Ah, Therapy. For a while there it seemed like the ideal career for me.
Seriously, from the moment I fell in love with psychology, I feel in love with the idea of being a or psychologist or a therapist. My undergraduate internship solidified that for me, and I went into my social work program and later my post-grad job search with that intention on my mind. That intention guiding my decision-making process.
But life gets in the way of the most carefully laid plans, desires, and wants. I had to take a job within a part of social work that I was not interested in, which you can find out here. After leaving that job, I was able to find work doing therapy for children and teens.
So how do I talk about my experience as a therapist? An experience that I am still going experiencing as I write this post. To talk about an experience that has changed my thought process?
I suppose the best place to start is at the beginning. I am currently a therapist at an outpatient clinic that serves children and teens from about the ages of 4-21. I have worked with children and teens aged 6-17, most of the mental health diagnosis that I have been dealing with have been ADHD, ODD, and various forms of anger and adjustment issues. It has been quite interesting.
So what do I like about being a therapist? I like being a therapist because of the help that I can provide to children. I like being a "force of good" in the lives of individuals who didn't have a great start. Overall, I like just doing the work.
What I don't like and what I find the hardest thing to do, is first working with the parents. Working with children means working with their parents. That is the biggest block that I have with doing the work with the children is the parents tend to block the work. Not bringing the kids, wanting to dictate the work, literally sitting in the room as I was trying to work as a therapist. The other thing I find is difficult, is dealing with kids who/don't talk. It makes everything a little bit harder, but I know that it's normal. Ever since the quartine/social distancing started I have been doing therapy over the phone which to be honest with children as been hell and I hated that.
This experience and time that I have spent as a therapist has been very eye-opening to me. It will forever shape my future career because from this I learned that I don't think I want to be a therapist. At least not for children, perhaps working with adults would be a better fit for me. Working with folks who want to be there and aren't just there because they are forced to be.
So that's my experience as a therapist. Check out my experience as a community social worker and stay tuned for part 3 and the final part of this series with my experience as a Medical Social Worker.