So guess what! Come on! Guess!!
Ahhh, you never will. I'll tell you.
I have one client that I see for purely psychotherapy. Most of my other clients are case management, supportive counseling, or case assistance. This client came into the office about a year ago, ostensibly to find out what sort of government programs he might qualify for, started talking and just did not stop. I soon realized that he did not want any of that sort of assistance, but really needed to talk.
I said to my co-worker (who does mostly psychotherapy, and who is very good) -- "but I don't do therapy!" To which she responded... "Ummm, you actually ARE. This is what it is."
So anyhow, he came in today & told me that in the past week he has made some significant changes. So, I asked him why he thought he was now able to do that... after thinking a bit he said "From coming here."
"FROM COMING HERE!" ME! FROM SEEING ME!!! You have absolutely no idea what that feels like. To have actually made that sort of impact. I mean, I'm used to doing concrete services (signing up for meals on wheels, government programs, getting home care, etc, etc) all of which *do* make an impact and have direct change on the quality of peoples' lives.... but this!! This!! Just through talking, listening, asking questions... for a YEAR! It has taken a YEAR to get this change.
When I talk to my co-worker about this client & complain that it's the same thing with him, each week... nothing changes... (she gives me "supervision" which is where you talk about cases...) she says "that's what therapy is. It takes a long time. Don't expect anything over night..."
You know, when I went back to school for my MSW it was with the idea of putting up a shingle. Of doing therapy. But my supervisor in my first field placement was not so encouraging. "You know" she would say "there are other kinds of social work." But, looking back now - that was one of the worst years of my life. Going back to grad school when Nathan was only 6 months, Max not yet two... I was not ready for it. It was too hard. Classes. Field work. (I had to go. Had been going part-time and the school told me I had to do my field work then, or lose my credits.) Two children under the age of two. Little/no help from my then husband. ("You don't have a "real" job, you're in school. I have the job. I have to get my sleep.") So my therapy skills might not have been as good as they could have.
Then, my second year field work... was a bit better - but I was still so distracted. Then X and I split 2nd semester & he moved out right before graduation. ("No, I can't stay until you're done with finals. It will always be something! I have to go now.")
So I never thought I could do it. And maybe I couldn't then. Maybe my brain was just too messed up with that horrible marriage - then the divorce... who knows.
But I did it, I did it! (Doing virtual happy dance!)
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