It has been a tremendous first week. I know exhaustion has started to hit when “dumb” things start happening. For example, I stopped at the gas station right after the grocery store a yesterday evening… And then drove home 40 miles with the gas tank open, only to notice the little message flashing on the dash this morning on my way back to internship. But this morning’s supervision ignited my clinician brain and really helped me focus.
We talked about how to meet a variety of client needs in the face of tremendous ambivalence. We exchanged with the psychiatrist how to best play to the client’s strengths and ultimately help her or him to be more receptive to treatment or making decisions. I am supposedly working with a 16-year-old female who I jokingly say “hates” me. She told me point blank from the start, “No offense but you’re an intern. I’m not gonna open up to you. You’re just gonna leave at the end of the year.” I can’t compete with that! She was right about that but I’d be here to support her anyway and how could I help? We’ve met twice. We started in October. She has No-Showed on me every single week since then. I don’t take this personally. Nor did I take today’s missed session personally. But this afternoon I caught an urge to call her at 5:30, hoping she’d be home. “I hear you’re doing really well,” I said. “How can I make this work for you? People (court/probation officer) will call for an update and what can I tell them?” Hopefully she will understand that I don’t want to tell them “I’ve seen her twice of 16 scheduled sessions.” By framing things in a way that might be more meaningful for her, I hope to redirect my own occasional frustrations at not being able to do any work with this client but also motivate her to want to start check in with me. That one impulsive phone call might have been the least dumb thing I did this week since her tone of voice indicated she might actually show up next week.