Posts Tagged ‘dress the part’

You Look Good!

August 20, 2017

He said to me after giving me a great big hug, “where you been, I’ve missed you?”

Interning, working, getting ready for school, prepping for Burning Man.

Oh the list of stuff.

“You like?” I said, and stepped back to let him admire my look, “I therapized today, so I was dressing for the occasion.”

“I love,” he said, then continued, “you were what?”

I told him I had clients today, I had group supervision, I wanted to dress the part, the therapist part that is, I want to look like a professional.

“You look good! It’s totally working for you,” he finished, “glad you made it tonight.”

And so was I.

And I was happy that I made an impression.

Maybe it’s just me, but I really want to give an air of being a professional, I want to be respected ¬†and I want to set a tone for my clients, I’m not super serious and I’m not uptight, I am warm and friendly and empathetic, but I also want to send a clear message.

I am an authority and I am going to dress like one.

On the other hand.

Holy fucking shit.

Some of the people who work with me are not as concerned with their appearance.

Or their body smells.

Fuck my mother.

It was a shock today to walk into my office and be overwhelmed and I mean, overwhelmed, with the smell of rotting socks and foul shoes.

The intern before me had done a session with his client in his socks.

Granted.

I sort of understand, it was a child client, I will happily get down on the floor with a child, I will, getting on a child’s level is crucial, I would and have done sessions sitting on the floor with a kid.

I have never taken off my shoes for a session with a kid, but hey, sure I could, if I felt that it was of service to the session.

But.

Fuck.

Not if my feet smell like bad molding cheese.

God damn.

I am not over exaggerating, even if I have a tendency toward the dramatic, I am not being dramatic, it was bad.

So bad that an hour later when my group supervisor and the rest of the interns coming in for our 2p.m. session, noticed it, complained and opened the windows wider.

I shared with one of the interns about why it smelled that way and that the room also had not been vacated on time, the therapist had gone over with his client.

I was livid.

I had the room assigned to me and I had a consult waiting in the hallway.

I understand that I am working in a community mental health facility, but fuck, people, professionalism.

PLEASE.

There is something therapeutic about what I am modeling for my clients by showing up on time, by presenting a clean persona, by having a nice outfit on.

I don’t have to be dressed to the nines, but I present nicely.

I mean, I am a professional nanny during the day, I run around with a four-year old and a seven-year old and I am constantly juggling a baby–which is great, I joke often that I am emitting baby smell which has to be a therapeutic smell if there ever was one–who sometimes burps up milk or mashed carrot on me.

But.

I have back up clothes at work.

I have nanny shoes.

I have therapy shoes.

I bring in my nice clothes, I change, I put on my therapy shoes, I tidy my hair, I make sure that there’s no burp residue on me, I refresh my lipstick before I hop on my scooter and zip to my internship after my day job has ended.

I pull it together.

Ugh.

I am done ranting.

I guess I have just been taken by surprise a few times by the lackadaisical attitude of some of the interns.

I take what I am doing so fucking seriously, I want to be good.

I mean.

Really good.

I am proud of what I have accomplished and it feels good to give it acknowledgement.

I had hot pink hair when I started my Masters of Psychology program.

I have a lot of tattoos.

A lot.

And.

I dressed flamboyantly, glittery makeup, big flowers in my hair.

A little faux queen if you will.

Big hair.

Big personality.

And I love that about myself, that I can pull out a fabulous costume from my closet and do it up, but I remember quite distinctly when I began the process of interviewing for practicum that I wanted to present a bit more polished.

I went and got a good hair cut.

I went back to my natural color.

I hadn’t been my “natural” hair color in god only knows how many years.

Purple, magenta, green, blue, yellow, hot pink, cotton candy pink, rainbow sherbert, name a color I had it.

I stopped painting my nails super dark colors.

Oh.

I still do now and again, but I tend towards a neutral manicure now.

I toned down my clothes, I got some good clean, easy dresses from the Gap and a couple from Asos, that I could layer with a classic black cardigan.

I softened my makeup.

I almost never wear winged eyeliner anymore and I don’t wear glitter.

Well.

Maybe a tiny bit of sparkle, but it’s so subtle now, you might not notice it at all.

I stopped wearing flowers in my hair.

I still have them.

I will wear them at Burning Man.

I will have a wild hair parade everyday out there, I will wear flowers and ribbons and hats and fascinators and I will have fabulous makeup and flamboyant dresses.

I will wear fucking antlers on my head.

See if I won’t.

But.

Not when I have a session with a client.

I like this refined me.

It feels adult.

I like wearing heels and nice button down shirts and expensive jeans and soft, clean makeup, I still wear hoops, but not the super gigantic ones anymore.

Oh.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m an attractive woman and I have unique features and my hair is always going to be wild, but it’s just wild brown curls now not hot pink curls, and well, the tattoos, they will always be there and there will probably be another one or two add to the mix.

