As part of my internship I need to have a senior professional of the field directly observe me provide therapeutic interventions for a number of issues. I’ve been procrastinating with this requirement the whole 18months till now because… well because I’m sure that as soon as someone who actually knows what they’re doing sees me working directly they’ll know exactly how incompetent I am (imposter syndrome, anyone? Oh, right.. everyone).
Also because it’s a hassle to arrange… to ask permission from work managers, to explain it to a client and obtain their consent, to book recording equipment, to actually do it…
Well I’ve only five months of my internship left to go, so I thought it was about time to think about it. I asked permission at work, arranged it with my supervisor, and finally.. outlined it all to one of my clients, who seemed absolutely fine with it, and gave consent. I booked the recording equipment, set up the room, planned the session, got the supplies ready (it was going to be a symbolic and art therapy session)… and! The client was due half an hour ago.
Shit. Shit. I’m sitting here with the camera trained on me. I had to run around to buy the outdated videocassettes it uses. It took me a half hour to set this room up. I brought everything I needed in from home. AND THE CLIENT DIDN’T SHOW.
Of course, it’s hardly a coincidence. This client has never not shown for a session before (and we’ve had 10 sessions). This is exactly why I wasn’t looking forward to asking a client to do this. Who would want to have their counselling session recorded and watched by and discussed with an anonymous third party? Argh.
Now I need to find someone else to ask. Three someone elses. And due to all these stupid work changes, I’m barely SEEING three clients at the moment.
This is a good thing, my colleague would say. It is, because:
- in preparing for this session I did catch up on my symbolwork literature.
- I now know to rethink how I frame this experience to clients, and be sure to triplecheck and quadruple-clarify everything with them.
- I also planned this session a lot more carefully than I usually do, which was a good experience.. I should do that more.
Except (and all counsellors say this) it really does seem that it’s always when you carefully plan for a session that the client doesn’t show! …Wow, I am really bad at finding silver linings. Every silver lining has yet another, blacker and more poisonous lining!
I think the worst part is… I got all excited about it! That slight performance anxiety that is actually more exhilarating than anything else. And now I am disappoint 🙁