I found out today that my coveted position as an assessment therapist is being eliminated, and I am back to a normal caseload. I'm pretty bummed about this, because, although it lacked the dynamism of my previous workload, it was doable, measurable, and I felt competent at it, things I never felt with a normal caseload at our bustling clinic. I never wanted to go back to the way things were...they were so chaotic and continually infringed upon my sense of control and boundaries. I felt pushed and pulled every which way and as though I had no right to say no to any of the unreasonable demands placed on me by crazy, irrational people everyday. Even now, I feel like going back is a route back into being put in the hands of manipulative, disrespectful, and conniving people. I used to feel so used by some of the parents of the children I worked with, that I didn't even really miss having a caseload because they really just made me feel hurt and angry. I have no ability to refuse treatment if relationships appear to be ugly and codependent, or if I feel its not in the best interest of the client or myself- its being trapped in a room with crazy people and being told that you have to see them 2x a month no matter what and if you don't fix them in a short period of time there is something wrong with you.
These are the feelings I used to have all the time...I'm afraid of going back into them. I know I need to establish boundaries, have short treatments, and practice self-care, but I question my own ability to break from the patterns of dependency that seemed to develop with so many of the families before. I am trying to believe that people can only make me feel what I let them make me feel, and that I have the personal strength to escape their mind games and their infringement on my boundaries.
This time around, I want to do things differently. I want to have faith in my abilities and believe that my client's Chronic problems are their problems and not a result of my ineffectiveness as a clinician and as a carer. I want to establish boundaries and end treatment quickly and effectively with each of the families instead of getting lost in their content. I want to leave them at work at the end of the day and not think about them at home.
If I don't learn to do these things, its going to be a long year before I am licensed. I covet your prayers now more than ever, because in my darkest thoughts I do not believe I am up for this challenge. I need confidence and self-assuredness in order to proceed from here and survive.