Blending Art and Science…to Help Balance Litigated Cases!

I’m intrigued about the “difference” between art and science. It’s easy to say art is subjective while science is objective. Fundamentally art expresses knowledge, while science is the system of acquiring knowledge. Yet in many ways art and science are actually connected and related to each other.

Amy & Randy July 17, 2011

Kinda like a Couple with waaay cheap sunglasses! 

Randy and I have more differences than similarities. Or do we? Today (original post date 8/4/14) is our 24th wedding anniversary!

We often prod each other of our differences. I prefer pepper, while he does salt. Me ketchup, he mustard. He likes corn, me peas. I love apples, he prefers oranges. He likes vanilla ice cream, me chocolate. Hot peppers *me! versus no peppers *he! I really could go on and on about our differences about food or other way more personal things…!

KetchupMustard

But what about our important similarities?

Our similarities matter the most. Like how we: Approach life. Share our faith. Explore our world together. Create options. Use our resources. Raised our 3 children/and lovingly care for them as young adults. Solve problems. Spoil the pets.  There we meet; well we try hard to meet!

Keep in mind Randy is much more serious than I. The better descriptor is probably straight-laced (kinda), not one to bend (many) rules, and he likes to go by the book (mostly). The total opposite of me!

Randy is a teacher with a bachelor degree in Art ~ a BA and he has a ME  ~ Master in Education. I am a counselor with a bachelor degree in Science ~ BS, and my MS is again in Science. But wait!! When it comes to teaching or counseling what really is the difference between art and science when expressing knowledge in real life?

I would say the main difference between art and science is that art is more focused on the perception of the world through the eyes of a particular individual. Art involves an emotional response, and can be based on personal experience, opinions, preferences, and individual perceptions. Look at a painting and we all see something different.

Art elicits an emotional response, while science doesn’t (for most people!) Image result for painting

Science, on the other hand, is regimented and systemic with rules, procedures, and policies to follow. When people perform scientific investigations the purpose or goal is to find an answer to something in a very planned out and specific way using the scientific method. Easier said than done, and requires planning with purpose and planning with options.

Image result for beauty in the eye“Beauty is in the Eye of the Beholder”

Look at a cell under a microscope and you are supposed to see the exact same thing (assuming you know what you’re look at) as the next microscope user. BTW, I never could really “see” what my microbiology partner at ISU saw, but I did get excited when he said I was close!

I found other ways to look at the topic of blending art and science: Baseball pitchers use the science of physics when throwing a curve ball, but actually throwing a good curve is an art form. Or perhaps medicine is an easier example.  Medical practice is both an art and a science.  The two can not be separated without destabilizing the system. Do you want physical treatment without discussing what your psychological needs are?

A couple lives on the art of marriage AND the science of marriage. And a rehabber relies on the art and science of rehabilitation! There is a balance, although it certainly can tip often. The balance is found in creating the work of art marriage / or the work of art rehabilitation is supposed to be, digging your heels in and applying the science of either of these (marriage/rehabilitation) when times get rough. I’m not a marriage counselor, but a rehabilitation counselor. So applying a sense of balance to my own and others’ thoughts, words and actions sure makes sense to me!

Randy, thanks for the roses and the anniversary gift. We plan to go on a bike ride in an hour!

Appreciate the sound of blending art and science in your lives!  

Have a great week! Let me know how I could help with a case that may have conflicting opinions! There’s always a way to blend the best and come to the truth.

I can help with your case involving the employment aspects of a divorcing couple, or a case involving the need for life care planning. Give me a call at 515-282-7753 for a free initial consultation.

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 My professional rehabilitation counseling practice is focused on helping people participate in the world around them, particularly in their own world of work.

Wakin Up Without the Rooster!

I’ve broken a personal record. I finished four weeks of exercise boot camp. But that’s not the record…drum roll sound please…The record is: I’ve arisen out of bed for all those days at 5 AM! Can you believe it! And now, alas, I wake at that time without needing too. I sure see the goodness in early rising.

Rise and ShineBut I do like to sleep! 

I just paused as I’m writing this in the wee hours and contemplated something I hadn’t completely contemplated before. I don’t use an alarm clock. Do you? My kids are pretty bad at getting up (teenagers, give em break!). Randy is better than me at getting up. But nope, no alarm needed by either of us.

Rooster crowingWhy is that? Because we are a lot like roosters!

Waking up at the same time each day has to do with your biological clock or your circadian rhythm, and the hormones and proteins swimming around in your body. It also has to do with what your body (stomach, brain, etc.) is processing. And what you eat before you go to bed (stay tuned for more on that!) is equally as important to getting a great night’s sleep.

