4 04 2009

Okay, so I’ve got major countertransference going on with a client. M A J O R.

Good things about this:

1. I’m aware of it

2. I am seeking supervision around it

3. I am working hard to figure out how to deal with this person clinically and not let my own crap get in the way

4. I’m certain there is a lesson in this somewhere.

Ass Sucking things about this:

1. I feel irritated. ALOT.

2. I am dreading groups when he actually shows up for treatment.

3. Most of my time in group is dominated by redirecting and refocusing this person’s behavior.

I have tried and tried to figure out if there is someone in my life that he reminds me of. I can’t pinpoint it. The BEHAVIOR however is one that really pushes my buttons. You know the one, the “I know everything about everything, I’m going to make sure everyone knows it, I’m going to sit next to you to enhance my feelings of being an expert and attempts to cofacilitate this group, I don’t have a problem but I come to treatment anyway, even though I am aggressive, abusive, negative, bossy, confrontational with nearly everyone in my life, I use all of these communication, anger managment, and mindfulness skills you are teaching which I am going to be sure to point out so everyone really gets that I know it all” -itis???

Oh for the love of god. Somebody help me.

It takes all of my strength to not want to scream “WHY ARE YOU HERE IF YOU ALREADY KNOW IT ALL?”

I know, I know….the behavior is not about me. I need to not personalize it, this is just his defenses coming up……but it doesn’t make it any less frustrating.


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.