Change in blog design- this is still Daphne’s blog!

There, some changes to this blog. I’m not sure how it will turn out on your screen but it looks ok on mine.

I’m starting on a new placement this coming Monday. It will be full time for 4 weeks and then drop back to 2 1/2 days per week. The advantage is, I will finish this placement by mid-october. The disadvantage, is that I can’t do testing for the next 4 weeks! You can’t win all.

The orientation was fine. Free flow of coffee, tea and snacks. As it is a psychiatric hospital, it’s always busy. There is a constant buzz, doctors, nurses, OTs, SWs, Clin Psychs, attendants walking around. For some strange reasons, I felt intimated. Not by the buzz mind you, but by how people introduce themselves or perhaps it is by the fact that pretty much everyone there was a UWA graduate. Each person who heard “Murdoch” had the “Oh” look. My supervisor and clinic manager appeared shocked when I said I visited familes during my last placement. There is a sense of distance from patients/clients. It’s like as if patients belong to one world, and therapists in another. Perhaps it’s the professional distance that enable them to work more efficently. Who knows, perhaps in another few weeks time, I might just walk around and see clients like them (I honestly hope not). Or maybe I’m too hasty in my judgement. My first full day hasnt even started yet.

I have been assigned to 4 weeks of intensive CBT group therapy. I’m suppose to observe for the first 2 weeks and then faciltate in the next 2. Maybe some facilitating will do my “black and white”, “over generalization”, “personlization” and “catastrophication” thoughts some good.

Whatever the case is, I feel exhausted.

It is moments like these that made me realise that I’m not as strong as I would like to be. Working isnt easy, researching isnt easy and the next person who says studying in Australia thus getting an undergraduate, masters, doctorate or PhD is easy ought to be strangled. Breakdown isnt easy too. It makes me feel too weak. Perhaps it’s my pride that is preventing me from breaking down.

But I did.

And just like others, I moved on. A good cry with a good vent is all I need to move on. I certainly hope I’m back onto my focus self (focusing where is another issue…) and perform to the best of my abilities on this new placement.

If not, you can always count on the psychiatric hospital to provide me with some intensive CBT treatment I suppose. Please, just drag me out if a psychiatrist wants to put electricity through my head to correct my brain chemistry. I’m not making a judgemental comment. It’s just my personal preference. I’m not sure what I might feel if I do see this procedure. Perhaps I should…

Have a good Sunday people.

One placement down.

My time with DSC has ended. Well, this placement anyway.

My farewell with DSC began with a cup of coffee and editing my last eligibility report + letter. In the middle of it, 2 psychs came over and giving me a box of chocolates, big hugs and a final byebye. I brought blueberry and orange cake, along with my brownies (they were more popular than the cake- it was a good feeling bringing home 2 empty boxes) to the last referral meeting as my BIG thank you for having me there. There was a wave of feelings- I can’t quite describe what, when my supervisor summarises my input to the team- what I have learnt is useful afterall.

It was a mad rush trying to finish up last minute changes to reports and packing up my desk. Seb and Leo (OT students) made me a card- very sweet and thoughtful of them. The hand drawn it btw. They would have laminate it (according to Leo) but the machine was not available. Did I mention that I really dig the laminating machine? It’s a wondeful piece of stationary.

My final report? Apparently, I have a “gentle yet effective” way of questioning my clients and that I can “sit with periods of uncomfortable silence.” Areas of improvements? To increase my level of confidence (how to when you are being graded for EVERYThiNG you do?- including my chats with the SP and OTs!) and have a chance to cut my teeth in more functional analysis.

The most touching moment? When I opened up feedback letters from my clients. Sometimes, you get so caught up with the intervention and being “in the moment” that you forget being human can be effective too. “Being on time”, “keeping her promises”, “clarifying when she could not understand N”, “making the program easy to understand” and “caring”. Those are the things they say what our sessions meant to them. It wasn’t just the intervention itself.

Perhaps I almost lost myself before reading these feedback letters.

Positive thoughts

1) We can renovate the house. Painting and redecorating is fun.

2) I have fab OT and SP students sharing the office with me. Seriously, it has been great working with them.

3) According to my supervisor, my report writing skills improved over the 4 months that I have been in DSC (with the exception of last week..)

4) Tight budget means creative meal ideas. In other words, we eat whatever Woolworths or Coles dicate us to eat.

5) Health department pays more than disabilities sector.

6) There are people willing to participate in my research.

7) Brumby’s multigrain bread tastes lovely-especially with sunflower seeds on the crust.

8) Instead of sitting for exams, I will be invigilating them. FINALLY! The tables are turned.

9) There were students who actually appreciate what I did and found my comments useful.

10) There was a student who thought I was stupid enough not to think there might be plagarism. I do check references.

11) I finished marking 30 stats paper in one week.

12) No, I honestly don’t think I’m cut out to be a stats tutor.

13) Individual differences or Adolescents? I can’t decide who to tutor for next semester. I might make the decision based on how many assignments I have to mark. Although I need the money, I want my health too… (not to mention my degree).

14) Green curtain looks ugly.

15) Honey drink tastes sweet.

16) My placement is ending next Tuesday and I have no idea where I will be next.

17) Crap, it’s getting more negative…

18) Just 1 1/2 year more to go….