Prof. Robak's Page


Here's what you'll find on this page:

I Links to useful professional information.

II. Class Pictures
III.  Psychology department announcements (events, etc.).

IV. Materials from Paola Cadet  for the M.S. program.
V. Course materials and EMERGENCY CLOSINGS.

VI. Occasional stories

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I.    Links to useful professional information

Here are some professional web sites:

Here is the link for application forms for the mental health license in NY:

NJ licensure information

Here are some sites that might make your life easier when you're researching and writing professionally:

 A really good and quick guide to APA style from Dr M. Plonsky of U. of Wisconsin
How to write a research report
 The most comprehensive psychology database (It's on the Pace Library web page.)
 A good source of person-centered articles

Here is the statement from the New York State Education Department web page regarding "Additional Requirements" for the mental health counselor licensure.  This pertains to the child abuse reporting that all mental health professionals in the state must take.  For the the full text, click here.

"What other provisions apply to individuals licensed under Article 163?

Professionals licensed in the four new mental health professions cannot prescribe or administer drugs or use specific and defined invasive procedures as treatments, therapies or professional services under any circumstances. Examples of invasive procedures are surgery and electroconvulsive therapy.
The Social Services Law was amended to add licensed creative arts therapist, licensed marriage and family therapist, licensed mental health counselor, and licensed psychoanalyst to the list of professionals and occupations required to report suspected cases of child abuse or neglect. In addition, Education Law was amended to require that professionals seeking licensure or a limited permit in one of these professions must complete a two-hour course in the Identification and Reporting of Child Abuse and Maltreatment as a condition of licensure or receipt of a limited permit."

  II.   Summer Scholars Class of 2009


III.   Psychology department announcements

If you are interested in joining the "Psychology Book Club" please send me an email at . Please put "Psychology Book Club" in the subject line!

IV.  From the desk of the M.S. Program Coordinator (Paola Cadet, M.S.):
  Please link to Paola’s blog for information about schedules, course waiting lists, and any other program-related information.  Here is the link to that blog:

The next undergraduate colloquium: sometime in March, 2010.

V.   My course materials and EMERGENCY closings


PSY 679: A good genogram article

VI.   Occasional stories.

(A)    Here are two of my favorite passages from A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian (by Marina Lewycka, 2005).  This book captures the experience of immigrants from Eastern Europe after WWII.  (Thank you, Prof Peggy Minnis, for introducing me to this beautiful little book.)

The first one is on pp. 42-43.  It is the heroine’s ruminations after the death of her mother:

"I sit on the bench under the crab apple tree in the cemetery and sort through my memories, but the harder I try to remember, the more I get confused about which are memories and which are stories.  When I was little, my mother used to tell me family stories—but only the ones that had happy endings.  My sister also told me stories; but her stories were strongly formulaic, with goodies (Mother, Cossacks) and baddies (Father, communists).  Vera’s stories always had a beginning, a middle, an end, and a moral.  Sometimes my father told me stories, too, but his stories were complicated in structure, ambiguous in meaning, and unsatisfactory in outcome, with lengthy digressions and packed with obscure facts.  I preferred my mother’s and my sister’s tales.

I, too, have a story to tell.  Once upon a time we were a family, my mother and father, my sister and I—not a happy family nor an unhappy one, but just a family that pootled along while children grew up and parents grew old.  I remember a time when my sister and I loved each other, and my father and I loved each other.  Maybe there was even a time when my father and my sister loved each other—that I can remember.  We all loved Mother, and she loved all of us.  I was a little girl with plaited hair gripping a stripy cat, whose photo stands on the mantelpiece.  We spoke a different language from our neighbors and ate different food, and worked hard and kept out of everybody’s way, and we were always good so the secret police wouldn’t come for us in the night.

Sometimes, as a small child, I used to sit in the dark at the top of the stairs in my pyjamas, listening, straining to overhear my parents talking in the room below.  What were they talking about?...Were they talking about that other time, that other country?  Were they talking about what happened in between their childhood time and mine—something so fearful that I must never know about it?..."

The second passage is a bit earlier in the book, on page 17.  It reflects the impact of twentieth-century historical events on the personality of an individual:

"My mother had known ideology, and she had known hunger.  When she was twenty-one, Stalin had discovered he could use famine as a political weapon against the Ukrainian kulaks.  She knew—and this knowledge never left her throughout her fifty years of life in England, and then seeped from her into the hearts of her children—she knew for certain that behind the piled-high shelves and abundantly stocked counters of Tesco and the Co-op, hunger still prowls with his skeletal frame and gaping eyes, waiting to grab you the moment you are off your guard.  Waiting to grab you and shove you on a train, or onto a cart, or into that crowd of running fleeing people, and send you off on another journey where the destination is always death.

The only way to outwit hunger is to save and accumulate, so that there is always something tucked away, a little something to buy him off with…."


(B)    In  his novel, Havana Bay (1999), Martin Cruz Smith continues the story of (a now older) Arkady Renko, the Moscow police detective.  Renko has lost the love of his life and he can't seem to forgive himself.  Her death has left him in a long depression...

Smith's best writing of the book is on page 26:

"Inattention was the greatest crime of all.  He had seen every sort of victim, from nearly pristine bodies in their beds to the butchered, monstrously altered dead, and he had to say that, in general, they would still be lightly snoring of laughing at a well-told joke if someone had only paid more attention to an approaching knife or shotgun or syringe.  All the love in the world could not make up for lack of attention.

"Say you were on the deck of a ferry crossing a narrow strait, and although the distance was short, the wind and waves came up and the ship foundered.  Into the cold water you go, and the one you love most is in your grasp.  All you have to do to save her life is not let go.  And then you look and your hand is empty.  Inattention.  Weakness.  Well, the self-condemned lived longer nights than others for good reason.  Because they were always trying to reverse time, to return to that receding, fateful moment and not let go.  At night, when there was time to think.”

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