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Psych Exam For Aspirancy


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I've always been curious about the idea of a Psychological examination. I've struggled with depression in the past, and I'm worried that it might prevent me from joining an order. Is that the kind of thing they look for? Would I be prohibited from religious life because of it? :hmmm:

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I am finally finished with the psychological evaluation!!!! Praise God!!! I went in at 12:30 and was finished at 2:30. He has to send one of the written tests off to be graded but he told me th

I got a Facebook message a few hours ago from one of the other Sisters. Apparently, the Provincial Superior wanted to call me this morning but lost my phone number. The Sister got my information, so

I just got off the phone with the Provincial Superior of the order I am discerning. I called her to let her know to expect a call from the psychologist because he said he must speak with her before t

[quote name='LittleWaySoul' timestamp='1344577110' post='2465415']
I've always been curious about the idea of a Psychological examination. I've struggled with depression in the past, and I'm worried that it might prevent me from joining an order. Is that the kind of thing they look for? Would I be prohibited from religious life because of it? :hmmm:
[/quote]

Not necessarily. In my experience, it depends on the order. I've found a few orders, including the one I am discerning with now, to be open to accepting candidates with depression. 2 orders will accept candidates who need to continue on antidepressants as long as their illness is controlled to where they can live the life as normal as possible. The one I am discerning with now is a special case. I'm not sure how they would have reacted if I had met them myself because my pastor introduced me and gave me a reference. Since they know him well, and trust his judgment, they told me that, if I could prove that I was stable, that they would allow me to try the life. However, in any case, you must be called to the order. It's a good rule of thumb to pursue orders that you have a natural attraction to and THEN find out if they will accept candidates with mental illness. In many cases, I've found that some orders are even more open if you've been off the medication for over a year and have made considerable improvement. Most of the time, they require documentation from your healthcare professional.

A word of advice -- don't let this scare you. If you have a true desire for religious life and it won't go away, it is most likely from God and not yourself. I tried very hard to ignore the call within my heart because I couldn't face the rejection and my prayer life was suffering. I worked hard to build up my spiritual life before I felt the familar nudges of the Holy Spirit again, only this time they were stronger than ever! Remember what Jesus said to His followers:

[quote]"Why do you call me, 'Lord, Lord,' and do not do what I say? I will show you what he is like who comes to me and hears my words and puts them into practice. He is like a man building a house, who dug down deep and laid the foundation on rock. When a flood came, the torrent struck that house but could not shake it, because it was well built. But the one who hears my words and does not put them into practice is like a man who built a house on the ground without a foundation. The moment the torrent struck that house, it collapsed and its destruction was complete." -- Luke 6:46-49[/quote]

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[quote name='MaterMisericordiae' timestamp='1344584265' post='2465429']
Not necessarily. In my experience, it depends on the order. I've found a few orders, including the one I am discerning with now, to be open to accepting candidates with depression. [b]2 orders will accept candidates who need to continue on antidepressants as long as their illness is controlled to where they can live the life as normal as possible.[/b] The one I am discerning with now is a special case. I'm not sure how they would have reacted if I had met them myself because my pastor introduced me and gave me a reference. Since they know him well, and trust his judgment, they told me that, if I could prove that I was stable, that they would allow me to try the life. However, in any case, you must be called to the order. It's a good rule of thumb to pursue orders that you have a natural attraction to and THEN find out if they will accept candidates with mental illness. [b] In many cases, I've found that some orders are even more open if you've been off the medication for over a year and have made considerable improvement.[/b] Most of the time, they require documentation from your healthcare professional.
[/quote]
See, I've been on antidepressants for some time now, and I consider myself to be pretty well back to my normal self :) So does that mean they'd allow me to continue with my antidepressants?

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[quote name='LittleWaySoul' timestamp='1344608330' post='2465474']
See, I've been on antidepressants for some time now, and I consider myself to be pretty well back to my normal self :) So does that mean they'd allow me to continue with my antidepressants?
[/quote]
(I'm just going to jump in here, I hope you don't mind) Again it depends on the community. Some communities may be able to accept someone with medication while others may not. I don't have depression but am on medication for another condition. I found being very knowledgeable about my own situation and my potential needs was extremely helpful, it allowed me to give the sisters a better understanding of exactly what my treatment and long term needs are.
The best thing you can do is ask a community and see what their answer is!