I’ve blogged about my dad (and Randy) both having early morning paper routes. My mom always gets up early. I also remember my grandpa (her dad) told me he always got up at like 4 AM. And Randy’s grandpa and grandma (Cliff and June Yearington, Randy’s mom’s parents) for sure, considering they were Iowa farmers, got up early and worked hard all day.

Randy recalls how his grandma June would grab a chicken early in the morning, wring it’s neck, prepare it and cook it…..all in time for her husband to come in from the fields for lunch. Wow.

Frozen Waffles

My grandma made me frozen waffles for lunch!

Sleep is fascinating. Waking up on time is just as fascinating! So, keep time on your side. Get up on time, be on time, and spend some great quality time wherever you are and whatever you do (at work or at play!)

Happy Memorial Day!

And Happy 17th Birthday To My Beautiful and Talented Daughter Arin (who wishes she could get in more sleep….me to…for her that is.)

 

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My professional rehabilitation counseling practice is focused on helping people find a place in the workforce

Intimidators: Tailgaters, Drunken Jerks or Glaring Attorneys?

Remember the last time someone tried to intimate you? How about when a person (like a careless driver tailgating, or the drunken jerk standing in line for a beer) may think they can make you do something or react in some way? Exceed the posted speed limit ~ NOPE! Pay attention to public intoxication ~ NOT INTERESTED!

uckr cup

Go ahead be one, but don’t think I care!

Recently I received a pretty mean facial expression/glaring eyes/stare down/stern voice/condescending attitude and a critical tone to the long litany of questions from an attorney during multiple cross examination. I knew he was trying to intimidate me.

But, I answered all his questions calmly. (I love it when the attorney can’t even remember what they asked me and have to refer to the court reporter) and stuck to my guns (aka: my knowledge base) during my expert testimony.

Simply put: I know what I’m talking about. I know my job…and one role of my job, especially when on the witness stand is to educate.

mmBring it on!

I have never been intimated much by people (or animals for that matter.) Okay, okay, I am intimidated by……Mother Nature……especially when she zooms a mesocyclone or other tornado like activity our way.

I have always been able to speak my mind (ask anyone who knows me) and yes it’s gotten me in a pickle or two from time to time. I do express whatever is on my mind being mindful of the content of my speech/body language and the context of how/when my message is delivered.

PeacockThere is truly a difference between a cocky person and a confident person.

I like to accept my confidence with the work I do and grow in it every day. Seriously, my role on the stand allows me to serve as an expert witness & educator all while consulting within the scope of my practice. I keep a placement and quality of life orientation at the forefront of any topic.

And of course, learning more about how to serve as an expert witness will only help me to help others. I’ve applied to The George Washington University to study for a graduate certificate in Forensics Rehabilitation Counseling. I’ll keep you posted if I’m accepted!

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My professional rehabilitation counseling practice is focused on helping people find a place in the workforce.

2013 Year of the Snake….Fear of em or Love of em?

My sister Julie has had problems with snake(s) in her basement during the summer months in the past. She has actually learned how to deal with it rather admirably. I’m not sure if she had one last year or not, but I didn’t hear about it. Julie knows how to save em and send em packing! Here’s a great article about What to Do About Snakes [if you have ’em in your house.]

There’s no justification for the persecution of these animals!

The point of this blog is not only to point out this is the year of the snake, but it is also to pay attention to what fears some people have. When I work with a client or assess an individual, it is likely that some type of fear, resentment, “issue”, or negative feelings are brought to the surface.

Therefore, it is important to make note of what fears [irrational or not] are part of a person’s daily living. By the way, snakes are great garden predators and only can benefit your garden (including their droppings are excellent fertilizer since their prey is so well digested)!

Fear exists only in your mind and only in the future

Fear can be defined as an unpleasant emotion caused by the belief that someone or something is dangerous, likely to cause pain, or a threat.

Ultimately, all rehabilitation counselors have the same goal. That is to help clients and those who matter to the client cope and heal by altering their focus in life. We help others understand that although things may have altered dramatically, deep down, the person is still the same – a human with unique fantasies and fears, hopes and dreams, achievements and disappointments.

By working together to come to an understanding of the client’s abilities and limitations, rehabilitation counselors are able to help them work through the various stages of loss….. and emerge on the other side with a fresh outlook on life and the determination to make it through whatever challenges the disability may throw their way.

