Each month we have been lucky enough to have Dr. Diane Blau, MSP President, share what’s on her mind and in her heart regarding The Michigan School and the field of professional psychology. As her tenure as President draws to a close, Dr. Blau shares one of the things that has sustained and inspired her tenure.
I sit in my office and reflect on the surroundings that have accompanied me on my professional journey all of these years.
On a shelf above my desk, an intricately carved African witch doctor with a serious and kind face seems to watch over me. He carries a small wooden stool as if ready to sit and listen at a moment’s notice. He holds a variety of mysterious gadgets on his arm and his body is adorned with shells, feathers and bells.
He appears to possess all the resources he needs as he walks the footpaths of his region. He is laden with wisdom and longevity. As I gaze at him, I realize he has been my guide since I first became a psychologist almost 40 years ago.
As a source of support and strength, the witch doctor has whispered words of encouragement to me when I most needed them. He has been a source of Inspiration when I faced challenges with clients or students or colleagues. Silent acceptance when I was most in doubt. And celebratory exclamations on those amazing occasions when I could hardly believe what was happening, or how marvelous a moment could be.
I recognize that I have imbued him with the voices of all of my mentors and perhaps, by now, they have assimilated into my own voice.
As I stand on the precipice of leaving a school that in 1978 was simply a dream, my voice resonates in chorus with my wise lifelike companion and incredible assembly of lifelong mentors to declare our confidence in the promising future of MSP.
Miracles do happen here.
Here, I have had the opportunity to partake in a climate of love and care, of compassion and wonder. Engaging with students has infused me with joy, working alongside colleagues has been an honor and privilege. I have certainly learned more than I have taught and received more than I have given.
I am filled with enormous gratitude for the richness and meaning that MSP has contributed to my life.