Next Thursday, June 8, at 12:00 PST, Dr. Graham Taylor will be on Facebook Live to answer your questions about EPPP Step 2.
The free event will be hosted on the TSM Facebook Page and can be accessed by anyone with an internet connection.
EPPP Step 2 is a new competency-based exam that is being developed by ASPPB to complement the existing EPPP. The test will become part of the licensure process starting January 2019. In next Thursday’s event, Graham Taylor will be fielding questions such as the following:
Why is EPPP Step 2 being introduced?
How much will EPPP Step 2 cost?
Will candidates be required to take both exams?
How will EPPP Step 2 be administered and what will its format be?
How does EPPP Step 2 relate to the original EPPP?
What areas EPPP Step 2 intended to assess?
Everyone is invited to watch next Thursday’s event and to ask Dr. Taylor questions in real time.
We’ve told you that you don’t have to be a genius to pass the EPPP. Though the assertion still stands that it takes hard work and dedicated study to pass the EPPP, as opposed to inherent talent, it’s possible to cultivate a bit of genius.
Prioritizing EPPP studying over vital health habits such as sleep can be too easy. How many nights have you stayed awake studying and, furthermore, went to bed immediately after an EPPP study session?
You might relate to the following scenario.
Joe is preparing for the EPPP. He works long hours at his internship and is often exhausted by the time he gets home. He is committed to passing the EPPP and studies when he can. Joe sometimes attempts to wake up a few hours early to sneak in a study session before going to his internship. Last night Joe studied in bed late into the night and went to sleep right after putting his study materials on the floor next to him. He snoozed his alarm and woke up just in time to be on schedule for his internship.
In this scenario, Joe’s retention of the EPPP material he studied, as well as his quality of sleep, will be negatively affected. He made three common mistakes. Continue reading →
Mindfulness—moment by moment non-judgmental awareness of the body and its sensations—has been associated with better emotional management and self-regulation. (For a definition of mindfulness, see our earlier article ‘The Three B’s of Mindfulness: Breath, Body and Brain‘.) Here is just a smattering of the emerging academic research on the relationship between mindfulness and emotional maturity:
Shauna L. Shapiro, Gary E. Schwartz, and Ginny Bonner, “Effects of Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction on Medical and Premedical Students,” Journal of Behavioral Medicine 21, no. 6 (December 1, 1998): 581–99, doi:10.1023/A:1018700829825.
Ortner, C. N., Kilner, S. J., & Zelazo, P. D. (2007). Mindfulness meditation and reduced emotional interference on a cognitive task. Motivation and Emotion, 31(4), 271–283.
Metz, S. M., Frank, J. L., Reibel, D., Cantrell, T., Sanders, R., & Broderick, P. C. (2013). The effectiveness of the learning to BREATHE program on adolescent emotion regulation. Research in Human Development, 10(3), 252–272.
Schonert-Reichl, K. A., Oberle, E., Lawlor, M. S., Abbott, D., Thomson, K., Oberlander, T. F., & Diamond, A. (2015). Enhancing cognitive and social–emotional development through a simple-to-administer mindfulness-based school program for elementary school children: A randomized controlled trial. Developmental Psychology, 51(1), 52-66.
But exactly how does mindfulness help with emotional regulation and maturity?
First of all, mindfulness can help us better to manage our emotional states simply by calming us down. Research shows that when mindfulness is practiced in the context of meditative breathing (i.e., spending time taking deep breaths, bringing your entire attention to the present-moment sensation of breathing), it helps to slow down the heart-rate and underscore feelings of safety, and thus to shift the brain away from the types of fight-flight-freeze responses that hijack the higher cognitive functions. (For more about this, see our earlier article “The Power of Positive Breathing.”) When we are calm, we are able to think clearer, and thus not be as subject to emotional impulses.
Secondly, the skills that mindfulness helps us to develop – skills like attentional control, self-awareness and meta-cognition – all involve the same mental muscles involved in emotional maturity and self-regulation.
A third way that mindfulness can help with emotional self-regulation is to increase the gap between stimulus and response. Research shows that emotions are often experienced first in the body before they are recognized by the conscious mind. (See our earlier post “The Emotional Body” for evidence of this.) For example, resentment may be felt in a tightening of the neck; fear may be felt in a speeding up of the heart-rate; anxiety may be experienced as an increase in the rhythm of one’s breathing. Because of this link between emotion and physiology, achieving moment-by-moment awareness of the body and its sensations (mindfulness) can give a person advanced warning about ways their emotions are being triggered. This advanced warning gives us time to engage in emotional self-monitoring and ask ourselves what the healthiest response actually is, instead of waiting until our emotions overwhelm us and we simply react. As Viktor Frankl observed in his classic Man’s Search for Meaning, “Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.”
