True North Counseling Waypoints

Friday Waypoints – 9/14/18

Welcome to My Waypoints!

As I explained in a previous blog, Waypoints are significant events or moments from my past week that help me stay oriented as to where I am and where I’m going.

Lessons From Clients

I want to share, as often as possible, the things I’ve learned from my clients. This week, I was training a small group of Direct Care Staff on a Behavior Plan that I had developed for a very challenging young man. I could tell that they were exhausted. He had been verbally abusive to them. They were in crisis and feeling discouraged. I decided to stop the training and ask them a question. “What is our overall goal for Trevor?” (Not his real name.)

After a short discussion, I asked, “Isn’t it to help him grow?” And of course, they agreed. He was 24 years old. He had been in foster care his whole life, and now, these past 6 years, in a staffed residence. Because of his behavior, they had gotten stuck with thinking that their job was to get him to behave. I saw some hope and compassion in their eyes when I suggested that we were there to help him grow.

I learned from my clients that I too get stuck with trying to change behavior. Sometimes, we lose sight of our real purpose and mission, such as with Trevor. Helping people grow is so much more satisfying. I could see it in their eyes. They had a newfound joy. We continued the training.

Meaningful Moment

I spent some time this past week at the Gettysburg Battlefield. I have been to a few other battlefields. The Perryville Battlefield comes to mind. Standing in the place where 12,000 men stood, waiting for Pickett’s Charge, was heart-wrenching. I walked the battlefield, following the path that they took. A total of 20,000 men (Federal and Confederate) were killed or wounded that day. The tide was turned that day and the Confederacy never recovered. It was a moment, a day, 150 years ago, that changed our country forever.

Book I’m Reading This Week

“Cognitive Behavior Therapy: Become Your Own Therapist: A Practical Step by Step Guide to Managing and Overcoming Stress, Depression, Anxiety, Panic, and Other Mental Health Issues,” by Jessica Greiner.

I’ll be doing a review on this book later in the week, but in short, this is an informative and concise book on CBT. Ms. Greiner is not a mental health professional, but she has provided an excellent book for the layperson and professional. The three chapters focusing on “affirmations” are worth the cost of the book and can be used in conjunction with mindfulness meditation.

For more Friday Waypoints from True North Counseling, follow this link. Mark Neese, LCSW, BCBA is the Principal Therapist at True North Counseling in Louisville, KY and will be posting Friday Waypoints once a week. 

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