseling practice is focused on helping people find a place in the workforce. 

Motivational Assessments…Right on Baby!

Back in February 2012 I wrote about motivation….and am continuing with this psychological feature of life.  Sometimes I look back and say to myself, gee Amy you must be a pretty darn motivated person huh? So is my husband for that matter. We’ve both accomplished quite a bit at this point in life. But boy, isn’t it nice to hang out at a pool (which we did recently at Embassy Suites) and do, well, nothing!

Ahhhhh, don’t I wish!

Anyway, back to the point of this blog. I’ve taken a motivational assessment and because I am pleased with it, I offer it to interested clients. It’s called the Motivational Appraisal of Personal Potential ~ MAPP.

The MAPP is a self-discovery tool used in career exploration. After entering data, I was provided with a confidential document and I was pretty surprised by the results! I’ll point out just a few discoveries about me from the assessment, indicating you may receive results that are valuable to you as well.

The first section focuses on interest in job content (those vocational tasks you want to perform), temperament for the job (how you prefer to perform tasks), and aptitude for the job (expression of performing tasks). Other sections cover how you relate to people, things, data, reasoning, and applied usage of math and language.

The vocational analysis section ranked my highest potential is in Writing and Journalism; and Counseling, Guidance. Right on baby!

Right On Baby!

There’s a graphical summary that uses Worker Trait Code Charts to represent the breakdown of your personal scores into numbers and percentiles. This information determines the person’s level of motivation for specific traits. The higher [or lower] the number/percentile allows you to view your capacity to succeed or compete with the general population in the trait area of activity.  Traits in Level 1 are compulsive; Level 2 is highly motivated; Level 3 is moderately motivated, and so on.

The MAPP results (along with helpful interpretation of it from a vocational counselor like me) aids you (the job seeker or career changer) to identify your motivations and learn how to use them to be successful in your career and life plan. It’s important to keep in mind that this assessment, like all assessments, is not a sole determinant for whatever you set out to measure.  The MAPP does not determine whether you can or cannot perform in a job, it rather indicates if you will perform.

My results reveal I am compulsively (yikes, that can be a scary word…so let’s use the word driven as its synonym) interested in being concerned with people and for providing service dedicated to the interest of others. I am driven to literacy and/or communication tasks. I relate to others with a service communication style and voluntarily inform others.

I am not that particularly motivated by things, but I have a high level of motivation to compile (gather, classify, store information) and copy (duplicate, transcribe, record and send) data. My language capacity is highly systematic, with a logical explanation and education orientation.  I am literary creative with a strong communicative ability. I am moderately motivated with reasoning concepts, and applying math.  Again, right on baby!

There’s so much more to this assessment….  That’s just some of what arose to the surface for me.  I’d be happy to discuss how assessments are useful when planning your next steps in life.  Or to evaluate where you are and how you got there….which I’ve been doing while I blog about my past and how it’s brought me to the present.


My professional rehabilitation counseling practice is focused on helping people participate in the world around them, particularly in their own world of work.

Observation Skills and Body Language – Where’s Waldo?

Observation skills are important in my work as a counselor. Observation skills incorporate visual analysis, memory, concentration and the ability to pay attention to detail and to notice visual signals like body language.

When’s the last time you checked out Where’s Waldo?

In counseling, body language is used to help build rapport. It helps to observe the client’s/customer’s body movements and match or mirror them in an appropriate way. This can improve communication and  can help people feel more comfortable being around you. It’s true that people seem to gravitate towards people who are most like themselves (I find that boring though.)


As a counselor, I observe people’s body language a lot and can notice when a person is in discomfort, is lying/not being truthful, or is hiding something.  If the person is a client or a friend, if there’s conflict between what comes out of their mouth and what is being said by the body, this could indicate they are having a difficult time verbalizing something. I encourage the person to explore their feelings and try to reconnect their mind and body.


Look Long!

It’s not unusual when counseling, the client will break down and cry…..which calls for some serious quiet time.  This offers an opportunity for the person to be still.  This silence is the calm and a much needed break. The person will resume a conversation when they are ready. Body language speaks loudly without pretense. Body language is often more important than the spoken word which can be done quite softly.  Body language doesn’t lie.

I’m off to meet my step aerobics buddies for a night out (originally posted June 4, 2012 ).  I’ve had a couple of weeks of not doing aerobics so it’s time to see my buddies in real clothing, and eat with them!  However, I have been going to boot camp! Silly me! So what’ve you been doing for exercise lately?


My professional rehabilitation counseling practice is focused on helping people find a place in the workforce.



Want to Heal that Injury? Focus on Your Nutrition!

In a recent post, I talk about a paper I wrote for a health studies course, and I mentioned how important nutrition is in my life. Nutrition ~ the science or study that deals with food and nourishment, especially in humans ~ continues to be as important as ever to my lifestyle.

At ISU, I took a Human Nutrition (FS HN 167) course in the Spring of 1994. It was a lecture style course, and the student body was well over 200 people. I enjoyed the course even in that type of learning environment.

Just as you orient in church, at a sports event, on the bus, or even at your dining room table, you tend to position yourself in the same seat or section.  I recall the lecture room (boy, I’m not entirely sure, but I think it was Curtiss Hall) and our little pod of people who sat down in front, lower left. We got to know each other familiarly (who would fall asleep first, who was the fastest test taker, who would be most likely to raise their hand and speak out……).  This bonding helps with such a large learning environment.

Sleepy Student #1

Remember Julius Michalik? Julius was on the men’s basketball team back when Johnny Orr was in his final seasons as ISU’s head coach. Julius played with Fred Hoiberg (still The Mayor!) and Loren Meyer. I remember walking to class behind Julius in early, early morning hours, specifically during the predawn, butt freezing cold, wintery time.

Following in the Largest Footsteps

I used Julius’ huge footprints to guide me to class…kept my boots just a ‘lil less snow filled! He was in this course I’m talking about in this post, adding another special memory for me. Julius, as any basketball player, or as any student, or any worker, may sustain an injury in the course of work.

In my vocational rehab counseling & life care planning practice, I always inquire about my client’s nutritional habits.  Good nutrition plays an incredibly important role in the healing of an injury.  If you simply don’t care what you eat, it is more likely than not you will have health related problems….and you won’t heal in an optimal time frame (it doesn’t need to take years or even months to heal with most injuries or from most surgeries.)

What really happened in Saturday night’s Kansas vs Ohio State game?

Put tobacco smoking and excessive alcohol intake on top of crappy eating habits, and good luck with reaching a healthy state of healing and of mind. Bottom line is: healthy eating helps you to stay awake and alert, helps your body to heal quicker, and allows your mind to focus during important tasks in your life.

In another of my past blogs I wrote about how I like to use visuals to teach…..and I use that concept for myself.  Take a Look at What I Just Created called EAT ME.  These foods are powerhouses!   Feel free to print it off!

Nutrition is fundamental when helping a person to lead a healthy lifestyle (and again to heal in an optimal time frame). Nutritional support varies on an individual basis, but it has to start somewhere.  Here is a link to a simple nutrition assessment.

If I find the person whom I am assessing describing poor nutritional habits, I will offer suggestions and resources and will refer s/he to a dietician. Our local HyVee Food Stores have great information on nutrition.  Nutrition made easy…take a look!


My professional rehabilitation counseling practice is focused on helping people find a place in the workforce