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

How Ready Are You for College?

The transition from High School to College is one of the most daunting challenges in a student's life.     Each learning environment here, is quite different.  High School
 is much more 'teacher-directed' whereas, college's 'self-directed learning' calls the student to greater levels of personal responsibility and independence.  Students often feel overwhelmed in the face of rising expectations for motivation, academic quality and rigor.    Combined with the demand of adjusting to an entirely new living environment, creating healthy and satisfying social supports, etc... the student is called to higher level of functioning than ever before. 

   There are healthy and unhealthy ways of dealing with this normal 'transition stress'.  Without proper anticipation and preparation many students often respond to these overwhelmed feelings by falling into negative, stress-based behavior patterns such as excessive drinking, drug use, eating disorders, hiding away from responsibilities and supports with isolating activities such as internet addictions and video games, all masking an underlying state of anxiety or depression.  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 a challenge which calls for proper guidance to develop new skills for negotiating life.   
'Student Life and Study Skills' prepares you!

     The priority of Student Life and Study Skills Classes is to empower the student; placing him/her in the center of their life,  as the 'creator' of one's destiny.  From this position as the 'one called to make many day to day decisions', they learn the skills of the 'Wise Chooser'.  We create a relaxed, enjoyable atmosphere where the student learns, through the development of the core skills of compassionate self-awareness and connectivity, to meet the challenge of school and life as their own best advocate.  


    Positive Psychology and Resiliency Training

     First, we recognize how much 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 involved .  In Student Life and Study Skills Classes we identify ways the student's current 'interpretive style' might be tripping him/herself up and then, 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 us not only to know 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 we learn:   

*  How to Problem Solve   *  How to be a Critical Thinker
*  How to Communicate Effectively *  How to Plan Study with a Strategy
*  How to Manage Your Time Well *  How to Be an 'Active' Note Taker
*  How to Organize Your Study Space *  How to Prepare for Tests
*  How to Improve Reading Comprehension *  How to Predict Exam Questions
All these very important skills are taught in a way that is fun and engaging.   In Student Life and Study Skills Classes 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.   

March 23, 2013 
Class for High School and Pre-College Students
Time: 8:30 - 10:30 AM Location: 86 Henry Street, Amherst, MA

Check with the instructor regarding the actual class schedule for all 8 sessions.