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The Beginning of my Journey at Maastricht University

Made it through introduction week at the Psychology and Neuroscience Department at Maastricht University! Introduction week at Maastricht University was definitely not like introduction week back home! In the first welcome meeting with all the psychology and neuroscience students they put on a show for us! A professor came out in a full dutch culture outfit and proceeded to entertain us while welcoming us along side a pianist who would occasionally play a song about psychology and the brain definitely a treat! It was definitely a welcome I was not expecting. For the rest of the welcome week we had various learning sessions about using the library and student portal but the core of it was learning about Problem Based Learning which is how they learn here in The Netherlands. It is completely different than back home where students become the teacher in a group atmosphere.

This is definitely going to be a learning and growing experience both academically and personally. Let’s go!!

Semester Courses: First Block

As part of the psychology and neuroscience program here at Maastricht University I have the opportunity to choose from a list of various psychology and neuroscience courses that many are not offered at my home institution.

My favorite course so far is my positive psychology course with an awesome professor who is such a beautiful human being! The positive psychology course is actually one of the courses that drew me to participating in the psychology and neuroscience program out here Maastricht. I am looking forward to learning more about third-wave therapies, mindfulness practices, and different theoretical approaches that contribute to the growing field of positive psychology.

I am VERY passionate about positive psychology. Growing up as a ward of the court I spent my whole adolescence learning to navigate the juvenile justice system, the child welfare system, and learning to navigate through and understand the trauma I endured from growing up in the streets and experiencing all that I have been through. While in the system I was subjected to various psychological evaluations starting at age 13. After the first psych eval I was court ordered to take psychotropic medications to “fix” a diagnosis I was labeled with after only a 3 hour evaluation. A label that would follow me throughout my time in the system and beyond. I was looked at as if I was broken that my very essence was something that only needed to be fixed. I underwent extensive therapy that was only aimed at “fixing” the disease, at “fixing” the broken parts of myself. I was court order to participate in so much of this “fixing” therapy; group therapy, individual therapy, family therapy you name it I most likely did it.

Now I am not knocking therapy when I was first released from the system, now an adult, I sought therapy to help me work on my inner troubles, to start my healing processes and it really helped me to begin my inner work on healing myself from generational trauma, from the trauma I endured growing up how I grew up in the streets and in the system and I began to learn to love myself, love my struggle, and manifest this desire this passion to transmute all the negatives in my life into something positive to help others.

I have been drawn to positive psychology because it is rooted not on combating disease, not on only trying to “fix” what is perceived to be broken, but on acknowledging and strengthening the positives attributes, character strengths and unlimited power of our minds that we all possess. I really love this more spiritual holistic approach. Using the power of our minds, the power of mindfulness practices, the healing powers of art therapy, the beauty in unlocking our endless potential in learning to love ourselves, and learning to really build ourselves up has a power that I want to share with as many people as possible but first I must learn to do it in my own life.

The second course I am taking in the first block is Cognitive Enhancement I have actually never taken a course like this one but I feel that is all apart of this experience to be able to learn new material and utilize the courses I would not be able to back home. I am really looking forward to learning more about the brain and about the different techniques to enhance cognition.

This is still just the beginning of my adventure here in Maastricht so much more to take in and experience!


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