Posts Tagged ‘client centered advocacy’

Dirty Dishes

June 13, 2018

For the first time since I have lived in this home I came back from a long day to dirty dishes in the sink.

I always wash my dishes.

Always.

But.

Fuck.

I totally screwed up this morning.

I was late and I had no idea.

I mean.

I had not one single clue.

I had gotten up with my alarm, took a nice hot shower, dried my hair, got dressed, made the bed, chatted with my best friend, did some morning reading, did some prayers, I had made breakfast, a lovely latte and I was slowly digging into some emails when I had this moment of.

Oh.

It looks like I need to go in about fifteen minutes.

I had just started eating my breakfast.

Does not compute.

I looked at my watch.

I looked at my computer clock.

What the hell was wrong?

I’m doing exactly what I would be doing on a normal morning and I’m not writing and I, oh shit, I realized right then and there.

I had set my alarm a half hour later than I should have.

If I have a shower before work I have to give myself an extra half hour, mostly for dealing with my hair.

But I hadn’t factored that in.

Oh.

I thought I had.

I mean I was right on schedule, except for being a half hour behind.

I shoveled in my oatmeal.

I mean.

It was not pretty.

I tried to drink some of my coffee down but it was too hot.

I like to leisurely sip my coffee, look over emails, check my schedule, peep my blog see if anyone’s read it, then do my morning writing.

Mornings that I shower before work I also don’t typically write, so my brain was all wired that I had this extra half hour.

In reality.

In that half hour I had to be at therapy in Noe Valley and I had not put on my face yet.

Oh no.

I mean.

I was dressed and I could have gone out without make up on, but you know, I like to put on a face.

I made the executive decision to not wash my breakfast dishes, dashed into the bathroom, did the fastest make up ever, grabbed my stuff and flew out the door.

I made it.

I found parking with three minutes to spare to dash down the block, let myself in the building, and have a cup of water from the fountain in my hand as my therapist open the door to her office.

I sort of sat and had to catch my breath.

It was a good session though, not a lot of tears, a little when I got into the feeling zone of what it was like when I heard the news that my landlady wanted me to move out, but for the most part I was able to make some serious connections, talked a lot about fear and moving forward and about self-advocacy and how it allows others to have strength and how I wanted to grow.

I talked about things I have to walk through, partially for myself, and also for my clients, as a therapist I always need to be doing some growing.  I need to always be integrating new experiences into my life and though I may never tell a client what is going on in my life, it will be in the therapy room.

My experiences are pure freaking gold.

I caught up with my old friend from high school today.

And although we did not get a chance to talk as long as I wanted, it was so good to hear his voice and to catch up.

I got to tell him a bit of what has been going on, but our conversation was cut short when the mom came back unexpectedly early.

One thing that stood out to me though, was his perception of me always being a therapist.

I had been telling him about the process and graduation and getting in my AMFT# application to the BBS and accruing hours and all the things and he laughed, because he didn’t understand half of what I said, but then when I said, “you know, all the stuff one needs to become a therapist,” he replied, “you mean what you’ve been doing all your life?”

I laughed out loud.

He was right.

I have been a therapist all my life, although I had no idea that was what I was doing.

Being kind, lending an ear, giving so many of the people I worked with a shoulder to cry on, I had an open door policy at one of the places I worked and managed and people would just come in and talk about things and tell me stuff that no one else was privy to.

I liked it.

I liked feeling needed and I liked listening.

I am a good listener and I remember a lot.

I also have a very good way of seeing something with perspective.

Oh.

Sure.

Not about myself, my vision there is skewed, but in others, I can see things fairly quickly and clearly make connections that they might not see.

Or might not want to see.

“If a client doesn’t want to take it in, or can’t accept it, they won’t,” my supervisor once told me.

It’s ultimately not up to me if the message lands or not, but it is up to me to show how I see it and to be an advocate for what the client wants to change in their life.

So being in my therapist’s office today I could see very clearly that the challenges ahead are an extraordinary opportunity for growth and for service.

I have to walk through this for my self and I have to do it for others to.

“It’s a political act,” she ended, my therapist, in regards to some actions I’ll soon be taking, “I’m in awe of how beautifully you just put it, thank you for letting me witness you.”

Anytime.

And hopefully next time I’ll remember to set the alarm another half hour early.

Fingers crossed.

