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

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