Posted by: soulshinemoments | April 22, 2013

Everyone Needs Therapy

Sipping on my morning coffee while Curious George cartoons playfully attempt to entertain a sleepy toddler in his play-pin, I am trying not to feel overwhelmed by the a huge workload ahead of me.  Also, I found myself sucked into this social work blog, “Everyone Needs Therapy“.  The last thing I need to be doing right now.  Caity inspired me to start a “Bucket List” for this summer.  She has great ideas on hers, like going horseback riding in Blue Ridge. I have a feeling that mine is going to have very boring stuff like “sleep”, “read”, “sleep some more”…because, Lord knows, I haven’t been getting enough of that! For now, I have to press on with my studies.

For my Program Development paper, I have to come up with a program that would close a gap that exists at our internship.  My internship is a shelter plus a work recovery program for homeless individuals.  In my opinion, it lacks emotional support for our clients because it is very much focuses on getting the client back into the workforce (which is a good thing, don’t get me wrong).  So my program is, essentially, creating groups for the homeless clients to attend.  I am thinking sort of in the form of Alcohol Anonymous  but for homeless people.  By that, I mean, a program ran by other homeless clients who have successfully completed our work recovery program.

I attended one of Rachel’s groups a couple of months ago that she leads at transitional housing.  I would, ideally, like to implement something like that in our shelter as well. (Unfortunately, I only have two more hours left at the shelter, so that won’t be happening. )

Here is what I wrote about in my log I keep of my internship experiences.  This was my experience when I went to visit Rachel at her internship when she lead her group:

1/31/2013

Talked with Rachel who leads small groups today.  She suggested getting my group members journals to write in stream-of-consciousness for 20 minutes, discuss what everyone wrote about, then do a meditation…for instance, drawing a picture of a safe place, or ideal house. Great idea. Said I can shadow her and she would help me lead a group.

2/4/13

I went to meet Rachel at supportive housing Friday night.  I drove up to a depressing, gray, rundown apartment complex.  It was very dismal and a little creepy.  I know I shouldn’t expect the Hamptons, but this place was very uninviting.  It seemed even less warm than the shelter. Rachel led group with five women plus myself.  The assignment was for the women to write stream of consciously for ten minutes while listening to meditating music. One of the women declined to do the exercise.  She said that she had arthritis and the last time she did that exercise, it made her depressed and have a horrible headache. Rachel politely excused her from the exercise but said she was welcome to sit and mediate. The client agreed.

My stream of consciousness writing consisted of thoughts of the woman who declined to write.  I felt so bad for her little gray world.  I had this desire to make the room we met in much more warm and friendly.  Add art and paint and lighten it up.

One of the clients was an 18 year old who was incredibly impressive.  She wrote this beautiful stream of conscious piece that was poetic and strong about society and its limitation. I loved it and the light she brought to the group. Amazing how beauty can exists in such dismal places! Gives me hope for my own life. ..

The client refused to write was very quiet. When Rachel asked her what was on her mind she admitted that she couldn’t stop thinking about her 16 cats she left behind.  That’s what she wrote about last time as well.  Apparently, she is a cat hoarder.  I just wonder how sad she must be to have to put all her trust and companionship in felines. So much so that she can barely function now without them.

The group did get off track easily.  When I lead a class, I want to do one similar to Rachels. But maybe have a little more direction in mine.  Like with a lesson, a thought. I kept thinking about this quote, “Change your thoughts, and you change your world.” And thinking how stream of consciousness writing is the first step in that.  Once someone is aware of their thinking, then they can begin the steps to alter it.

 

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