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Note to self ....

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 
There are mean people no matter where you go. I think it's not secret that my internship experience has at times been difficult. Well the last month I have felt like there is another counselor who is nit picking me. I run a group on Wednesday and she sees most of the group memebers individually for counseling. Apparently I have upset a couple of group memebers to the point that they constantly tell her things I do that they do not like. Now I am OK with clients not liking me. My job is not to make friends with them. What bothers me is that 3 out of the 4 last weeks this counselor has had nothing but negative feedback for me. I think she wants to think it's constructive but I am a human being and I can only handle so much. In addition, I'm a still a new counselor and I feel like I was thrown in the fire without any understanding of policies & procedures. In addition, I am a very differnt person & a differnt counselor than this woman. She is a traditional AODA counselor who believes in the education format of AODA counseling. I am more of a client centered counselor who believes in insight that leads to understanding. So some of the things she says I have been able to blow off as we are just differnt. Other things I have taken constructivly & tried to change. The problem last night was that I was told that she had someone complain that I don't appear prepared for group. She said the adults want to be there and they will know if you are not prepared. Well OK, but that is not my style. I feel that, especially with the adults, they bring stuff to the table & they are there to talk about their issues & give each other insight. I'm there to make it a safe explorations enviornment, not a "class room" experience. If that's what I want to do I'll be come a teacher. Also, being a new counselor, I have some issues with not knowing enough to run the group. I had been feeling good about how I was doing until the last couple of weeks. Now I feel like the one thing I was really enjoying apparently I am no good at. I know that's a little silly, but I just don't get why she needs to repeat every negative thing that is said about my counseling style. I am really tired of being told what I do wrong, and rarely being told what I do well. Anyway, sorry if that was long, but I didn't get much sleep last night because I was so upset.
post #2 of 4
First let me say I admire you SO much for going into the counseling field. I honestly think it takes a special type of person to have the desire and compassion to get into that line of work. I know I couldn't do it.

I have no idea what an AODA counselor is or what that means. But, it seems like you and your boss have different ideas of how to help people. If that isn't your style or your way of helping them, then many you should look for position at another facility that has the same ideas that you do.

In any job, people have different ideas of how they're done and it's all a learning experience. I sounds like your boss is just trying to show you how it's done there, so I wouldn't take it personally.

for a better week next week.
post #3 of 4
Is this other person actually your boss, or is she a counselor on the same level as you? Is her feedback something that is going into your permanent record and might affect your continued employment? Why is she even telling you what the clients have told her in private sessions? Isn't that a violation of privacy policy? Okay, so I'm better at asking questions than giving advice.

You might try bringing it up in the group sessions. Say something like you understand that some people feel they are not getting what they need from the sessions. Then ask them to speak to you privately after the group--not for individual counseling, just to try to figure out what you (or they) could do differently that would make the group counseling more effective.

BTW, I have no idea either what AODA is.
post #4 of 4
Thread Starter 
Sorry, I forget that other's don't know all the acronyms. AODA stands for Alcohol and other drug addiction.

She is not my boss, and nothing she says to me can affect my possible employment. I think she is trying to advocate for her client, but addicts can be good at blaming their short comings on others. It is hard to describe, but there are a couple reasons it's not breaking confidentiality. One is that she did not tell me who made the comment. The other is that because I see these same client's we are considered a treatment team. It is sort of a given that it is OK to share information within the team that will assist the team members in treating the client.
On Wednesday I did cover with the group what the group process is all about. I also discussed with them that part of the process is being open with each other and pointing out each others inconsistencies. This group has people coming in & going out all the time because that is the way it is run. If I had my choice, I would rather run a group where they all begin together & end together. It builds a stronger bond & helps the group become more comfortable & open with each other. I really do enjoy what's called the group process. It's cool to sit back & watch people interact, but as the facilitator it is my job to direct the interaction to a positive end.
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