Tuesday, July 10, 2007

toxic jobs and career paths

The American Psychological Association states in part of it's code of ethics (1.14) that psychologists have the duty to avoid harm. In other words, the therapist must dutifully decide on therapeutic interventions that will not knowingly cause harm. With that said, I have seen that some organizations fail to follow this in some cases: Putting the need to keep the beds full/keep the census up ahead of what is clinically appropriate for the client. Utilization, a term that us mere therapists hear way too often, can become detrimental to some clients. I have heard the words "I don't care what's clinically appropriate, we need these beds full" literally exit the mouth of a higher up. The same person became defensive when I asked how can the organization put a client into an inappropriate program that can cause harm, more trauma and attach an undue stigma to the client?

Of course, I need to have a job for my own financial survival, but how can I continue to work in an environment that is toxic to those being served? How do I change the system for the better? During my last sleepless night mulling things over, a long chain of thought associations led me to asking "what do you want to do?" over and over. Spontaneously a moment of clarity arose with the answer, "I want to help people heal."

So that is it, I want to help people heal, I want to be a medium of healing, I want to be a healer. This starts by holding the space for others and helping them find healing to their mental health needs. Next: starting (and completing) my degree in therapeutic massage. Followed by getting a degree in nutrition/becoming a Registered Dietitian. Then: Getting my PhD and continuing my studies so I can better help others find healing. Perhaps: studying Eastern healing methods. My goal for many years has been to open a healing center that has independent practitioners working in conjunction to help people find holistic health and healing. Mind, body and spirit efficiently working together, creating well being. Psychology, massage therapy, acupuncture, nutrion, martial arts, movement therapy and more available to each client as needed. I envision the center having appropriate lecture space and a reference library to educate.

This is what I am working towards, a job, a career and a life that improves the world even in a small way. A working environment that promotes healing for clients and practitioners. One that is not toxic. This will feed my soul while helping others.

1 comment:

Darlene said...

such thoughtful posts...this is a beautiful thing to watch...and relate to.
I'm also in the midst of trying to figure out how to get all of my life in better balance with nontoxic, helpful, healing systems/groups/places/career paths...so complex.
your direction sounds wonderful and I wish you the best with it.xo