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PhD/PsyD personal sacrifice - Psy.D.

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future psychologist

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Roughly estimating, how many hours per week of both classroom work (in and outside of physical class and fieldwork are required to succeed in a Psy.D. program? I have a husband to pay attention to, friends, family, must watch every Grey's Anatomy. How much personal sacrifice is needed to do this?
 

Justanothergrad

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It depends on the program, your practicum requirements, your work duties (GTA, GRA, etc.), your aspirations, your scheduling ability and work speed, your class load, etc. There have been weeks where I have spent 70+ hours doing things. Most weeks are not like this. I probably regularly spend 50.
 
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DrMikeP

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Depends on the PsyD program. Some beyond classes/practicum work also have 2 major clinical competency exams (major case presentations), an eppp style comp, and dissertation that can make for 60+ hr weeks where others just have 1 cce and a long paper that can be done in 40+ hrs/week. Some have a 60% or less placement for interns and some around 90%, not to mention cost so there is a trade off to going to a crappy program.

It doesn't sound like you really want to get a doctorate in psychology. Perhaps a mental health counseling masters would be easier.
 
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smalltownpsych

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Roughly estimating, how many hours per week of both classroom work (in and outside of physical class and fieldwork are required to succeed in a Psy.D. program? I have a husband to pay attention to, friends, family, must watch every Grey's Anatomy. How much personal sacrifice is needed to do this?
I seem to recall doing about 20 hours of clinical work, about 8 to 1o hours of in-class time, 5 to 10 hours as a TA. Add to that time for papers, clinical comps, assessment reports, dissertation research. Then there was commute time. I had very little time to do much else. Between semesters, the load would lighten a bit cause I might have a week or two without classes or class work. Some marriages can't take the strain, I actually got married during summer break between year one and two. Fortunately, we were both committed to the goal and knew the sacrifices going into it. Watching some tv shouldn't be a problem and that was one of my prime coping tools and about all we could afford to do anyway.
 
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erg923

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Roughly estimating, how many hours per week of both classroom work (in and outside of physical class and fieldwork are required to succeed in a Psy.D. program? I have a husband to pay attention to, friends, family, must watch every Grey's Anatomy. How much personal sacrifice is needed to do this?

The biggest problem I see here is that someone still watches Greys Anatomy. :)

I don't know about Psy.D programs, but my phd required over 40 hours per week most weeks, with significant variability depending on demands that naturally ebb and flow over the course of training. Some nights a slept in my lab and worked 70 hours that week. Some weeks, especially when coursework was light, I worked 30.

I was faculty at a university with a PsyD program several years ago, and my perception was generally that the program was a full-time job for most of them, especially after the first year.

Your patients will give less than a **** about your need for Greys Anatomy, so if if this is truly something you are dreading, I doubt a doctorate is in the cards for you at this time in your life.
 
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Peacemaker36

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I probably worked about 40-50 hours per week. The hours were less regular in grad school than they are now. I was able to plow through all 7 seasons of Buffy on Netflix. It took about as long as my dissertation.
 
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bmedclinic

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As usual, my first response is pretty in line with erg. If your big deal is paying attention to your husband (nothing wrong with that, I'm a husband that enjoys attention) and watching a tv show some would say is past its prime, you may want to consider your commitment.

If, on the other hand, you're completely committed, I'd urge you to think about your priorities, and what is less immediate. Unfortunately, I happen to be well aware that you can stream grey's anatomy. And can your husband appreciate the sacrafice you're making? If so, that might help you free up some time to concentrate on your studies. As you well know, your professors dont care about your husband or gray's anatomy if you're not cutting it.
 
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smalltownpsych

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I probably worked about 40-50 hours per week. The hours were less regular in grad school than they are now. I was able to plow through all 7 seasons of Buffy on Netflix. It took about as long as my dissertation.
Buffy was my wife's and I choice for a break from the stress during doctoral program too! :cool:
During last year of my program was when we started watching Greys Anatomy and my spouse still gets mad at me for critiquing the show. I'm pretty sure that even with the most rigorous doctoral program, that you will have time to watch a little tv. The bigger challenge tends to be other family obligations and expectations. Birthdays, holidays, family picnics, trips, etc.
 

bmedclinic

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The bigger challenge tends to be other family obligations and expectations. Birthdays, holidays, family picnics, trips, etc.
Family doesnt implicitly seem to understand that many in academia consider holiday breaks an excellent time to "finally getting around to" writing your dissertation in large chunks. My family was pretty good about this, but I think I did a good job explaining to them that I was going to do this on the front end.
 
