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Real-Life Resources for Students & Early Career Professionals

How to Work Effectively with Muslim Clients

How to Work Effectively with Muslim Clients

As a therapist, I value working with clients of all different backgrounds. In fact, it is one of the best parts of my job as I meet someone and learn something new every day. The philosophy I find most helpful in working with clients is cultural humility. This is defined as the ability to have an accurate perception of our own cultural values as well as maintaining a client-oriented perspective that involves respect, lack of superiority, and attunement [1]. This stance takes away the pressure that “cultural competence” places on us as therapists to know everything (which of course is impossible).

Cultural humility is also a perfect starting point for working with Muslim clients for several reasons. Muslims have been in the news a lot lately. Unfortunately, the coverage is usually negatively skewed, which has influenced perceptions of Muslims in the United States [2]. This may also impact how therapists view Muslim clients who walk into their offices. Given that all of us are affected by implicit bias, it is critical for us to examine our biases, including how Islamophobia impacts the way we treat Muslim clients.

With a culturally humble stance, we as therapists are open to learning more about each Muslim client’s unique experiences as we monitor and challenge our stereotypes.

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3 Reasons Why I Love IFS

3 Reasons Why I Love IFS

Have you heard about Internal Family Systems (IFS)? No need to cringe if the answer’s a solid no. Until a daylong Continuing Education training on the topic shook my internal—and later external—world, I had no clue about it myself. IFS views our internal world as consisting of multiple parts (think subpersonalities). Because every person has these parts, we can hold polar opposite views at the same time. For instance, you can be a gregarious extrovert while also feeling as though people are a nuisance. That’s because while a part of you loves to hobnob with people, another part might feel repulsed by their noise and needs.

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Starting a Family During Grad School

Starting a Family During Grad School

Between running studies for your research, trying to get enough clinical hours, classes, comprehensive examinations, supervising undergraduates, lab meetings, teaching assistance-ships, and many other graduate school demands, it is sometimes a great accomplishment to squeeze in a few moments for lunch.

There is a general tacit agreement among graduate students and oftentimes, their supervisors, that achieving work-life balance is hard enough given the demanding schedules of graduate school, but achieving work-life-and-family balance can feel near impossible. Although it may be challenging, it is not impossible.

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Why You Should Incorporate Forensic Work Into Your Training

Why You Should Incorporate Forensic Work Into Your Training

When you think of forensic psychology, what comes to mind? Criminal Minds? Silence of the Lambs? Broadly, forensic psychology is any time where psychology intersects with the law. However, forensic work needn’t be limited to psychology; there is forensic social work, forensic psychiatry, forensic accounting, and more. Here are four reasons why incorporating forensic experience into your mental health training will ultimately make you a stronger clinician in the long run.

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Psychodynamic Psychotherapy 102: Questions to Guide Case Conceptualization and Intervention

Psychodynamic Psychotherapy 102: Questions to Guide Case Conceptualization and Intervention

Each year I sit down with trainees to review our goals for supervision and collaborate around areas of growth. For many, learning about psychodynamic psychotherapy is often at the top of the list.

This post discusses different dimensions of psychodynamic therapy that present-day practitioners think about when they work with their patients and provides practical questions to aid in addressing these dimensions in practice.

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Showing Up Fully: A Self-Care Paradigm

Showing Up Fully: A Self-Care Paradigm

#Selfcare is trending, folks.

A simple internet search will turn up plenty of lengthy lists of self-care practices and scores of articles about why you should be practicing it (or else!).

There’s no lack of online wellness platforms where you can see people doing #selfcare – taking baths, exercising, cooking nutritious meals, and wearing mud masks.

And yet, with all of these self-care options from all these self-care advocates, it can be overwhelming to decide what to do and what advice to heed, if any at all.

But it seems like everywhere we go we hear about hundreds of ways to practice self-care, and why we should be doing more of it. Is it just me, or has self-care gotten kind of overwhelming?

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The Introverted Therapist

The Introverted Therapist

I had just returned from a 3-week respite in Spain, and I was riding the post-vacation emotional high.

The quaint cobblestone streets of Seville left me with feelings of joy and amusement; the romantic plazas of Madrid left me with love; the vast beaches of Barcelona left me with serenity and awe; and the seafood paella in each of these cities left me with each of the top 10 positive emotions (mostly gratitude).

I was rejuvenated, and I was eager to dive back into work.

My first day back to work was at a new therapy rotation. For the first time, I was scheduled for five consecutive 1-hour sessions (my previous maximum was two consecutive sessions). New schedule, new clients, new office – a perfect reset after vacation.

But by the time my fifth client left my office, I was feeling sheer exhaustion. I felt like someone siphoned every drop of energy out of me. I ended up napping for an hour on my therapy couch (indeed, therapy couches are a real thing) before driving home. I chalked it up to jet lag.

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The Millennial Therapist: How Social Media Affects Our Lives and Work

The Millennial Therapist: How Social Media Affects Our Lives and Work

The millennial generation, born roughly between 1980 and 2000, is a generation categorized by the digital age. An overwhelming majority owns a computer, a smartphone and uses the internet daily. Coined “digital natives,” millennials are a generation raised on using social media as a primary way to communicate and express oneself. This is the generation that is now entering into the field of psychotherapy.

The social media obsession has significant implications for this generation of psychologists, both relationally and professionally. We are entering into the field with a perspective of the world much different than our predecessors. We deal with public exposure in a way that has not yet been faced. There can be some harmful consequences of our lives being so public. As we enter into this field, we must be thoughtful about our social media use and the implications it has for both our work as therapists and in our personal lives.

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Mental Health Care for Older Adults is Necessary – Here’s Why

Mental Health Care for Older Adults is Necessary – Here’s Why

By the year 2030, one in five Americans will be 65 years or older. The demographic of those aged 80 and older is growing faster than any other age group [1]. There is also a prevailing stereotype of older adults as dependent, depressed, and possibly demented [1].

Taking into consideration this stereotype of the aging population, is there a case to address their mental wellness in addition to the population’s huge demand for basic medical services?

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