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Category Archives: Texas

Scary “P” word… No not that one!

So I had an interesting conversation with my clinic supervisor today. I was looking up information on Adventure Therapy and where it was around central Texas. During my discussion about this method, she drops a word I never thought I would fear… Published.

After picking up my jaw, let me give you the rest of the story as that just might help. Since Adventure Therapy is relatively new, she suggested I do a literature review on the topic. Heck, she would even help me and support me as needed.

… Oh yeah, and after doing this review, I should submit it to the American Counseling Association’s Creative Counseling journal to be published. Uhm… What?!?  Hell I’m just trying to make ends meet for classes and grades, much less become a published pre-Masters student! It would be amazing but, oh who am I kidding… I have already started looking up resources and seeing who I could contact for this.

This fall should be interesting…

 
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Posted by on July 30, 2014 in Mental Health, Personal, School, Texas

 

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So…back2back again?

Ok I really need to get back with this. As I write this, I am sitting on school campus, waiting for class to begin. Again? Yeah again…but good news everyone! Hopefully I will graduate by the end of the year.

Only hold ups are my practicum (which I should be doing now technically) and upcoming internships. Luckily I can wait til next month to start my practicum while waiting on forms. Internship…that’s another beast. I am hoping to get approval to practice at Laurel Ridge Behavioral which is amazing as it is the largest private behavioral center in Texas! I even lucked out with it being a learning hospital! So stoked…if the clinical committee approves my out of area internship. Fingers crossed all.

I don’t got anything else right now…trying to manage work stress without getting to the point of ignoring problems but meh…only another hour til class haha.

 
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Posted by on January 28, 2014 in Texas

 

Outside my box…into a kaleidoscope of me’s

So it’s been a while, actually a long while really.  I’ve almost been a case manager for a year now come November.  And one thing I’ve realized, it sucks helping people.  Don’t misunderstand me, I love my job and that I hopefully help people.  It’s the people that are the frustrating part.

Ahaha no duh you may say.  But this is something they do not really emphasize in classes.  The resistance to change…what a barrier to skills training and psycho-social rehab.  And this resistance comes in all shapes and forms; kids who don’t even listen to a word you’re saying, kids that listen attentively and can parrot back but immediately forget it, focusing on another person and not yourself, just plain avoiding me…gah these are fun things to deal with on a daily basis.  These among other normal barriers, conflicting schedules, illness, simple forgetfulness, all add a strain on how I can effectively teach and pass on knowledge that will hopefully help a person deal with their illness and be able to handle him-/her- self without me.

But these frustrating barriers have helped/hindered me to become multiple me’s.  What I mean is, while I have a mandated source of teaching material I need to use when teaching various skills, how I go about it is at my discretion.  Some barriers are easy, just be that stable male figure the client needs.  Sadly this is sometimes all I need to be due to fractured homes.  Hold up though, before you go bashing baby daddy for being dead beat and not being around, some family’s father are away on oil rig trips, passed away, or heck could be the mother that’s a dead beat but dad is busy working and needs help on how to raise his children.  Other times, I need to be the stern one that tells the client he/she needs to stop goofing off, be all in, or I’m gone.  Geez, even being annoying and just repeating the same lesson over and over until the client gets the idea I’m not moving on until he/she can remember the current lesson.  Yet I always, always praise and thank the clients, young or old.  Saying thank you and good job can never be said too much.  Problem with all these different tactics…I need to remember with person I am with each person.  I in essence am breaking myself down into compartments, tailored for each client.  Yeah, talk about a headache when you have a rotating set of 20-30 clients.

How do you help the ones that don’t want help?  You don’t sadly.  Each different image of me provides the tools for the client, but they are the ultimate therapist by either accepting my help or shutting me out.  I try to weasel my way in with different versions of me as needed, but sometimes I just hope…

 
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Posted by on July 30, 2012 in Mental Health, Texas

 

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Change of plans…frustrating

So yeah, I know I said I’d post about events that brought me up to being in the mental health field but meh, I’ll do it if anyone becomes interested or even starts to read this.

So anyways…Texas state mental health…yeah, it’s frustrating.  Don’t get me wrong, I love my job!  The most likely reason it irritates me so much is this field, you only really enter it if you are passionate about the field.  In this case, the passion lines up with helping people and hoping to make a difference.  Cliche, no?  But it’s the truth, this field you work directly, no screens or other barriers, with a person.  I aim to provide the best skills training, rehab, community linking, etc services to my clients as humanly possible.  I’m kinda like a glorified, mental health focused, life coach.  The goal is for clients to become independent members of the community who can manage their mental illness by themselves.

But I digress, frustration is a major part of my life even if i wish it wasn’t.  While my coworkers and I place high importance on out jobs, who doesn’t know a days, the state hasn’t seemed to prioritized it yet.  Last I heard, Texas was 50th of all the states in the mental health field.  Makes ya feel great right?  Translate that to funding and, well you get the point, we’re the low man on the totem pole of funds it seems.  Therefore the caseworkers that are hired, we have to work our butts off to meet with all our clients enough each month to provide sufficient care.  FYI that’s a good amount of people!  Again, don’t get me wrong, I didn’t expect entering this field to have a cake walk but the demands placed upon us are pretty high for the area I serve.  Flip side, I feel ecstatic that our boss trusts us and believes that we can pull off some crazy numbers!  But understand, each day isn’t solely about providing services to clients.  Oh no ahaha.  In that same time span, we need to travel to meet the client’s in the community (I have an office but rarely use it), update paperwork for all our clients, enter progress notes about each meeting/session, and just the meetings themselves.  All this detracts me from the time I WANT to meet my clients!  Heck each day, I catch myself thinking about some of my clients, wondering how he/she is doing, did he/she try my suggested skills, were there any arguments at home, or heck did he/she stay out of jail…

In the end of the day, I go home and just…hope.  It’s almost a constant weight on my shoulders, am I making a difference? Is what I’m saying getting through? Am I saying it in the right way or am I the right person to be his/her case worker?  The list goes on and on but you get the point.  And after just writing this out, I think I see my biggest problem and best asset that helps be do my job, I care.

Psh, I think this is enough doom and gloom for today.  Besides, “If you don’t become an actor, you’ll never be a factor” – Lupe Fiasco “Words I Never Said”  Great words to live by and chant to myself each day.

Also, here’s a couple sites that I thought were interesting on the topic of stress management in mental health professionals:

http://www.tn.gov/mental/omd/omd_docs/STSinMHP.pdf

http://www.realwarriors.net/healthprofessionals/militaryculture/compassionfatigue.php

http://workforce.socialworkers.org/whatsnew/stress.pdf

–Que sera, sera moi komrades

 
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Posted by on January 25, 2012 in Mental Health, Texas

 

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Hello world!

Ok so here goes nothing. So basically this little blog here will be sort of an open journal/inside look at the mental health field, more specifically Texas state’s public services.

So where to start…oh! Well my name is Joshua and I work for a mental health community center in south Texas. I work as a case manager there which means I go out into the community and provide skills training, resource linking, and other services to out mental health clients in order to help them become self-functioning members in the community. I haven’t always done this, I used to work as a contractor for a business that handled about 80%(totally guestimating here) of Texas’ suicide hotlines. More on that later though.

I guess I’ll spend the next few posts playing catch up starting from what interested me in mental health to where I am today. Any comments or questions would be amazing also!

 
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Posted by on January 18, 2012 in History, Mental Health, Texas