Wednesday, December 6, 2017

For psychotherapists, the work itself is its own reward

A lot of time and energy is spent in Social Work training on helping aspiring Social Workers to understand their motivations for getting into the field. Students are asked to consider their values, hopes, dreams and wishes for how the world should be and the problems, blocks, and obstacles which prevent their vision from being realized.

Sue Mann in her wonderful essay "How Can You Do This Work?"in the book Trauma:Narrative responses to traumatic experiences,  describes how workplace practices may support or detract from therapists' work with clients who have experienced trauma. For example she asks:

  • What opportunities are available for workers to talk about the many experiences of the work?
  • Of the many different stories of work that could be shared, what stories and whose stories are being privileged?
  • How are the connections people have to what is important and of value to them shared in the workplace?
  • What opportunities are there for celebrations in relation to the achievements in the work?
  • Are there opportunities to share moments of sadness, moments of beauty, moments of joy? p.17-18
Because of confidentiality therapists rarely have opportunities for their work to be publicly acknowledged. Therapist service, competence, integrity, and accomplishments are rarely recognized let alone acknowledged. The profession, consequently, is an isolating and lonely one and the professional's motivation for engaging in it must be the satisfaction and fulfillment of the work in and of itself. The work is its own reward.

1 comment:

  1. I'm waiting for the plot twist when my life starts to make sense. Can you help me with that?