Facing the Facts

Tonight my mom asked me, “So just how much do you really know about what happened in Connecticut?” I admitted to her that really I didn’t know too many details because I kind of tried not to find out. After telling me about a lot of what there was to know, she paused and reflected, “Can you imagine what it must’ve been like for those First Responders?” I felt like she wanted me to give her some kind of answer, like a tangible reason for why and how such tragedies can occur. Obviously there was nothing particularly comforting that I could say to my mom in that moment, but then I remembered something from my consultation and collaboration class from just a couple of weeks ago. I found out that there are debriefing processes that can take place within a few days of a tragic event. A trained person would facilitate this critical incident stress debriefing to help individuals process their experiences and feelings surrounding the event. I tried to explain this idea as best I could. As I said those words, it occurred to me that some day that may actually be one of my responsibilities as a clinician in the field. As much as I wanted to shield myself from knowing some of the details of Friday, it seems necessary to find a way to become informed about the harder-to-process events of the world. As graduation approaches, I realize just how many skills the counseling program is equipping me with to be able to face day-to-day challenges, not just as a clinician but as a member of society. I feel that when the school releases me out into what I call the “real world” it will be time to fulfill my responsibilities of service and dedication to whatever community I live in… even if it means pushing myself to purposely know what is happening in the world around me.

About abrigovmspp

Hi! My name is Valerie. I am in my 2nd year of the MA Counseling program at MSPP. I am also a student in the Latino Mental Health Program. I am originally from the New York City area and I transplanted to MA to study for my Masters. I look forward to writing and sharing my adventures throughout the semester.
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One Response to Facing the Facts

  1. TJ says:

    Thanks, Valerie. I do wonder, if perhaps it was your mother who needed the “debriefing”. When events like this happen, which profoundly affect us all (a nation), we can focus on the ‘big picture’ to the exclusion of the individuals involved. As psychologists we have the gift, and the skills, to touch an individual in a way that can make an enormous difference, just by being there with their experience, by simply bearing witness to their pain or confusion. I suspect you did just that with your mother, by being there, by listening as one human to another. What a simple (and great) gift.

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