10 01 2009

I had a client accuse me of “practicing on her”. I believe her exact words to a colleague of mine were “I got jipped, she isn’t even a real mental health worker”. When I heard about this conversation, I knew where she was getting this from. I had a conversation with her the previous week where she shared that she “heard” I am just an intake worker….meaning not a real counselor. I clarified for her that I am indeed a real licensed mental health clinician and that although my primary job responsibility is intake assessments, I carry a small caseload of clients.  She seemed satisfied with that answer, and I thought we were square. Little did I know…

Apparently she has taken it upon herself to tell anyone and everyone that will listen that she has been jipped. What is interesting is how incapable she was of properly addressing her concerns with me face to face…this is not a shy woman. As a matter of fact, last time I checked she didn’t have any problem telling anyone who would listen exactly what she thought about them, uncensored.

Needless to say I was pissed. I knew I was personalizing something I shouldn’t be, but these moments are hard. As it is, this client appears to be mounting a defense to save her ass from getting charged with assault on an officer. The argument this time? Inadequate mental health care. I am but a pawn in this game. So when I informed her that I would no longer be her mental health worker and clarified my credentials and qualifications, I decided to have a witness. I also reminded her, gently, that I had been able to give her more attention when she was struggling because of my smaller caseload. Apparently, it still wasn’t good enough.

These are the moments that make me want to work with children or elderly folks, or at least someone ANYONE without a personality disorder.



4 responses

12 01 2009

Yeah, that whole thing is about her, not you. It can be hard not to take that stuff personally sometimes, though.

13 01 2009

Even if you are working with children, there is no guarantee that you are not going to have to deal with a parent that has a personality disorders. I am a case manager for children in foster care and the parents all have multiple problems of some sort. We were having a discussion about the attorneys that we encounter in and how they can go w/out personalizing the case or something that is said, but we social workers can not de-personalize the case so easily. I admire you and what you do. I don’t think as a social worker that I could do that job.


20 01 2009

These days, I think EVERYONE has a personality disorder of some sort. And I think it’s pretty amazing that you’ve been at your job for four years, there’s no way I could handle it for that long.

24 01 2009

I agree…I think I’ve worked with patients with personality disorders, their family members with personality disorders and I’ve run across a few staff at the hospital who seem to have personality disorders…personality disorders seem to be inescapable!

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