2013 Year of the Snake…Fear of em or Love of em?

My sister Julie has had problems with snake(s) in her basement during the summer months in the past. She has actually learned how to deal with it rather admirably. I’m not sure if she had one last year or not, but I didn’t hear about it. Julie knows how to save em and send em packing! Here’s a great article about What to Do About Snakes [if you find one in your house!]

There’s no justification for the persecution of these animals!

The point of this blog is not only to point out this is the year of the snake, but it is also to pay attention to what fears some people have. When I work with a client or assess an individual, it is likely that some type of fear, resentment, “issue”, or negative feelings are brought to the surface.

Therefore, it is important to make note of what fears [irrational or not] are part of a person’s daily living. By the way, snakes are great garden predators and only can benefit your garden (plus their droppings are excellent fertilizer since their prey is so well digested)!

Fear exists only in your mind and only in the future…

Fear can be defined as an unpleasant emotion caused by the belief that someone or something is dangerous, likely to cause pain, or a threat.

Ultimately, all rehabilitation counselors have the same goal to help individuals cope and heal by altering their focus in life. We help others understand that although things may have altered dramatically, deep down, the person is still the same – a human with unique fantasies and fears, hopes and dreams, achievements and disappointments.

By working together to come to an understanding of the individual’s abilities and limitations, rehabilitation counselors can help the individual work through the various stages of loss…and emerge on the other side with a fresh outlook on life and the determination to make it through whatever challenges the disability may throw their way.

Read the Full Page: Rehabilitation Counseling – Rehabilitation Counselors  AllAboutCounseling.com

At a recent brain injury rehabilitation conference, the key note speaker stressed “most people will learn to live with the changes in their life if they explore and  focus on the “new you.”

Will this be the Year to Address Your Fear?

I am a fearful when Mother Nature exudes her wrath upon Earth, being relentless and there’s no stopping Her during a scary storm.  But clearly all one can do when She strikes is to be prepared. Make sense? Be prepared, get help and know what you can do to help yourself and your family if fear gets in your way of daily living.

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

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People and Their Pets…Got Cat? Pet Ownership

When I meet with an individual to perform a vocational assessment, I ask many questions to gather information about their work and life background. One question I ask, underlying other questions regarding psychosocial factors, is about pet ownership. Asking about pet ownership during an evaluation can tell me a lot about a person!

Got Cat? Rabbit? Snake? Fish? Iguana? Bearded Dragon?

Of course pet ownership is not for everyone, but if the individual is a pet owner, and a discussion develops about the topic, it offers me insight about the person. Pet ownership allows for psycho-social benefits accruing within an individual from the one-to-one type interactions with their pets.

Pet ownership can also influence broader social interactions and perceptions, experiences of sense of community, and social capital at the neighborhood level. In addition, a pet owner’s sense of health and well-being often emerges as a valuable and positive feature of daily living.

SamiJo The Love of My Life!
SamiJo The Love of My Life!

This is SamiJo, the Love of My Life!

Okay: I have 3 cats (Felix, SamiJo and Alaska), a dog (Bella), a guinea pig (Peggy), and a fish (Bluebee). Oh, and a hedge hog (Sandslash). My beloved rabbit, (a mini rex named Patches) died last week.

It’s a big responsibility to own a pet. You must provide basic care which includes food, water, shelter, veterinary care and exercise for your pet. And you must abide by the City’s bylaws around pets and animals.  For Bella’s 5th birthday awhile back, she received a dog pass to the Riverwalk Dog Park!

Patches
Patches

Patches was a grateful rabbit

Patches had plush, velvet like fur and a happy personality. A mini rex is known as “The Velveteen Rabbit”. Patches was small, weighing 3-4 pounds. He liked to lunge out of his wooden hut when his cage door was opened. Some people (like my husband) got a little frightened of this burst out thinking they were in danger! But I saw his behavior as a great show of energy! I also loved his happy hops!

 Patches loved rose petals….He ate them! 

Patches always was thankful when he was fed (and especially when he received a treat!) with a little snorty sound. I had noticed he was getting very thin, however he still was eating. And then one morning, he was not lunging out of his hut, and he was very still, yet he was breathing. I checked on him several more times.

Later in the afternoon he did lunge out, although it was a very unusual lunge. He bonked off his litter box and landed on his side. I started to pet him……continuing to stroke his very soft fur….until he died.

Think about pets you’ve known and understand why I find it important to ask about pet ownership. Have you ever gone to a dog park and learned dogs’ names, but never asked the owners for theirs? And observed their behaviors (both dogs and owners) to compile evidence about your theory of dog parks!?!

In a previous post on April 2nd 2012, I blogged about another question I ask about the person’s nutritional intake and habits. Want to Heal that Injury? Focus on Your Nutrition!  Healthy nutritional intake is just as important for your body as it is for your pets. Please feed everyone well!