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PsyDGurl

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I'd echo everything that's been said here as there are so many factors at play. How good a student are you, how long does your reading take, how long does it take you to write papers, what are your family, financial obligations etc. I am married with 2 young children so I don't do much evening work, but luckily I can do that and still excel at my work. But....that comes with trade offs - I no longer have friends cause I haven't seen them in 5 years, I'm a pretty boring person with a lot of random scientific knowledge (real great dinner party material), I haven't turned out as much research as I wish, and I no longer have the financial ability/time to go on a nice vacation with my husband because I am constantly stressed and over scheduled. Oh and PS I'm moving my family across the country in September to do an internship that pays less than minimum wage ;)

I think you have to really want this.... No I mean NEED this in order to be satisfied with your life otherwise there's lots of other ways that you could have a great career in this field. But if it's your dream and you've thought it through carefully all of these sacrifices will be worth it!! Good luck!
 
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deleted343839

45-50 hours a week seems about right, though I'd lean closer to 50 most weeks. In more intense weeks it could be 70-80 hours, and there were plenty of those. I was married, but no kids until near the end of school. I had time to socialize even if that just meant joining other grad students at a nearby coffee shop or bar (my building was within an easy walk of both). But I also had time to hang out with people on weekends, go to the movies, do an occasional road trip, etc.

How you manage the demands of grad school depends a lot on your mindset. Even when the workload was high, I never felt I was "sacrificing" something. I knew I was choosing this path and could walk away from it (and the thought crossed my mind several times). I also knew I was lucky to have the opportunity at all. Grad school requires hard work, discipline, and humility but it's hardly the life of an ascetic.
 
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Peacemaker36

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Buffy was my wife's and I choice for a break from the stress during doctoral program too! :cool:
During last year of my program was when we started watching Greys Anatomy and my spouse still gets mad at me for critiquing the show. I'm pretty sure that even with the most rigorous doctoral program, that you will have time to watch a little tv. The bigger challenge tends to be other family obligations and expectations. Birthdays, holidays, family picnics, trips, etc.

Not to totally derail this thread, but I have been surprised over the years by how many psychologists love Buffy. I once mentioned that I was hooked to my former grad school advisor, and he told me that he and his wife had been glued to Buffy, and he forwarded me a journal article on the psychodynamic themes in the show.
 
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deleted343839

Not to totally derail this thread, but I have been surprised over the years by how many psychologists love Buffy. I once mentioned that I was hooked to my former grad school advisor, and he told me that he and his wife had been glued to Buffy, and he forwarded me a journal article on the psychodynamic themes in the show.

I never watched it and I feel like I'm missing out.

The Wire though. I discovered it a few seasons in and that made for one of the most unproductive weekends of my life.
 
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erg923

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I never watched it and I feel like I'm missing out.

The Wire though. I discovered it a few seasons in and that made for one of the most unproductive weekends of my life.

This is just the BEST!

 
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psych844

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I only watched a few episodes of "The Wire"..but I found it way too slow moving. Breaking Bad was a bit slow moving too, but that, I loved. The best show ever made.
 
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CheetahGirl

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I concur - you have to WANT this badly enough because when the times are tough, you'll want to throw in the towel but don't. You'll have time for the quality things in life (spouse, kids, friends/family, mindless TV, etc) as long as you use your organizational skills, prioritize, and learn your own limits.

OP, also note, most of us are not making the distinction between PsyDs and PhDs (you can search old threads about the topic) because, essentially, good PsyD programs are similar to the workload in good PhD programs. Some PhD programs may be more research-based; and that is the main difference. You want to find a "balanced program" that offers more than adequate research-based understanding because it is how we can communicate best with each other (evidence-based interventions).

With that said, I reconnected with my husband over Breaking Bad because we slightly disconnected after I buried my head in the books during my qualifying exam time. It is best that your partner knows what you're getting into when you begin, otherwise he/she will be left by the wayside, as you work towards your career goals.

Good luck! :luck:
 
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bmedclinic

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To try to balance out my response, 1 on topic, 1 off topic
On topic: having met my wife during grad school and while she was a grad student made it easier for her to get why I pushed myself so hard. I can imagine it might be much harder if you dont have a spouse in the same situation.

I've really never watched either, but from my friends who enjoy aforementioned shows, buffy seems to be attractive to a nerdier audience (hence, psychologists- yes, you) whereas the wire seems to have more of a broad appeal. Just my observation.
 

