Thursday, August 28, 2014

Family Conference

Do you remember the movie, "What about Bob"? Funny movie. The psychiatrist, will call a family conference throughout the movie, I still laugh at this great comedy. This writer calls many family conferences in his family. A time to sit down and communicate with current situations. But, it does not always have to be communication with families challenges. Family conferences can be about positive situations too! For example, the other day, I was working with a family bordering our state, Minnesota, and I asked the whole family on a Saturday to come to the kitchen table before I began my individual sessions with the brother and sister. Once the whole family had gathered, I looked at each face and could see anxiety driven facial expressions. I understand with this particular family, some of our family conferences covered the negative energy in the past. I stood up, not saying one word and began to articulate my actions through gestures. At first, the eyes of each person sitting around the table must of thought I was off my rocker, as I gleaned after the exercise! Then, mom, jumped in and shouted you are dancing? Truth be told, I need some work in the dancing department. I replied with shaking my head, nope! Then, my clients jumped in, and began shouting out what they thought I was trying to describe to them. It was a movie, and I was working up a sweat trying to mimic the scene where the psychiatrist (Richard Dryfuss) was laying on down and Bob, (Bill Murray) was jumping on his back! Finally, after exhaustion from this writer, Dad got the movie! The next thing you know, Dad jumps up, and begins his illustration of his movie. We played this for 45 minutes. A family conference on a Saturday morning. Stay in your health, stay in the moment.

Saturday, August 9, 2014

A bus session

The other day, I had the unique opportunity to do a addiction education session on a bus. We were suppose to meet at a coffee shop, but the client was late for work, and the bus was the only feasible option at the time. This was first for this writer. I try to have a completely, confidential place for each client's needs. Being creative in our 1:1 sessions  in my experience is a positive! Sitting in the middle of the bus, next to each other while other people getting on and off the bus heading to the city. Voices of all of kinds, filled with all different kind of faces. This particular client, (I gleaned as we hit the stops) was very popular on this bus ride! We began reviewing the goals, doing our mood check in, when all of sudden a stranger, (I thought) began listening to our session. I realized this stranger was a peer, maybe even a close friend, ok, how about a girlfriend. Soon I had two voices going back and forth with our conversation. I decided to roll with it, what am I going to do? I never knew that this other person could help me elicit the responses that can help this writer be a better helper? At the end of bus ride, (I had to take it back to my car- and I was late for next session) a older gentlemen tapped me on the shoulder as my client and her girlfriend got off the bus. He replies that the person that I have been working with over the last 17 months is doing good things! I looked, smiled, and said that is a positive right? He said with a chuckle if you only knew. I thanked the man for his positive words. Stay in your health, stay in the moment.

A car wash

Addiction Services had another opportunity to attend a college visit, out of town with a family. Once this summer ends for 2014, we will have completed eight college visits with clients and sometimes their families. The story begins working with a family on a college visit cleaning a car. Each family member working together as a unit, (writer included) accomplishing a goal with positive energy. I had to take a step back for a second, and view this positive moment where brothers and mom are working as a team, smiling, laughing, enjoying a moment on vacation while meeting their goals during a college visit. This was huge! Often families can forget how important it is to get along with each other through the tough times and negative energy can take over making things bigger. Each person had a task, but the funny thing, there was no delegation to what each person was suppose to do, right? We all know as parents we bark out, clean your room, take the garbage out, did you do the dishes? All normal tasks we ask our kids to do. But, sometimes they do not do them, and after awhile we need to get the kids on a task or goal schedule. Here is the interesting dynamic to this story, cleaning a car with a family. All parties did not need any prompts or directions from parent or writer- they all did the tasks on their own with self-autonomy. Wow, this was great. Watching a special family bond in a positive way is staying in our health and staying in the moment.