Nobody likes to come home to dirty dishes.

At least not me.

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Reading The Fine Print

January 9, 2018

I just went through the handbook for my Master’s program with a fine tooth comb.

The one thing that I have found challenging in my program is the apparent lack of information as well as the over abundance of information.

I feel like there is so much information that just is not applicable to my experience or the learning and then there’s information that I really need, but it’s buried on page 41 of the 50 page handbook.

I’m glad I found it though.

I have gotten a mixed bag of mis-information from fellows in my cohort as well as interns in my group supervision about how many hours I need to have accrued in practicum to graduate.

I need 225 to graduate.

Of those hours I must have 150 direct client hours–sessions with my clients, not phone sessions or e-mails or paperwork or progress work–face to face sessions.

I had thought that I needed 250 direct hours and I was beginning to get a little nervous.

I should not have any problems getting the hours.

Or so I thought.

I have eight clients that I see on a weekly basis.

But.

They cancel.

Or.

They no-show.

And it’s rare, I’m seeing quite clearly now as I just got home early because a client no-showed, that I actually see all eight clients during the week.

So when I was thinking I needed 250 direct face to face hours by May, I started to get concerned.

I won’t make it, it won’t happen, how is that possible?

How is it possible that I am heading into my third semester of practicum and don’t have enough hours?

How?

As of right now I have 240 hours.

But only 130 of them are direct face to face hours.

I felt flummoxed and upset and annoyed and then I begin to berate myself.

Why did I post that stupid thing about graduating in May and filling out my graduation application?

I’m not going to graduate!

Whoa.

Slow down there.

I don’t have enough information.

I realized that I cannot just go on the information drifting about through the hallways at school or in the office where I do my group supervision.

I have to take responsibility and find out that myself.

So I went to the academics page on the school’s website, signed into my account, found my program.

And.

Voila!

There on page 46 of the 49 page hand book:

Students must complete a minimum of 225 hours [at least 150 direct client contact hours plus 75 Client-Centered Advocacy (CCA) hours] while enrolled in practicum prior to graduation.

Sweet Jesus.

I am fucking fine.

I am only twenty hours shy of having the direct client contact hours.

As for client centered advocacy I don’t have nearly that much, I have six hours.

But I do know this much, it doesn’t matter if I don’t get all the client centered advocacy hours, if I have more direct client hours, I can count those towards graduation.

Ultimately it is the face to face sessions that mean the most and I have to acquire the majority of my hours there.

And I also recognize that I could be actively going after more CCA hours as well.

Client centered advocacy could be doing research on a client and their family lineage, it could be watching a movie about alcoholics, it could be reading a CAMFT (California Assoication of Marriage Family Therapists) magazine or a psychology magazine.

Today I actually had some down time at work, and while the baby napped I read a number of articles in a psychology magazine on workaholism and chuckled to myself, multi-tasking, working and also accruing hours, sounds like I’m the workaholic in this instance.

But I’m happy I did the reading as I had that no-show and I was able to mark down another hour.

I think that I will try to acquire two hours of CCA per week as I move forward, more if I can.

I can also read outside articles, books, and go to seminars and do trainings.

But just knowing that I actually have enough moving forward is a bit of a relief.

I was getting a little worried.

I also realize that I am probably going to have to let one client go with whom I have been doing pre-dominantly phone sessions.

I am not allowed to count Telemedicine through my school.

I can towards my license, but not towards my graduation needs.

I want to be safe and make sure that I’m not squandering my time.

I am excited and relieved to have reckoned all of that out and grateful for a really good talk with my solo supervisor today.

Who happened to be quite intrigued with my dissertation idea and to my surprise, completely supports me going for the PhD.

I told him I had actually had hesitation to even mention that I was going to apply for the PhD because I thought he might disapprove of my decision.

But he did not.

And it was amazing to sit and talk to him about my ideas and to also get some really interesting feedback from him and some areas where I will be honing in more.

I made a call to the Dean of the Transformative department after I got out of supervision.

I wasn’t able to talk to her, she was stuck in a budget meeting, but I left a message and I will follow-up tomorrow.

My advisor got back to me and said he would support my efforts and write me a letter of recommendation and we made an appointment to meet the first weekend of classes.

It’s all falling together.

Even when my brain tells me it’s not.

It really is.

So nice.

So.

Very.

Very.

Very.

Nice.


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