With the recent warm weather, it is hard to believe that there is only one more week in February and Spring Break is on its way! February has definitely been full of activity, both fun and academic related. My friends and I have had our first few tests and major assignments due, so that has kept us busy with studying. To prevent stress though, I have been doing multiple fun and spontaneous things with my friends. For example, a few weekends ago I went with some friends to eat at a Mexican-Jamaican restaurant called Casa Rasta in Pittsburgh. Seeing the mixture of the Mexican and Jamaican culture both in the atmosphere of the restaurant and in the food was fascinating, fun, and delicious! After we ate, we decided to go ice-skating in the outdoor rink in Pittsburgh. I absolutely love ice-skating! Even though I am usually only able to go about once a year, it is one of my favorite winter-time activities! Other fun things have included spontaneous trips to the mall in Robinson (a town about twenty five minutes away), relaxing walks around campus (while the weather was a bit warmer), and going to dance fundraisers for the many mission teams that will occur over spring break. There have also been a lot of birthday parties for my friends as well as fun household activities. Needless to say, life has not been boring.
Academically, I have really enjoyed taking mostly psychology classes and learning about how to be an effective counselor. One of the most interesting concepts I have been learning about is how to “expose versus impose” one’s values as a counselor. This basically means that, as a counselor, one should recognize the existence of right and wrong and use their values as a guide to help their clients. A counselor cannot force their clients to conform to their values and beliefs though, and they must respect the free will of their clients. As a Catholic in the psychology field, I know that this will be very difficult to do in certain situations. I look forward to the challenge though and know that as long as I study hard and work to become the best counselor I can be, God will grant me the grace to help the clients who come to see me.
The more I learn about psychology, the more excited I am to become a counselor and see how God will work though me to heal others. It also makes me realize that I must continually work at becoming the best person I can be for the sake of my clients as well as for myself. After all, I cannot expect my clients to work through their issues and struggles if I am unwilling to work through my own.
Recently, God has been teaching me to be content with living in the moment and trusting Him to lead me to where I need to be. As a planner, this can definitely be very difficult! This difficulty is also compounded by the fact that I am a rather extreme extrovert and therefore love to be around people. I have been learning though that it is alright, and even healthy, to quiet my heart and be alone with God and my thoughts once in awhile. It is during these times that I am best able to hear God’s still small voice and let Him love me.
I am also learning the importance of taking care of myself physically through regular exercise, getting proper sleep, and eating well because I am unable to do my best academically or be fully present to others if I am not healthy.
I am enjoying the way that this semester continues to be an adventure! Even though it has only been a month, I have already learned so much academically, spiritually, and physically. God is teaching me how to see with His eyes, and as this semester continues to unfold, I am sure I will learn even more.
Hello! My name is Caitlin Dudenhoefer and I am a second year graduate student from Sandusky, Ohio. Currently, I am studying counseling through Franciscan University of Steubenville’s Clinical Mental Health Program. I also received my bachelors degree in psychology from Franciscan University. After graduating with my masters degree, I hope to bring Christ’s hope, love, joy, truth, and healing to the clients I encounter through my ministry as a counselor. I love my big, Italian/ Irish/German family and enjoy dancing, spending time with friends, dogs, and the color purple.