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[quote name='TheresaThoma' timestamp='1344629407' post='2465682']
(I'm just going to jump in here, I hope you don't mind) Again it depends on the community. Some communities may be able to accept someone with medication while others may not. I don't have depression but am on medication for another condition. I found being very knowledgeable about my own situation and my potential needs was extremely helpful, it allowed me to give the sisters a better understanding of exactly what my treatment and long term needs are.
The best thing you can do is ask a community and see what their answer is!
[/quote]

^^This ;)

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I received an email reply this morning (about 20 minutes ago) from the psychologist. He's already received the computerized results and is sending the final report to the Provincial Superior today!!!! I am planning to call the Superior and let her know to expect it in the mail soon. I am so excited!!! God is working really quickly. :)

Also, please pray that everything is good and that I'm able to continue in the aspirancy process. I'm left a little in the dark until the P.S. gets it because the psychologist had me sign a form saying that I would not see the results firsthand. The seminarians for the diocese do not get to see their results, either.

Praised be Jesus Christ!!! My heart is filled with joy! :yahoo: :love:

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Mater, I hope & pray all is working out so you can move forward with the community.

You have shown so much confidence and courage and openness to what God wants - whatever the outcome God will bless you.

I must say that I find myself thinking that sometimes some of the Psych Exam stuff is really over the top.... if you weren't stable to start with, I doubt you could be handling this as well as you are. T

The current process is nutty. (I'm speaking as a Counselor, btw....)

Prayers!

Edited by AnneLine
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[quote name='AnneLine' timestamp='1344711359' post='2466158']
Mater, I hope & pray all is working out so you can move forward with the community.

You have shown so much confidence and courage and openness to what God wants - whatever the outcome God will bless you.

I must say that I find myself thinking that sometimes some of the Psych Exam stuff is really over the top.... if you weren't stable to start with, I doubt you could be handling this as well as you are. T

The current process is nutty. (I'm speaking as a Counselor, btw....)

Prayers!
[/quote]

Personally I wonder how much it really helps and would be interested in studies about it. One convent I know did it only once - they paid big bucks to have it done, and the postulant turned out to be completely unsuitable in the end and had to be asked to leave because of her strange behaviour. They don't use the testing anymore.

But maybe some communities have had some success with it in choosing candidates?

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I share your uh skepticism, Nunsense. I suspect these days many communities are afraid to NOT do it.... in case something goes wrong they want an insurance policy that said they did their due diligence and didn't let in an axe murderer (we have no doubts that you are NOT an axe murderer, Mater, BTW. ;) )

I found a fascinating book in the university library when I was doing my counseling training about why psych evals for religious life had started, and how they were set up in the first place. They were put in place when so many people were leaving in the 1960's and 1970's to try to pinpoint the ones who might be likely to leave. But that doesn't make sense - because the whole WORLD was different at that point and all the norms were shot to heqq.

I know in my own case, at one point I took it twice, for two different communities. The first one (the one I entered and left within 6 mos of my own choice) said I was the most sane candidate they had had in a long time... .( :) ) The second one I was evaluated by the person who did the seminaries... and that person seemed to think there were serious problems because I didn't drive. (Uh, I have vision problems and can't drive.... and have known that for 20 years before I took the eval..... she seemed unmoved when I pointed out to her that I had functioned perfectly well like this for 25 years, rode public transit here and in europe with no problems... and that there would REALLY be something wrong with me if I hadn't made peace with this after 25 years..... She remained, unmoved, and wrote me down as stubbon and resisting. Fortunately the sisters involved just laughed and said they realized it wasn't a relevant issue....)

I hope most communities realize that these things are a TOOL more to be used the way FaithCecilia's community told her they were planning to use the one she took - to help them to know how to make this work for her.

Mater, I hope and pray that this is what you get from yours as well -- a good eval, and one that you and the community can use to go forward together to find God's will.....

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