Therapist4Chnge

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I only watched a few episodes of "The Wire"..but I found it way too slow moving. Breaking Bad was a bit slow moving too, but that, I loved. The best show ever made.

You should give The Wire another shot…as it is one of the top 10 best shows ever. Seriously…it's excellent.

--

As for time commitment, I think the 50-55hr/wk with some 70hr weeks mixed in is about right for the first 1-3 years. Years 4-5/6 are much more variable…some do 20-30+ teaching while others do 60+ trying to get their dissertation done. However, a lot of this depends on how much involvement you have in other aspects of the training.

I had woman in my cohort who would do her classes, show up for lab meetings, and show up for practica…but that was it. She spent the rest of her time at home (30-45min away) with her family. She told me that she still did a ton of work at home and "seeing" her family was relative because she'd have to hole up somewhere, but she made it work. She didn't publish, present, participate in other academic activities, or do things to round out her CV. She made it work, though I know it was tough at times for her to feel connected to our cohort and it still was a grind on her home life.
 
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biscuitsbiscuits

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I concur - you have to WANT this badly enough because when the times are tough, you'll want to throw in the towel but don't.

This is great advice for sticking with Grey's for 12+ seasons. I know McDreamy is dead but don't give up!



Sent from my iPhone using SDN mobile app
 
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Therapist4Chnge

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This has me reconsidering everything. I've never wanted to watch the wire. Now I feel I have to.

Given everything that has happened with Ferguson et al., I'm guessing the show will feel very different than the first time you watched it. It's on my list to re-watch, and I'm curious to see if I feel any different about it the second time through.
 

DynamicDidactic

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The Wire starts out good, sucks in the middle, and ends well.

IMO the last season was the weakest, though it had some great moments.
Now we are finally talking about important stuff. I agree with both of you. Season 1 was so amazing and if the show was able to maintain the same level then it would be better than Breaking Bad. But Breaking Bad, in its entirety, is better, imo.

The Wire dipped in season 2 & 3 and came back with a furry in season 4, sooo good. The last season was up and down.

I will say it took me months to watch the first 3 episodes, its very slow in the beginning. But after that I was hooked and needed to binge. So, I recommend people give it a shot.
 
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deleted343839

Now we are finally talking about important stuff. I agree with both of you. Season 1 was so amazing and if the show was able to maintain the same level then it would be better than Breaking Bad. But Breaking Bad, in its entirety, is better, imo.

From a narrative standpoint, you may be right about Breaking Bad. But I'd argue that The Wire was more ambitious both thematically and in how it handled the ensemble cast. For those reasons it still edges out Breaking Bad on my top 5 list.

Season 2 wasn't the best but it gets more hate than it really deserves. Just saying.
 

DynamicDidactic

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From a narrative standpoint, you may be right about Breaking Bad. But I'd argue that The Wire was more ambitious both thematically and in how it handled the ensemble cast. For those reasons it still edges out Breaking Bad on my top 5 list.
I agree, The Wire is mainly a societal story while Breaking Bad is mainly an individual's story.

In my book, Breaking Bad is the #1 TV drama of all time. Followed by Mad Men and The Wire.

Just so people know, I watched all these after grad school, I definitely did not have time to commit to hour long dramas that are binge-worthy during grad school.
 

erg923

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I have to disagree, good sir. Madmen, the wire, breaking bad. In that order.

I LOVED The Killing too. They could have done so much more with what they had going.
 

Peacemaker36

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From a narrative standpoint, you may be right about Breaking Bad. But I'd argue that The Wire was more ambitious both thematically and in how it handled the ensemble cast. For those reasons it still edges out Breaking Bad on my top 5 list.

Season 2 wasn't the best but it gets more hate than it really deserves. Just saying.
I thought season 2 was strong, and I agree that season 5 was the weakest. For me the clear highlights involved Avon and Stringer Bell.
 

CheetahGirl

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Anyone having fun with House of Cards, esp since it is an election year? Love the insight into Frank Underwood (FU)'s thoughts. And Claire Underwood is delightfully cold and calculated, in her own elegant way. IMO.
 
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deleted343839

Anyone having fun with House of Cards, esp since it is an election year? Love the insight into Frank Underwood (FU)'s thoughts. And this Claire is delightfully cold can calculated, in her elegant way. IMO.

I'm way behind. I enjoyed Season 1 but for some reason couldn't get traction with Season 2. So House of Cards is still worth watching, then?
 

erg923

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I'm also on the Breaking Bad is #1 bandwagon. Bryan Cranston should have just dropped the mic and disappeared from society after that.

