February 8, 2013 was a snowy day in Vermont. That’s not surprising, as it’s right in the thick of winter and, well, it’s Vermont. I remember it specifically because I had been intending to take the day off of work, but I didn’t need to because we ended up having a snow day. It was also the day I took one of the hardest exams of my life: the EPPP (referred to as the “E triple P”). It is a licensure exam in clinical psychology. It is a doctoral level exam; psychologists nationwide take it to become licensed, however, Vermont is one of the few states that allows master’s level clinicians to also take the test. The test was grueling, the testing environment was high-security, and as my car slowly slipped through the snowy parking lot, I left feeling nervous, hopeful, and only slightly relieved.
A month or so later, on the afternoon of March 15, 2013, I was already excited. My trusty ’99 Accord (termed “The Eggshell” by my parents) had just passed a major milestone: 200,000 miles. I had been eagerly awaiting that point, counting miles and doing the mental math to estimate when the odometer would roll over in my daily commute. Stopping to check the mail before bounding upstairs to my apartment, I also saw an envelope that I had been waiting for, but somehow believed would never appear. Heart pumping and with a fuzzy anticipation crackling in my ears, I opened it. It held the official copy of my license in clinical psychology and heralded the next step in my career. I had already received my score report, so I knew that I had passed the exam from February, but it wasn’t real to me until I held that official piece of paper from the VT Board of Psychological Examiners. That day, both my odometer and license told a similar story: I’d worked hard and come far, but now the challenge was to see how much further I could go.
I had studied hard, and I was fortunate to have passed the EPPP on my first try. I was eager to see what the world of a licensed clinical psychologist held. Unfortunately, approximately a month later, a dear colleague of mine passed away suddenly, leaving my coworkers and me unsettled and adrift. We banded together, reinforcing the sense of family that united us, and any thoughts I had of making use of my new credentials dissolved. It wasn’t the time.
Now, almost exactly two years later, I am feeling inspired and reinvigorated. My coworkers and I have rebuilt our foundations and moved forward. I am shaking off the remnants of another intense Vermont winter, and I am feeling an itch to explore.
Therefore, I have decided to venture beyond the safe haven of my full-time job as a school-based clinician in an alternative school. Beginning VERY soon, I will also be starting part-time private practice work through Counseling Connection in Colchester, VT. Stay tuned for details, and if you know anyone in the greater Burlington, VT area who might be looking for a therapist, please pass on the word!