Read the Full Page: Rehabilitation Counseling – Rehabilitation Counselors  AllAboutCounseling.com

Will this be the Year to Address Your Fear?

I am a fearful of The Wrath Mother Nature…..when she exudes her wrath upon Earth, being relentless and there’s no stopping her. But clearly all I can do when she strikes is to be prepared.

Make sense? Be prepared, get help and know what you can do to help yourself and your family if fear gets in your way of daily living.

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My professional rehabilitation counseling practice is focused on helping people find a place in the workforce.

People and Their Pets….Got Cat? Why I Ask About Pet Ownership During an Assessment

When I meet with an individual to perform a vocational assessment, I ask many questions to gather information about their work and life background. One question I ask, underlying other questions regarding psychosocial factors, is about pet ownership. Asking about pet ownership during an evaluation can tell a lot about a person.

Got Cat?

Of course pet ownership is not for everyone, but if the individual is a pet owner, and a discussion develops about the topic, it offers me insight about the person. Pet ownership allows for psychosocial benefits accruing within an individual from the one-to-one type interactions with their pets.

Pet ownership can also influence broader social interactions and perceptions, experiences of sense of community, and social capital at the neighborhood level. In addition, a pet owner’s sense of health and well-being often emerges as a valuable and positive feature of daily living.

SamiJo The Love of My Life!
SamiJo The Love of My Life!

This is SamiJo, the Love of My Life!

Okay: I have 3 cats (Felix, SamiJo and Alaska), a dog (Bella), a guinea pig (Peggy), and a fish (Bluebee). Oh, and a hedge hog (Sandslash). My beloved rabbit, (a mini rex named Patches) died last week.

It’s a big responsibility to own a pet. You must provide basic care which includes food, water, shelter, veterinary care and exercise for your pet. And you must abide by the City’s bylaws around pets and animals.  For Bella’s 5th birthday awhile back, she received a dog pass to the Riverwalk Dog Park!

Patches
Patches

Patches was a grateful rabbit

Patches had plush, velvet like fur and a happy personality. A mini rex is known as “The Velveteen Rabbit”. Patches was small, weighing 3-4 pounds. He liked to lunge out of his wooden hut when his cage door was opened. Some people (like my husband) got a little frightened of this burst out thinking they were in danger! But I saw his behavior as a great show of energy! I also loved his happy hops!

 Patches loved rose petals….He ate them! 

Patches always was thankful when he was fed (and especially when he received a treat!) with a little snorty sound. I had noticed he was getting very thin, however he still was eating. And then one morning, he was not lunging out of his hut, and he was very still, yet he was breathing. I checked on him several more times.

Later in the afternoon he did lunge out, although it was a very unusual lunge. He bonked off his litter box and landed on his side. I started to pet him……continuing to stroke his very soft fur….until he died.

Think about pets you’ve known and understand why I find it important to ask about pet ownership. Have you ever gone to a dog park and learned dogs’ names, but never asked the owners for theirs? And observed their behaviors (both dogs and owners) to compile evidence about your theory of dog parks!?!

In a previous post on April 2nd 2012, I blogged about another question I ask about the person’s nutritional intake and habits. Want to Heal that Injury? Focus on Your Nutrition!  Healthy nutritional intake is just as important for your body as it is for your pets. Please feed everyone well!

For You Patches. I Love You!

Let me know if you have questions about how I perform a vocational assessment. You can also click over to the right under documents for download to see a sample vocational assessment and evaluation report.

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 My professional rehabilitation counseling practice is focused on helping people participate in the world around them, particularly in their own world of work.

Motivational Assessments…Right on Baby!

Back in February 2012 I wrote about motivation….and am continuing with this psychological feature of life.  Sometimes I look back and say to myself, gee Amy you must be a pretty darn motivated person huh? So is my husband for that matter. We’ve both accomplished quite a bit at this point in life. But boy, isn’t it nice to hang out at a pool (which we did recently at Embassy Suites) and do, well, nothing!

Ahhhhh, don’t I wish!

Anyway, back to the point of this blog. I’ve taken a motivational assessment and because I am pleased with it, I offer it to interested clients. It’s called the Motivational Appraisal of Personal Potential ~ MAPP.

The MAPP is a self-discovery tool used in career exploration. After entering data, I was provided with a confidential document and I was pretty surprised by the results! I’ll point out just a few discoveries about me from the assessment, indicating you may receive results that are valuable to you as well.

The first section focuses on interest in job content (those vocational tasks you want to perform), temperament for the job (how you prefer to perform tasks), and aptitude for the job (expression of performing tasks). Other sections cover how you relate to people, things, data, reasoning, and applied usage of math and language.

