Working with you taught me that I wasn’t as patient as I had originally thought. Working with you and the horses taught me to slow down and not always rush ahead but stop and think. I also learned to trust my instinct. For example sometimes you would ask me why I thought a horse was acting a certain way. If I didn’t have any idea why, I would just trust my gut and usually, I was right. It was a long time ago, but I definitely remember all of your horses and how much fun I had. I guess one of the things I remember is when I moved around with your little horse and we sort of explored each other’s personal spaces. It showed me that alot of times I am afraid to stand up for myself and tell someone when they are in my space or have crossed a line.
~ Alex Forsyth

While most of my classes in school aimed to teach me information I could one day use and further build on, few of them were so immediately rewarding and as enriching as Applied Psychology. 

In addition to teaching introductory body language, facial expression, psychology and touching on mental illness, Francine also taught us tools to check up on and help ourselves, largely through how physical and mental health tend to be correlated. 

Taking body language a step farther, something she taught us and I still regularly use is a “body scan”. Simply closing my eyes and focusing on each body part, like my back or arm, for a few seconds and how it feels. Normal? Aching? Especially good? 

Combining these questions with basics on body language and facials cues can be extremely informative. While body scans help point out physical concerns and problems, it’s also helped me notice personal patterns over the years about how I react to stress, and how well I am or am not handling it. It’s also made me pay more attention to how I physically react through the day. It’s often easier to look at someone else and see their reactions and tells clearly than to see what’s happening within ourselves. 

Something unique to Francine’s course was how she utilized horses when teaching us about body language and how not only humans, but animals as well, react to our body language. 

If I seem to be vague, it’s only because the majority of this course is expressed through actions and visuals more than words can acutely express. This is also only a part of what was taught, I can’t possibly hope to repeat the entirety in only a few paragraphs. I’d happily encourage anyone to take Applied Psychology and wish something like it was a core subject.

~Luba