A fourth way mindfulness can help regulate emotions was suggested by Dr. Ron Siegel’s in his video “The Science of Mindfulness” below. Dr. Siegel, who is Assistant Clinical Professor of Psychology at Harvard Medical School, explains that often our approach to emotional discomfort is to do things that make us feel happier, and thus to decrease the intensity of discomfort and pain. Mindfulness works the other way round, by increasing our ability to bear with discomfort, both on the physical and emotional level. When our capacity to bear with emotional discomfort is enlarged, we are less likely to react to our emotions or to let them control us.
But how does mindfulness help us bear with emotional discomfort? In the video below (from 32:00 to 39:40) Dr. Siegel shows that mindfulness enables us to develop the cognitive muscles by which we can observe, as if from the outside, the parts that make up emotion. Every emotion is basically a body sensation and a thought. By practicing brain-based mindfulness (moment-by-moment non-judgmental aware of our cognitions), we can notice our thoughts coming and passing, but we don’t have to get drawn up into the thought stream either by fighting them or personalizing them. Instead, we can keep our attention at the sensory level. By being attentive to what is happening at the sensory level, we can notice our body’s sensations, including the sensations created by emotions, but we can treat these sensations in the same way that someone who is meditating might treat a fly or an inch: by objectively observing them but not getting caught up. Thus, when we notice the physiological correlates of emotion as they are experienced in the body, instead of letting these conditions dictate our behavior (i.e., giving into the emotion), and instead of fighting against them (thinking, “Oh my gosh, why am I feeling this!”), we can simply observe and be present with the feeling.
“Expect good results, and you’ll get them. Believe in yourself, and you can achieve anything….”
Do these statements sound familiar? A common mantra of the self-help industry is that all it takes to accomplish something is believing you can.
But do expectations, in and of themselves, actually produce results? Does the mere fact you strongly desire to accomplish something ensure that you actually will? Think of a time in your life when you were excited to attend some enjoyable event, only to have everything go wrong there. It never even occurred to you that it would be anything but a great time, but for whatever reason it wasn’t. However, you eventually excepted it and moved on.
Tim Urban, author of the blog Wait But Why and self-proclaimed procrastinator, shares his insight on the brain function of procrastinators. Urban tells the tale of his 90-page senior thesis which he had a year to complete. Urban instead completed the thesis in 2 days by pulling two all-nighters.
How is it that he had the stamina and motivation to pull two all-nighters but did not have the motivation to use the year he was given? Writing a 90-page thesis over the course of one year seems much more pleasant than writing it in two days at the cost of sleep.
With gregarious disposition and insightful wit, Urban depicts the brain of a procrastinator.
Grit is the passion that drives us to press through our short-term goals, like passing the EPPP, so that we can achieve our long-term goals, like becoming a psychologist. It has been said that grit is all you need when it comes to accomplishment. Though John Wayne may disagree, when it comes to achieving goals, it takes more than just true grit.
“without the strengths of curiosity, optimism, social intelligence and self-control grit can lead you in jobs you aren’t suited for, stuck on ideas that will never work and in relationships you should have let go of.”
I still remember the night that convinced me I finally needed to join the twenty-first century.
I had just finished a long day helping as a judge for a debate tournament. By the time I finally headed home it was dark. Or at least, I thought I was headed home. However, the further I drove, the less I recognized of my surroundings. As the road progressed further and further up into the mountains, I remembered my young children waiting at a friends’ house for me to collect them. Finally, the road abruptly ended. Literally, it just ended. I had no choice but to turn around and start over.
At about midnight I finally pulled into the drive-way of my friends’ house to collect my tired children. I determined never to let myself get lost again: I would finally invest in a GPS.
With spring comes schedule-filling activities that can distract you from EPPP prep.
Perhaps you’re thinking of your next vacation or RSVPing to graduations and weddings – events that aren’t quite in full swing yet but will fill the calendar before you know it.
Here are two rules of thumb when it comes to surviving EPPP preparation with a crowded schedule. We’ve touched on these strategies before in posts more specific to holidays and weddings. There are two main points I highlight here in regards to a generally crowded schedule. Continue reading →
Last year I received an invitation to speak at a conference for professionals in the caring professions. The conference was attended by doctors, nurses, counsellors, psychologists, psychiatrists, dentists, hospital and army chaplains, missionaries, marriage and family therapists, surgeons and students. The topic that the conference organizers had asked me to speak on was “Gratitude During Times of Suffering” and my marching orders were simple: explain how it’s possible to remain thankful in the midst of suffering.
Now I’ve never been particularly good at being thankful when things are going wrong. If I have trouble sleeping, I grumble the next day. If I don’t have enough money to buy something I want, I whine and complain to whoever will listen. If I have a physical injury, everyone in my circle of friends is sure to know about it. So expecting me to give a talk on how to be grateful during times of suffering is kind of like asking ask John Wayne to dance Swan Lake, or asking Justin Bieber to sing the part for Count Almaviva in The Marriage of Figaro.