For You Patches. I Love You!

Let me know if you have questions about how I perform a vocational assessment. You can also click over to the right under documents for download to see a sample vocational assessment and evaluation report.

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

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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.

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

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Chicagoland….My Birthday….and the Riot Fest! What a weekend!

We returned from Chicago early this morning, say like 2AM… and I suppose Randy is a bit tired from driving, basically, since Friday morning when we left our hotel at 6AM for other activities! But I’m sure he’s enjoying teaching today!

We went to Downtown Chicago on Friday and checked out the sites.

I always love to hang out on the beach!

The main reason for our trip was to take Arin and Xavier to the Riot Fest. Riot Fest is a 2 day outdoor music fest in Humboldt Park. Sound fun to you?

 The official drop off/pick spot for the kids

On Saturday, (my birthday!) after picnicking and dropping the kids off in the park, we hung out in a forest preserve, listened to the Cubs on the car’s radio and watched the jets fly into O’Hare.

Then we went to church, hung out again, drank beer, and ate in the hotel room, and drove back to get the kids.  Exciting huh?! And on Sunday after dropping the kids off again at  Humboldt Park, we went to a Chicago Cubs game….and they won!!! Then we picked up the kids and drove home, leaving about 8PM.

 My type of fun!

 My parents are from the Chicago area as I’ve talked about in past blogs. I was born in Libertyville, Illinois. During our trip we witnessed some truly nice people, and yes some rude driving. But that’s all expected. Randy does not like Chicago, but I do.

I think about all the people who work in Chicagoland every day. They get around in many different ways, bike, bus, train, bicycles, scooters, their own vehicles. There are commuters galore!  And I think of all the different jobs, and the different ways of doing so many different jobs.  We’re talking diversity galore, too!

The Bean!

 According to the US Census Bureau, July, 2011, the population of Chicago is 2,707,120. The largest employers are the U.S. Government, Chicago Public Schools, City of Chicago, Cook County, Advocate Health Care – that’s a lot of workers!

The Chicago teachers remain on strike. And with Randy being a Des Moines Public School teacher, he was quite interested in what is going on. The kids would love not being in school!  But all days will need to be made up.

In an upcoming blog I’m going to write about my husband and his work ethic. You’d be impressed!

Thank you for reading! Go Cubbies! (Randy wore a Cincinnati Reds shirt to the game…)  Can you believe it?   HOLY COW! 

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

 


* Vocational Resources Plus, LLC  *   lcpresourcesplus.com *

VocResourcesPlus@msn.com

 

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How My Past has Brought Me to The Present! Part 5

Continuing on from my post titled How My Past has Brought Me to The Present – as a Rehab Counselor! Part 4

I started working for the State of Iowa as a Clerk Typist III-IV at the Disability Determination Services Bureau (DDSB) in 1987. Disability Determination Services are state agencies funded by the United States Federal Government.  Their purpose is to make disability findings for the Social Security Administration.  Applicants for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) file applications for disability benefits at local Social Security field offices.  (Taken from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia…this was the most simple explanation I’ve located so far).

DDSB is located at 535 SW 7th Street, Des Moines, Iowa 50309-4535, 515-725-0700  To apply for disability, you can call to make an appointment or apply online.  “Disability” is defined in different contexts using different methods for specific programs. This Social Security Administration website may help you – What We Mean By Disability.

At DDSB, I performed clerical/secretarial work for disability examiners (Hi Paul Kreger!)  Examiners evaluate initial and reconsideration claims for disability benefits under the Social Security and Supplemental Security Income programs, determines eligibility according to Social Security regulations, policies and procedures.

I had a green IBM Selectric

My job involved typing up (yep with use of good old typewriters) and mailing out a variety of forms, memos and  documents, correspondence and decisions to people who have applied for disability.  I also transcribed reports from dictation (and some handwritten notes) using transcription machines.

Transcriptionist

I worked around several ladies (no males in our pool) and we transcribed every day! 

Head set on, foot operating the transcription pedal, furiously typing away.  Such cacophony!  We always had to makes duplicates, and even triplicate forms….which means if you made a typo, the first page, upon hitting the correction key may get “fixed” but the carbon copies – oh my it took the fabulous smelling, wonderful whiteout!

Towards the lend of my days at DDSB we got – drum roll please, word processors.  The mainframe of our computer took two entire office spaces!  

I learned a lot about the ins/outs of applying for disability.  It takes patience and perseverance (completeness and accuracy to your application as well) if your disability is not “cut and dry”…. and can be frustrating considering it can take a LONG time to know the status of your claim.

Don’t give up the process of applying for disability if you sincerely realize you cannot work anywhere. I have experience helping others successfully with their permanent and total disability claims.

Stay tuned for Part 6!

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Vocational Resources Plus, LLC * lcpresourcesplus.com * 515-282-7753  * VocResources@msn.com

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

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