Tarot Journal #61: Ten of Swords/ 6 of Cups


Coming back to work after a week off was challenging as I made the transition from almost total control of my schedule and who I interacted with to having my day divided into hour-long segments where my interactions were limited mainly to people I am not familiar with. There were a couple of patients I had been working with in the week before I went on vacation, but most of them were new to me. Luckily for me, I was working with another therapist as a co-treatment so I could let someone else take the lead and just get to know the patient and how they interacted with therapy.

Every patient has a unique response to someone coming into their room and presenting them with challenges to their current disabilities. Some think they are there to rest and be cared for and others want to immediately get to work so they can return to their normal life or even enthusiastic to learn some new skills that will help them live a more active and fulfilling life. There are those who want to direct their therapy sometimes in unhelpful directions as they have entrenched habits that have contributed to their health and mobility issues and some who are either too cognitively challenged or emotionally checked out to change their destructive and unsafe behaviors. I have to get to know each one well enough to at least move their behaviors to a safe level with whatever assistance they can get in their home environment.

It was a rough day for me and my patients, more than half of whom were suffering from varying degrees of anxiety or pain which had to be addressed before I could even begin to provide instruction or activities that would move them toward their goals. I was not yet in my most effective mindset of attentional focus which allows me to detach myself enough emotionally to listen and observe without reacting which is necessary for me to get through a day of providing therapy without carrying my patients’ emotional baggage beyond the treatment. I see issues and deal with them or find someone who can help them if it is beyond my scope. By the end of the day I felt like I had a full load of misery and anxiety that I needed to unload.

I adjusted my approach the next day, making sure I appreciated the strengths of each patient and focused on whatever little steps I was able to coax out of them on their hard journey of recovery. Attitude and focus make a huge difference in my work. I went home that day with a feeling of accomplishment and purpose to carry me into the next day. I love my job when I do it well, but it can be hell if I get bogged down in other people’s pain. My job is not to carry their load, but to get to know how to teach them to reduce the impact of their injuries and move them toward improved mobility.

The more I can have compassion and empathy without engaging my personal reactions, the more I can use problem-solving skills that I have developed over many years of working in a broad range of situations from preschool to geriatrics. It was a good day to be a therapist and I went home satisfied that I had done my best work and enjoyed it even though I worked with the same clientele.

This entry was posted in All part of the process, Being Human, bodyworks, change, developing relationships, Fools Journey, mindworks, my life, my mystic toolbox, paying attention, philosophy, Self-Experiments, sympathy and empahty, Teaching and Learning, thinking in words, working world, Works in Progress and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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