Thank you for the input. I started school yesterday and so far it seems that I will get what I need. I am going to also take the one credit psychopharmacology course offered in the NP program. I don't particularly want to prescribe meds but if I get the job I want, a working knowledge is needed because this nurse makes suggestions that are co-signed by the psychiatrist. From what I see, the range of meds are very limited - it seems only about 4 are being used in this arena. I am also excited that my interest in alternative methods of healing is also validated by the instructor and I am encouraged to include this in my consideration and discussion.
I did start a program to get a master's degree in psychology previously but the students and faculty were so rigid and they seemed afraid to talk about their feelings in the counseling exercises that I dropped out. "Well, I'm going to pretend to be a depressed person." said my partner. Right.. and I can feel the dark sadness radiating from his person. :stone And I got him out of it, at least temporarily, I'm sure. When it was my turn, I had the instructor, and I certainly took advantage of the moment. I got some great advice that helped me immensely at the time.
This might seem silly but being quite empathic myself, I could feel it all the time. I didn't think I could conform enough to be comfortable.
My new class mates are all nurses, of course, and varied but interesting and open-hearted. I felt immediately at home, which is difficult for me in new groups because of the impact of new people on me. Anyway, it is all good!