I am never not going to be noticeable.

But fuck me.

I will be professional.

And that’s my business.

I don’t have to judge how others do it, even though, shit, half this blog was all about judging mister stinky feet and the sloppy ass interns in t-shirts and dirty jeans, but I do get to process it out here.

So that when I interact with them.

I can be professional.

Because.

I am.

I am a psychotherapist.

And I will dress like it because it pleases me to do so.

So there.

Ha.

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Cherry Popped

June 14, 2017

I had my first client.

It went well.

That’s all I’m going to say.

That and holy shit.

I had my first client!

I did my first session of therapy with a client.

The client has rebooked for another session.

So it really begins.

As though it’s not been beginning for a very long time, all the time training and studying and reading and writing papers and working with my cohort.

All that.

Plus.

Years of other kinds of service, sitting and listening to another person check in, being honest, being accountable, showing up, doing the deal.

I mean.

Fuck.

I have been working hard for a god damn long time to get here.

I had my first client session.

I know I won’t ever forget it.

And I am grateful for it.

It was a good day.

A sunny day.

A lovely day.

I did a lot.

Showered and wrote and coffee and reading and making sure I had a back up outfit for work, just in case I get nannied in the line of duty.

Last week the baby spit up on both my arms.

Nothing says “let’s create a therapeutic alliance” more than smelling like regurgitated breast milk.

Ha.

So.

I have a back up outfit at work.

I actually have two.

I have one just for work, if I need to I can do a quick change out and being able to work the rest of whatever hours I have work and run my stuff through the wash.

And now.

I have a second outfit that is more appropriate to looking like a professional.

Oh.

I’m still pretty casual in my attire.

But.

I today I was was also softly polished.

Black leggings, long drop waist charcoal grey dress, baby blue cardigan, and my new Fluevogs.

I wanted to look nice, warm, inviting.

I also liked dressing for the part.

I love dress up.

I love clothes and shoes and I have secretly waited to arrive at the day when I can start to be a little more polished and professional.

It was really nice to transition from my nanny clogs to my therapist shoes.

It felt like I was putting on my superhero cloak.

Nanny by day, psychotherapist by night.

I’ll be seeing all my clients in the evenings after I get done with work.

I was talking to my own therapist this morning, I see her on Tuesdays before work, so it’s like my day is completely bookended with therapy, about how lucky I am that I have the job that I do and how much it fills me up.

My therapist and I talked a lot about how strong I am and how I don’t always know how to let myself recognize that, that I do the work.

I can logically see it, but sometimes when I have felt like I have had no other option, no one else to rely on, just me doing it on my own, how devastatingly lonely that can be and how hard.

It has taken getting pretty beaten down by a few accidents during the last twelve and a half years to help me see that asking for help is a valuable experience for me and when I am more vulnerable.

Well.

I am stronger.

There is such strength in vulnerability.

The more I can allow myself to be seen, to be vulnerable, the more I learn and the more I am able to use my own inner resources without having to feel like I’m justing working hard to work hard.

I am so grateful that wall has dropped.

It goes back up at times, but I find the more I can let it down the happier I am and the fuller my life become.

I am incorrigible in my aliveness and lust for living.

Absolutely defiant with my need to feel more happiness and joy and see more and go further and have as many experiences and have as much growth as I can.

Yeah.

I know that might be courting some painful things too, but there is growth where there is pain.

I do hope to reach a point in my life when I can make changes before I have to experience pain, a place of simple humility about what I can and can’t do, rather than a forced feeding of excoriation because I am simply unwilling to let go of some characteristic of myself that I think still serves me.

Not acknowledging my strength today in my therapy session would have been akin to that.

I acknowledged it.

And.

I also had to hold the fact that there’s an inner critic who still holds a lot of sway and likes to smack talk me quite a bit.

Not enough.

Not smart enough.

Not pretty enough.

Not lovable.

Not good enough.

But.

Those things are simply not true and they taste older and more and more faded and dusty and the cloth binding is falling apart.

Let me drop it to the floor, sweep it out the door and find something fresh and new and lovely.

There is so much loveliness for me.

I am sure of it.

“Your capacity for love is enormous,” my therapist said, “you have the biggest heart.”

Hearing a basic stranger, I mean, we’ve had, like what, eight sessions, tell me that my capacity for love was not just big, but enormous, I was floored.

I was validated.

That is what I hope to do for my clients.

To see them.

Honest in who they are with whatever they bring.

I know that I can do it and I am honored that I got to do that today.

And yes.

Log my first freaking hour of individual therapy.

It feels amazing to be logging hours.

I have a long way to go.

But I am on the path and that is all I need to be present for.

I don’t have to know where it ends.

I just need to continue moving forward.

One baby step at a time.

 

A journey of a thousand miles begins with one step

–Lao Tzu


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