The vocational analysis section ranked my highest potential is in Writing and Journalism; and Counseling, Guidance. Right on baby!

Right On Baby!

There’s a graphical summary that uses Worker Trait Code Charts to represent the breakdown of your personal scores into numbers and percentiles. This information determines the person’s level of motivation for specific traits. The higher [or lower] the number/percentile allows you to view your capacity to succeed or compete with the general population in the trait area of activity.  Traits in Level 1 are compulsive; Level 2 is highly motivated; Level 3 is moderately motivated, and so on.

The MAPP results (along with helpful interpretation of it from a vocational counselor like me) aids you (the job seeker or career changer) to identify your motivations and learn how to use them to be successful in your career and life plan. It’s important to keep in mind that this assessment, like all assessments, is not a sole determinant for whatever you set out to measure.  The MAPP does not determine whether you can or cannot perform in a job, it rather indicates if you will perform.

My results reveal I am compulsively (yikes, that can be a scary word…so let’s use the word driven as its synonym) interested in being concerned with people and for providing service dedicated to the interest of others. I am driven to literacy and/or communication tasks. I relate to others with a service communication style and voluntarily inform others.

I am not that particularly motivated by things, but I have a high level of motivation to compile (gather, classify, store information) and copy (duplicate, transcribe, record and send) data. My language capacity is highly systematic, with a logical explanation and education orientation.  I am literary creative with a strong communicative ability. I am moderately motivated with reasoning concepts, and applying math.  Again, right on baby!

There’s so much more to this assessment….  That’s just some of what arose to the surface for me.  I’d be happy to discuss how assessments are useful when planning your next steps in life.  Or to evaluate where you are and how you got there….which I’ve been doing while I blog about my past and how it’s brought me to the present.

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My professional rehabilitation counseling practice is focused on helping people participate in the world around them, particularly in their own world of work.

Being Nosey, Opinions and I Make My Point Clear!

This summer while I was walking around Gray’s Lake, I eaves dropped over a conversation two young women were having about tap water throughout the city. I was right behind them, ready to make a fast pass around.

I’m not Gladys Kravitz all the time!

One thought Urbandale water was good and the other didn’t. They agreed West Des Moines water tastes ucky.  One loved Chicago water (and I thought ewwww ucky, and the strange smell to boot).  Then their conversation turned to a cute guy jogging their way……

Clearly, people’s opinions vary widely around one subject!

I don’t think I will ever find a person who is adversarial to water – and specifically why water is important to a person. However, I, in my role as a vocational rehabilitation counselor, routinely find a person who is adversarial to my opinion regarding whether or not a person can return to work (over their stance that the same person is permanently and totally disabled.)

I’ve evaluated hundreds of people and I hold firm in my opinion that work is incredibly important to a person. Rarely have I not been able to identify work for a person. In that type of situation, the person’s serious mental health condition (such as schizophrenia, major depression, bipolar disorder, or borderline personality disorder) comes into play more than the person’s physical capacity.

One point I’d like to make clear!

[And this isn’t an opinion, it’s just the truth:] It is easier to state that a person cannot work than to identify what a person can do for work.

“No, can’t work.” That’s it.  “No” “Can’t Do” “No Work is Available”  What a negative attitude.  Is it just too much work to find work for a person?

 VS

“Yes, you can work” And here’s why, how and what the person can do! “Yes” “Can do” “I will help you!” This is a positive attitude! And it is a lot of work to find work for a person! That’s what I’m trained to do! And I love it!

Please see my paper I wrote August 2013 titled (it’s posted on my LinkedIn page)

WHAT FACTORS INFLUENCE RETURN-TO-WORK DURING A LITIGATED WORKERS COMPENSATION CLAIM?

Let me know what I can do to help you with your legal work regarding your client’s return to work!

Vocational Resources Plus, LLC * lcpresourcesplus.com * 515-282-7753  * VocResources@gmail.com

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 My professional rehabilitation counseling practice is focused on helping people participate in the world around them, particularly in their own world of work.

Chicagoland….My Birthday….and the Riot Fest! What a weekend!

We returned from Chicago early this morning, say like 2AM… and I suppose Randy is a bit tired from driving, basically, since Friday morning when we left our hotel at 6AM for other activities! But I’m sure he’s enjoying teaching today!

We went to Downtown Chicago on Friday and checked out the sites.

I always love to hang out on the beach!

