Future Master's Graduate Crystal Daigneault

Heading Back to School for my Master’s Degree

I'm Headed to Grad School!

Happy October everyone!  Some of you may already know (I have been trying to discuss this with each client as they come in to the clinic), but I have returned to university this fall!

My decision to go to grad school was somewhat difficult.  I finished my undergraduate degree in January of 2017 and I knew that was just a stepping stone along the path and that something else would be waiting for me on the other side of that.  Then, after leaving my previous clinic this March, I committed to an extended period of self-reflecting time to decide what new direction I wanted my life and career to go in.

I know I am one of the fortunate few who knew what I wanted to do early in life.  I have always been massaging.  Even as a kid I would massage my grandparents’ arthritic hands and knees, my family’s sore backs, and my own injuries.  I got in to college early and easily, and I had a career trade at 21 that has been so rewarding and fulfilling that I could hardly bring myself to think of doing anything else.  

Now I realize after all these years that my body won’t hold up to the intense demands of a physical job as I age.  I am in my mid thirties now and although I’m still more than capable, I have started to notice the impact.  I recognize that I just cannot be fifty years old and still practicing massage therapy full time.  Moving forward, I need to find opportunities that will allow me to use my mind instead of my joints.

This spring and summer I thought deeply about what aspects of my job I truly love (healing, listening deeply, helping others, working hard and benefiting from the fruits of my labour).  I thought about my personal strengths (empathetic, ethical, kind, compassionate) and my weaknesses (controlling, over analytical, impatient).  love having a real work/life balance and schedule flexibility so that I can work to live instead of living to work.

All this to say, I settled on clinical counseling as the right career fit for future Crystal.  I researched all the available programs and zeroed in on the one that fit my lifestyle, that was affordable, and that complied with all the eligibility criteria to become a member of the BC Association of Clinical Counselors.  I contacted dozens of alumni and recent graduates to ask about their experience and opinions of the quality of the degree program and quality of instructors.  Ultimately, I settled on the Master’s of Counselling Psychology offered through City University of Seattle (Victoria campus).

Even though I started my search after the application deadline, the faculty and program director did everything they could to fit me in to one of the two remaining spaces.  I got my application submitted in record time, passed the interview and essay, and suddenly I was in!  It happened so quickly that it took me a few weeks to really ground myself in the new reality that I was about to be a grad student (WHOA!).

It has always been my experience that when the time is right, and I am prepared, the next step on my life path will present itself and will be easy to grasp.  While I spent a great deal of time in self reflection, this was.  I know it will be challenging at times, but I am so ready to rise to that challenge and cannot wait to soak up all that knowledge and grow from this experience!

Long story long, I wanted to share this foray into a new season of life with you and ask for your patience and understanding.  Grad school, my health, my relationship with my husband and my massage therapy practice are where I choose to focus my energies.  My commitment to writing articles, while valuable, is lower on that list.  I will try to prep some articles and keep contributing, but please bear with me if updates are less frequent or if they temporarily stop all together.  I am scheduled to graduate in the spring of 2021 and will return to life as I know it after that.

Wish me good luck!

Crystal Daigneault, RMT, BHSc., and soon to be MCP