On day 3 of my trip to Washington DC, I made it to my real destination: the Institute for the Psychological Sciences. It's a Catholic graduate school for Psychology, located in Crystal City, Virginia. I first discovered IPS 5 years ago. After my first psych class, I knew this was the field for me and I immediately began to look for Catholic schools. So yes, IPS has been on my radar for a long time. The first thing that caught my eye about the school was the banner across the top of the website that read "Do you have a vocation to heal?" To me, vocation is a powerful word. It means that it's a person's call from God to fulfill their specific purpose in life. Anyway, that's what I first loved about IPS.
After all these years, I finally arrived at the school. While waiting to officially start the tour, I found my way into the little library that was packed full of books on Catholic things, ways to help families, famous Psychologists and their theories, and many other awesome topics(in my opinion). The tour didn't take long, as the school only occupies a small portion of an office building, and then I got to meet some students and faculty. Everyone was humble and friendly, which really impressed me. The best part of the whole day was meeting with the founder. She had a quiet voice but it was filled with determined passion and gentleness. She referenced Blessed JPII's Love and Responsibility, stating that too often, psychologists use their clients to some end and only seek to treat their symptoms, instead of providing real healing. She said that the IPS mission is to look at each person through God's eyes; that is, to see them for who He created them to be and not for what they've done, which means loving them as a unique human being. Establishing such a relationship provides the foundation on which to begin to rebuild lives. It's so incredible and powerful!
What I can say at this point is that IPS is the real deal. It's everything I dreamed it would be and more. The union of Catholic theology with Psychology provides a view of the whole person that's based on their inherent worth and dignity as a human and seeking to bring about their greatest good. Sounds amazing, right? Who knows, maybe this time next year I'll be taking my first few classes. :) Whatever God has in store, I'm ready. Hopefully it includes getting to study at IPS. ;)