I had something close to a break through with a client today. This is a client I am working with for the second time. They were in our program lat year and returned recently after AWOLing from another program. I was sad to discover this client had regressed considerably since the last time I worked with them. Then after observing the client in ways I had not had the opportunity to previously I started to wonder are they regressing or did I never know the full story?
I worked with this client for only a few days last stay, this time I have had them for weeks so I am definitely uncovering more.
Session started on an intense note today. I had to assertively set boundaries with the client on multiple planes before we even started session then the topic was not an easy one to navigate which led to a lot of gentle confrontation with the client. Ultimately by the end of session we had turned a major corner and I was able to build the beginning of a bridge with this client on an issue they have been struggling with and taking next to no accountability for up to this point. It was a little glimmer of what is possible with motivation and empowerment.
I am grateful that my supervisor trusts me with complicated cases. I am grateful that I have been challenged and made uncomfortable so often during this internship that it has given me the opportunity to step into my own place of empowerment. I am also thankful that I have been working with a population who are mandated to receive counseling services based on how our program is funded. This is not the ideal situation for clinicians, typically you want clients who want to do the work, when client’s are mandated they are not always willing participants. This internship has presented so many awesome obstacles for me to work through and overcome.
It may have been an uphill journey but you better believe my social work muscles are strong as hell thanks to the path I chose to walk!