I watched (and finished) The Wire as Breaking Bad and Madmen were starting. Very different.

Madmen had the deepness, character development, and diversity that I crave, not to mention the fascination I have with history and historical nostalgia. Breaking Bad was just fun and also deep in many, many parts. The Wire was just brilliant commentary on organizational (and societal) dysfunction that was also fun.

I was on internship when Madmen came back from the 18-20 month break that had been on, and it was a such amazing season that got me through diss and the transition I/we were going through at that at that time. Good Lord, I miss those days of planning Sundays around that season of Madmen. Gym, good food, beer/Scotch, and no kids yet. lol
 
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Pragma

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I'm also on the Breaking Bad is #1 bandwagon. Bryan Cranston should have just dropped the mic and disappeared from society after that.
A great show but it still had its flaws. The ending was necessary but unsatisfying.

The Wire is superior IMO.

I got more excited about Fargo than any other show in recent years.
 
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deleted343839

I was on internship when Madmen came back from the 18-20 month break that had been on, and it was a such amazing season that got me through diss and the transition I/we were going through at that at that time. Good Lord, I miss those days of planning Sundays around that season of Madmen. Gym, good food, beer/Scotch, and no kids yet. lol

Yeah, having kids has made TV less compelling because my choice now usually boils down to TV or more sleep. Guess which wins most of the time?

Now my TV viewing is mostly opportunistic. I binge-watched Breaking Bad on maternity leave. And I watched an entire season of Peaky Blinders when I was home sick a few months ago.
 

erg923

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Yeah, having kids has made TV less compelling because my choice now usually boils down to TV or more sleep. Guess which wins most of the time?

Now my TV viewing is mostly opportunistic. I binge-watched Breaking Bad on maternity leave. And I watched an entire season of Peaky Blinders when I was home sick a few months ago.

Kids is mad easier by The UnBreakable Kimmie Smidt. All Hail Tina Fey and her writing staff...

And John bulishi once said women simply were not funny. Psssh.

 
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CheetahGirl

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Made it thru first 2 seasons, now stuck finishing season 3 and 4 (just b/c i'm not doing too much TV lately...movies on Netflix/Vudu, at best).

I like the parallels it draws to real life politics and we're always trying to guess which current scandal the writers model the plot lines after. My interest is politics is limited, so being entertained by blatant ruthlessness (by ALL the characters) has been kind of fun b/c it is fiction...or is it? I'm sure they'll add something about gender-neutral bathrooms soon.
I'm way behind. I enjoyed Season 1 but for some reason couldn't get traction with Season 2. So House of Cards is still worth watching, then?

Oh, and I love Orange is the New Black, but only got thru first 2 seasons of it. Very interesting. But, I mainly watched it alone while I was doing my work, late night. Somehow my husband found some parts of it more interesting than others (and for those of you who know the show...you know what I mean). I enjoyed everyone's back-stories and what landed them behind bars.
 
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deleted343839

Oh, and I love Orange is the New Black, but only got thru first 2 seasons of it. Very interesting. But, I mainly watched it alone while I was doing my work, late night. Somehow my husband found some parts of it more interesting than others, so didn't get into it as much as I did (and for those of who know the show...you know what I mean. I enjoyed everyone's back-stories and what landed them behind bars).‎

I liked OITNB too, though Jenji Kohan has a way of running a show into the ground. I'm afraid it's going to go the way of Weeds, which was unwatchable after the first two seasons.

I think I'll try House of Cards again once I'm done with Better Call Saul.
 
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MCParent

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Kids is mad easier by The UnBreakable Kimmie Smidt. All Hail Tina Fey and her writing staff...

And John bulishi once said women simply were not funny. Psssh.


Season 2 is mindblowingly good, especially how they handle her PTSD in contrast to the other "mole women."
 
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Therapist4Chnge

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From a narrative standpoint, you may be right about Breaking Bad. But I'd argue that The Wire was more ambitious both thematically and in how it handled the ensemble cast. For those reasons it still edges out Breaking Bad on my top 5 list.

Season 2 wasn't the best but it gets more hate than it really deserves. Just saying.

