Peter Corbett, LICSW
Psychotherapy for Western Massachusetts 
in Private Practice Since 1990

"The only person you should 

try to be better than,

is the person you were yesterday."

How Ready Are You for College and Independence?

The transition from high school to college is one of the most daunting challenges in a student's life.     Each of these learning environments is quite distinct.  Learning in high school
 tends to be more 'teacher-directed', whereas college requires 'self-directed learning' and calls the student to greater levels of personal responsibility and independence.  Students often feel overwhelmed in the face of rising expectations for self-motivation, academic quality, and rigor.    These academic demands, combined with the need to adjust to an entirely new living environment, the task of creating healthy self care patterns, and forging satisfying social supports, etc... calls students to higher levels of functioning than ever before. 

   There are healthy and unhealthy ways of dealing with this inherent, normal 'transition stress'.  Typically, without proper preparation, many students become overwhelmed, masking underlying anxiety or depression with negative, stress-based behavior patterns such as excessive partying, binge drinking, drug use, eating disorders, or hiding away from responsibilities and supports with isolating activities such as internet addictions and video games.  Moreover, many well meaning  traditional support services such as family physicians, counseling centers, etc... too often focus on the problem from a diagnostic point of view, with medications such as anti-depressants or stimulants.   The student is seen as having a problem which needs to be 'treated' rather than as a normal person encountering circumstances which call for proper guidance in adapting to new life challenges.

    Positive Psychology and Resiliency Training

     First, success in college depends upon the manner in which we approach life itself.   All experiences are interpreted in some way through us, and these interpretations set a tone and guide behavior in response to these experiences. This is why it is crucial that our 'interpretive style' empowers us rather than leaves us feeling victimized, sapped of energy, and powerless. Our capacity to persevere amidst challenge and set backs requires an understanding of how to frame our experience so that we can remain affirmed and effectively engaged.  In Student Life and Study Skills Classes we identify 'interpretive styles' which interfere with effective living and learn how to create and hold the positive 'interpretive frame" necessary to move forward effectively and with confidence.  
State of the Art Study Skills Training

Secondly, we recognize that success in college requires knowing not only WHAT to learn but, also HOW to learn.  Learning about learning itself, and how to develop the skills of the successful learner, is an essential component to college and life success.  There are very specific learning skills that you need to know that are not necessarily taught in the typical college prep program.   In the Student Life and Study Skills Classes you will learn 

How to:   
*  Problem Solve   *  Be a Critical Thinker
*  Communicate Effectively * Plan Study with a Strategy
*  Manage Your Time Well *  Be an 'Active' Note Taker
*  Organize Your Study Space *  Prepare for Tests
*  Improve Reading Comprehension *  Predict Exam Questions
Seminars are designed to be both fun and engaging.   We pace the learning with hands on, experiential exercises so the student practices the skills as the course unfolds.   The overlap of the course with the school year is designed to give the student a concrete, relevant place to practice  learnings and feel its immediate positive impact.   There is minimal homework ...usually no more than 1/2 hour reflective/journaling each week.   Most of the learning comes from practicing the skills in their daily lives or applying the study practices to classes they are already taking.  

Freshmen-Sophomores : Tuesdays
October 13th - December 1st, 2015
Juniors-Seniors : Wednesdays
October 14th - December 9th, 2015 
(No class on 11/25)

Cost: $390 or $195 w/Hth. Ins. Coverage
All Classes are from 3:30 - 5:15 PM  
Location: 2 Strong Avenue, Northampton