The main reason for our trip was to take Arin and Xavier to the Riot Fest. Riot Fest is a 2 day outdoor music fest in Humboldt Park. Sound fun to you?

 The official drop off/pick spot for the kids

On Saturday, (my birthday!) after picnicking and dropping the kids off in the park, we hung out in a forest preserve, listened to the Cubs on the car’s radio and watched the jets fly into O’Hare.

Then we went to church, hung out again, drank beer, and ate in the hotel room, and drove back to get the kids.  Exciting huh?! And on Sunday after dropping the kids off again at  Humboldt Park, we went to a Chicago Cubs game….and they won!!! Then we picked up the kids and drove home, leaving about 8PM.

 My type of fun!

 My parents are from the Chicago area as I’ve talked about in past blogs. I was born in Libertyville, Illinois. During our trip we witnessed some truly nice people, and yes some rude driving. But that’s all expected. Randy does not like Chicago, but I do.

I think about all the people who work in Chicagoland every day. They get around in many different ways, bike, bus, train, bicycles, scooters, their own vehicles. There are commuters galore!  And I think of all the different jobs, and the different ways of doing so many different jobs.  We’re talking diversity galore, too!

The Bean!

 According to the US Census Bureau, July, 2011, the population of Chicago is 2,707,120. The largest employers are the U.S. Government, Chicago Public Schools, City of Chicago, Cook County, Advocate Health Care – that’s a lot of workers!

The Chicago teachers remain on strike. And with Randy being a Des Moines Public School teacher, he was quite interested in what is going on. The kids would love not being in school!  But all days will need to be made up.

In an upcoming blog I’m going to write about my husband and his work ethic. You’d be impressed!

Thank you for reading! Go Cubbies! (Randy wore a Cincinnati Reds shirt to the game…)  Can you believe it?   HOLY COW! 

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My professional rehabilitation counseling practice is focused on helping people find a place in the workforce.

 


* Vocational Resources Plus, LLC  *   lcpresourcesplus.com *

VocResourcesPlus@msn.com

 

How My Past has Brought Me to The Present! Part 5

Continuing on from my post titled How My Past has Brought Me to The Present – as a Rehab Counselor! Part 4

I started working for the State of Iowa as a Clerk Typist III-IV at the Disability Determination Services Bureau (DDSB) in 1987. Disability Determination Services are state agencies funded by the United States Federal Government.  Their purpose is to make disability findings for the Social Security Administration.  Applicants for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) file applications for disability benefits at local Social Security field offices.  (Taken from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia…this was the most simple explanation I’ve located so far).

DDSB is located at 535 SW 7th Street, Des Moines, Iowa 50309-4535, 515-725-0700  To apply for disability, you can call to make an appointment or apply online.  “Disability” is defined in different contexts using different methods for specific programs. This Social Security Administration website may help you – What We Mean By Disability.

At DDSB, I performed clerical/secretarial work for disability examiners (Hi Paul Kreger!)  Examiners evaluate initial and reconsideration claims for disability benefits under the Social Security and Supplemental Security Income programs, determines eligibility according to Social Security regulations, policies and procedures.

I had a green IBM Selectric

My job involved typing up (yep – good old typewriters) and mailing out a variety forms, memos and  documents, correspondence and decisions to people who have applied for disability.  I also transcribed reports from dictation (and some hand written notes) using transcription machines.

Transcriptionist

I worked around several ladies (no males in our pool) and we transcribed every day! 

Head set on, foot operating the transcription pedal, furiously typing away.  Such cacophony!  We always had to makes duplicates, and even triplicate forms….which means if you made a typo, the first page, upon hitting the correction key may get “fixed” but the carbon copies – oh my it took the fabulous smelling, wonderful whiteout!

Towards the lend of my days at DDSB we got – drum roll please, word processors.  The mainframe of our computer took two entire office spaces!  

I learned a lot about the ins/outs of applying for disability.  It takes patience and perseverance (completeness and accuracy to your application as well) if your disability is not “cut and dry”…. and can be frustrating considering it can take a LONG time to know the status of your claim.

Don’t give up the process of applying for disability if you sincerely realize you cannot work anywhere. I have experience helping others successfully with their permanent and total disability claims.

Stay tuned for Part 6!

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 My professional rehabilitation counseling practice is focused on helping people participate in the world around them, particularly in their own world of work.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Vocational Resources Plus, LLC * lcpresourcesplus.com * 515-282-7753  * VocResources@msn.com

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My professional rehabilitation counseling practice is focused on helping people participate in the world around them, particularly in their own world of work.