Being A Therapist Is A Lot Of Work

The treatment program that I am the therapist in is up and running again after a 10 month budget issues break and it has everybody stirred up.  The program is full already in less than two weeks because there is such a need in our community.  The clients are uncomfortable because they are early in recovery and the rules are being adapted as needed.  The staff is uncomfortable because they are unsure how much to be involved in addition to their work in the detox program and what is expected of them in controlling the treatment clients.  It seems there is an edge on both sides as uncertainty rules and words have been exchanged that are less than supportive of each other. 

When people get together especially in a charged environment, sparks tend to fly.  There is a need for structure and a need for freedom of expression.  There is also a need for compassion on both sides.  We have people who are very fragile emotionally and others who want to help but feel the need to institute control.  I get to watch the fireworks and sooth individuals who lose their balance. 

Today I had two clients heated up towards each other and I had to step into the middle even if they didn’t want me to, and were so sure the other was wrong.  This role is not one I enjoy but in a close environment this is inevitable especially between people who are emotionally raw after numbing themselves out from alcohol and drugs.  Thankfully it didn’t take long to get to the point where they understood each other and left the intervention with a hug.

Most addicts I have met in my many years working with this population use drugs and alcohol to deal with what is going on inside and the use gets out of control.  Of the six in the program, I have two clients that are ex-military, and four that come from abusive and addictive families.  Their use was for self-medication to numb the suffering of their past.  I have to help them heal the inside so they get live without the need to self-medicate.

It feels good to have the program going again but it is really intense and I have to take good care of myself or I will burn out quickly.  I am already looking forward to Thanksgiving and the 4- day weekend I have lined up. 

I will take off Thanksgiving from blogging and return on Friday with Part 9 of the N2W series.  I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving and I am truly grateful you take the time out of your busy day and check in with my blog.  Thank You so much.