Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Happy Anniversary, Love. Forever yours. ♥

The End...sort of

The group I was observing at my placement ended two Fridays ago. I missed part of their morning activities because I had an appointment with a client but quickly rushed in after we were done. When I arrived, the table was covered with all kinds of goodies that the facilitators and clients brought to celebrate their last day including delicious wraps, a medley of salads (pasta, potato, bean), cakes, breads and a nice selection of beverages!

As part of their closing activities, each participant created a card with an affirmation they felt best-suited them on the cover. They then passed them around and each wrote something special about each other. The end result was a lovely keepsake for each participant to take away with them and revisit, as needed. When asked what people were planning to do with their cards, one woman answered that she would display hers close to her computer so that when she was applying for jobs she wouldn't feel so alone; another replied that she would carry it in her purse and take it out to review before going on an interview for moral support.

As the morning wrapped up, the group presented tokens of appreciation to the facilitators and I was pleasantly surprised (and touched) that one was also presented to me (I think for just providing oxygen to the room). It was really thoughtful and I found myself getting choked up as we did a 'check-out' before the workshop officially ended.

There's a different workshop that begins next Monday that will run for three weeks (part of which I'll be co-facilitating). I can't wait to observe a new group and see how the workshop unfolds. I love seeing the group dynamics at play, watching the seasoned facilitators do their thing and going through the whole experiential process myself.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

This is how I feel today

“They say a person needs just three things to be truly happy in this world: someone to love, something to do, and something to hope for.” (Tom Bodett)

This is dedicated to J+H. Thank you. Love forever. ♥

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Just thinking

Some of you may have noticed that I haven't been blogging as much these days. Nothing serious - just a case of deep reflection. Since I started my practicum for school, I've been thinking a lot about the profession I've chosen and I how I fit into it (not to mention a few other things). I feel horrible because there have been some really special events that have happened during this time that I haven't given attention to such as meeting J's beautiful niece and welcoming (back) his sister & brother-in-law to Canada, not to mention celebrating H's performance in a play. These events have made the summer really special thus far.

As for my practicum - I've been fortunate to secure a placement at a women-centred program with a group of professional and lovely people. My supervisor has been really wonderful with regards to my learning experience where I am. I've been observing the counsellors facilitate their workshops and do their intakes and have had opportunities to jump in during sessions with clients to help with resumes and cover letters. Starting this week, I'll have more client contact as I facilitate mini-tutorials on business cards and meeting with clients for resume critiques.

The people at the placement are so supportive and friendly. They are always mindful of including me during their workshops and have made me feel like a part of the team. My supervisor is no exception - she's always available and open to me learning as much as possible during my time there. She's a great listener and mentor.

Three of the counsellors graduated from the program I'm in and my supervisor has an MSW. I'm seeing many of the techniques I've learned in my program being applied during intake and group facilitation such as the administration of Common Assessment to linking and all of the other skills that have been ingrained in us over the past 6 months. One of the things I've really enjoyed is sitting in on the intake sessions where the clients share their stories of how they came to the program. I love listening to their narratives and seeing how their lives have unfolded. I also really enjoy the workshops, specifically, for the group process as I see the transitions day-to-day and the stages the group goes through.

As for the profession itself, to be honest, I began to have serious doubts about my path. After almost a decade of working in various office settings and thinking I had finally escaped that environment, I saw myself surrounded by the familiar trappings of an administrative nightmare - cubicles, that tweed-like fabric covering chairs, the whirring of office machinery and brown bag lunches. It felt very much like so many other places that I had been and grew to oppose. I felt like I had found another glorified office gig. I went home feeling sad and confused and have been in limbo ever since (hence, the lack of communication).

Luckily, with each day, I've been (re)discovering the things that attracted me to the profession in the first place such as the helping aspect, the flashes of creativity, facilitating groups and even the documentation involved. Thankfully, I get to meet with fellow classmates (some of whom have become dear friends) once a week to debrief and share my experiences with. The commonality in our experiences is that we're all learning - not just about the profession but about ourselves.

Hope you've been doing well and having a nice summer. Talk soon. xo

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Checking in

Hello friends. Just wanted to check-in and say "hello" and let you know I'm still alive.


Longer post to follow. Hope you have a lovely day. Talk soon. xo