My long-time counseling position was spiritually rewarding, I enjoy the field, and I hope to return to it.
Pros: getting a 'charge' from helping clients to reach independence, learning from clients as much as i taught them, honing my people skills
Cons: subject to layoffs based upon the company's stability.
I would work with twelve clients with axis I disorders, primarily schizophrenia, bipolar, schizoaffective, and MDD. I case managed two of the twelve and worked on fortifying their independent functioning so that they could transition into the community, without need of a 24-hour residential program. Additionally I managed up to 4 respite clients who would come in for short-term stays to prevent escalation of psychological symptoms that would put them at risk for hospitalization, or, sometimes, assist those transitioning back from a hospital stay. I learned more efficient ways to educate and guide clients to make responsible, self-sufficient choices, and very much the concept that I could always lead a horse to water, but could never make him drink, as the adage goes. Education and patience were the two best tools for getting there. I enjoyed a supportive group of coworkers that very much tried to stay on the same page to streamline client care. My program managers over time were valued guidance, especially when I would have a challenging client or situation that required some feedback. The hardest part was often trying to guide a client toward the most responsible and independent path without ever pushing against them. Clients who are on board with treatment and agree with the methods are the most successful, and I consider it my job to work with the client to steer them toward more independent behaviors with the most beneficial and least harmful coping mechanisms. The most enjoyable part was the satisfaction of having a client that came in at one level of functioning that would be at risk in the community, and seeing that client leave at a higher level of functioning so that they could manage themselves independently.