Working with teenage girls in residential treatment is never a walk in the park. Every day is different and brings new experiences and challenges. As a Youth Counselor II, I was BHIS qualified, which means that I facilitated various skills groups and became certified to facilitate Anger Replacement Training (ART) and KINNECT. As youth counselors, we spent time with clients in groups and one on one, and were available to help in any way necessary to support clients. My co-workers were a big part of getting through some days as we were a close-knit group who learned to work well together and were able to trust each other in critical situations dealing with behaviors from clients. We were not only coworkers, but quickly became friends.
The hardest part of the job was during the critical situations, especially when it may be after you spend hours talking with a client and working with them, for them to fall back into their negative behaviors and coping skills.
The best part of my job was getting to know the girls, and to let them get to know me a little bit. That moment when a client is sitting under a bulletin board waiting to talk to you, and only you, after finishing up with team. The moment when you walk in the first morning of your week after being off for a few days and clients running to you to hug you and to tell you that they missed you while you were off. Those are the moments that get you through the tough ones.
Overall, I loved my job and still miss the people I worked with, both coworkers and clients.