Another long week of work is over. And before I know it another one will begin. It's the never-ending cycle of waiting for the weekend, and then it's gone and it's Monday again. (Cue "Manic Monday" by the Bangles in the backgroud).
I am always complaining about some aspect of my job. My boss. The hours. Being on-call. Nasty parents. But a few thoughts occurred to me this week. One being in this economy, when people everywhere are being laid off, I should just be thankful to still have a job. Even if it's not the dream job, the career job, it pays me twice a month and supplies my insurance and helps me keep the roof over my head, so I do have that to be thankful for.
The other thought occurred to me one day as I looked at my desk and realized that a fourth of it was covered in Lego creations, several "works in progress" made by clients while coming in to see me. And I realized that many days I get paid to play, color, and create things with kids, and how great is that?! Unfortunately this is only a section of my caseload, the kids between the ages 4 and about 11.
For the pre-teens and teenagers it's usually a different ballgame. They are usually the kids coming in with higher risk behaviors and issues. For some of these kids I feel like I can really talk to them heart to heart about the tough issues at the core of whatever is going on with them. I feel like I am really doing therapy. And for others it's like pulling teeth. Suddenly I am the dentist.
Other days I am the referee. The other night, during my last session of the evening the mom and daughter were screaming at each other and crying in my office. When they finally calmed down and were able to leave, I wondered if anything done in that session was actually helpful. But the following night, another mom and daughter were in my office having an emotional discussion, tears started flowing, (no screaming, thank God) and I felt it was extremely helpful because they brought up and discussed some really important things.
Being a therapist is such a strange job. We try to make it sound like a science by developing fancy sounding theories and techniques and doing research to say what is or is not effective, but the more I do it, the more I realize that therapy is an art. Somedays I paint along with my kids, some days I watch them paint. And what is created is up for interpretation.