Wednesday, September 10, 2003

clinical goodie bag...

Yesterday I was really wound up and anxious. Today I am better.

Last night in group intervention class I was able to work through some things that had really been looming heavy over my head--mainly how to deal with long-term disappointment with work and feeling trapped in a profession that no longer fits my goals. Even though this is a class where we learn the complex functions of group work, we are lucky to benefit from the experiential training of doing group with classmates. It's a real group where we talk about real issues. I never really knew much about group work, but I am finding it to be one of the most fascinating parts of my education in clinical social work. I think every person in the class is finding the group rewarding. We spend the first half of the 3-hour class in lecture and then conduct group for the last half of class. Confidentiality is taken very seriously and we are told (and reminded repeatedly) that if we share anything from the group outside that room we will immediately be terminated from the entire program. I can talk about my own experiences but not those of others.

My other class, psychopathology, is always interesting as well. We began the class watching videos of various people who had Alzheimer's Disease. Three people at various stages of the disease were given a mental status exam with questions as simple as "show me how you brush your teeth with your left hand." One gentleman, who was only 54 years old and had been a chemical engineer, could not complete that command. He didn't know the year, his age, what year he was born in and couldn't draw a clock face. He was confused by almost everything the interviewer said.Others in the videotape were not as advanced in the disease, but would suddenly show agitation or sadness about not being able to remember things. One man would suddenly become so agitated that he was shaking the table and looked as though he would become violent. It was a heart-breaking eye-opener to the devastating effects of Alzheimer's.

This Sunday is my 7th anniversary...and we haven't killed each other yet!!! Love you snook'ums.


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