Meet Jessica Wood

Scroll down to watch video interview with Jessica.

Tell us a little bit about yourself and where you are from.

I moved here from NY, lived in a variety of states before that (Wisconsin, Washington, Maine, North Carolina) but I'm not an army kid. I have a sister that is fifteen years younger than me and brother that is seventeen years younger than me. There is nobody else in between :) I still act like a kid in my free time. There are figurines all over my desk, I play video games regularly, and occasionally I still watch Spongebob (it's good to not have to think for awhile). There is so much more about me, but who can sum themselves up in one paragraph!? Not me! :)

What made you choose Forest Institute over other institutions?

I was looking for a program that incorporated kids, families, and the doctorate. At Forest I could get a certified degree in marriage and family therapy en route to my doctorate with a concentration in children. It’s a mouthful, but it was like it was made for me.


How does this program compare to your expectations?

Some aspects are above and beyond, and some are not. That’s the nature of life. I have had some amazing teachers and learned some interesting stuff. I have had to take classes that aren’t my cup of tea, but if I only took classes I liked, I wouldn’t become a very good therapist.


What surprised you the most about Forest?

With such a small environment, everyone is friendly and you know most people. I came from a very large school where you met a very small fraction of the students.

The location is also nice because it’s so quiet and scenic. I’ve seen a few turkeys and some deer.


Are there any particular challenges you’ve encountered?

Summer semesters are rugged. It’s a lot of material in a fairly short time. There is a lot of work and reading that needs to be done. But, if I wasn’t up for it, I wouldn’t have chosen to be in a doctorate program.


Do you have a moment in your academic career at Forest that you are proud of?

I understood a lot of classes during research's impressive, I swear it is.


Do you recall a funny story about your experience at Forest?

I am currently in a psychoanalytic interpretations of dreams class as a fun elective. The teacher is amazing and knows what he is talking about. To provide us with an example of how clients’ dreams can represent how they will behave in therapy, he told us about one client he had from the past. The client came in and told my professor about a dream he had about his dog. The dog had dug under the fence and into his neighbors’ back yard. The dog defecated, and then went back under the fence to his own yard. My professor then explained how this man acted in therapy. He came, verbally pooped, and left. Those were his words, not mine. My highly intelligent professor said the phrase "verbally pooped.” Just goes to show how a smaller class environment can make for some fun memories.


Do you have any "words of wisdom” for individuals considering graduate school (or your chosen concentration)?

Do your research!! Don’t pick a school because it’s close to home or some reason like that. Pick a school that fits you. Pick the program that is tailored to your likes and will offer you the most. I moved all the way from NY to come here because the program fit me.

What do you like most about living in Springfield, Missouri?

Pools at the apartment complexes!! It gets ruggedly hot out. After driving home in the heat, it is awesome to just jump into the pool.

The amount of thrift stores is pretty epic too. There are so many. Although there is a lot of junk in them, when you find something good, it's GOOD. But that’s how all thrift stores are.


What is your favorite restaurant in Springfield?

Trolley's! Best mac and cheese ever. Little pricey, but for that mac and cheese it is 100% worth it.



What is the one thing everyone should do in Springfield, and why?

Walk some of the trails that run next to streams. Its fun, pretty, and relaxing. Also, it's free which is always a plus!


Best thing to do on a cheap date in Springfield?

See above. Pair that with going to Palace theater for $2 movies and you've got a hot date!