The Wire will always have a special place for me because I lived in B'more and was fortunate enough to spend some time getting to know David Simon, albeit before The Wire came out. He was the friend of a friend, so I'd see him every now and again when we'd grab beers or grill out. He was around more for awhile because of personal life stuff, but rarely can you have it all. I only knew of The Wire as "this thing in production", so it was somewhat surreal to see the finished product and compare it against how David described it. He'd often talk about Baltimore as a living breathing entity, though it wasn't until I saw The Wire did it all click. I hadn't seen/read Homicide, though I did read The Corner, so I had a feel for part of that, but admittedly i didn't finish it until years later. In The Wire the feeling of the city being the main character really came out, and it's one of my favorite things about the series. /off-topic
 
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CheetahGirl

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Yeah, having kids has made TV less compelling because my choice now usually boils down to TV or more sleep.
...or what the kids want to watch on the 'family room' TV.

Thank goodness Sponge Bob, We Bear Bears (new show), and Clarence are interesting or I'd go nuts with the >2 hours per day (and not on most school days) of TV on in the background. My kids like to 'make up' their TV time on the weekend, and I commend some kids' shows for being covertly amusing to adults. (I still love that episode when Sponge Bob acts as his own defense to a jury of sea animals, and he uses the term 'superfluous' within a most appropriate context. My kids use that word now b/c I got such a kick out of it.)

I have managed to avoid the movie Frozen b/c i'm afraid of getting that song stuck in my head. But, I will graciously sit through (and encourage) repeated viewing of any or all Star Wars. :hijacked:
 
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future psychologist

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I'm entertained, relieved, amazed, and interested with these responses. Thank you for this extremely helpful input. I am curious to see what more members have to add.
 
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I'm entertained, relieved, amazed, and interested with these responses. Thank you for this extremely helpful input. I am curious to see what more members have to add.
To tie this all back to your original question...
I went to a moderately rigorous Ph.D. program. Roughly 40 hours per week on campus (or, in later years, including time in community based practica) doing things like attending classes, TAing classes, TA office hours/grading, RA work, clinic team and clients, and research team. Add in another 10-20 for coursework and own research (first year even more, as stats homework took up at least 8 hours per week, always done on weekends- fortunately the Patriots weren't any good back then so I wasn't missing much working on Sundays). I always found time to pay attention to my wife (no kids yet) and hang out with friends both from grad school and otherwise (I was EXTREMELY lucky in that I did not have to move to attend grad school, so I still had local "townie" friends). One of my fondest memories was of the one night per week in my fourth year when a classmate who moved 1.5 hours away for practicum would stay with my wife and I back near campus- We'd always find time to make a good meal (though she was a vegetarian), drink wine, and watch Buffy (original run- no such thing as Netflix then, and no DVRs, though you could maybe get it on VHS from Blockbuster!). On the whole, you can find some balance. Some weeks, honestly, really sucked and you just had to bear down and do what others were demanding of you, without regard to what you wanted (or even felt like you needed) to do. Most weeks, I could make the time to take care of myself. Most of my cohort-though not all- figured it out as well.
 
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deleted343839

I vote for a regular Friday afternoon threadjack.
 
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cara susanna

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Season 2 is mindblowingly good, especially how they handle her PTSD in contrast to the other "mole women."

I loved the episode with the veteran. Although I wish they would have shown more effective PTSD treatment!
 

futureapppsy2

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Ace Attorney does an incredibly good job of showing PTSD (multiple major characters have it), which is so weird given the general zaniness/lack of realism of the series. It really makes me wonder if someone on the writing staff has it. They also did a similarly oddly good job with suicide--other psych stuff? Not so much at all.
 

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For TV representation of PTSD, I recommend Jessica Jones. Only one season so far, but they've confirmed a season 2 is in the works, and Krysten Ritter (Jane from Breaking Bad!) is amazing. Literally couldn't stop watching even though I had much better/more important things to be doing at the time.
 

PsyDr

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Observations:

Friends in my program: average 12hrs/wk in class, 12hrs/wk reading and writing, 20hrs/wk practicum.


Outlier friend: one dude who almost never read the assigned readings, took off early from practicum, took a week vacation every semester, and partied balls. A combination of super charisma and cleverly choosing the most laid back professors led everyone to just kinda accepted it. Did not match, did not complete his dissertation. Really fun guy though.


Me: 12hrs/wk class, 20 hrs practicum, 6hrs TAing, and then whatever time left over I was expected to be in my research position/ this weird secondary practicum. Occasionally I'd bump it up to 15hrs/wk for class to get away from my lab because it was easier. PI liked to offer me "extra learning opportunities". If I wasn't in class or at practicum, I was supposed to be at the medical school. Which led to all sorts of weirdness.
 
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