This Thursday is National Bring Your Child To Work Day. If I had a child, I’m not sure I would bring them to the office, but that’s due to the nature of my work. Let me explain a little further about what I do.
As an addictions/mental health therapist there is a level of confidentiality AND professionalism needed in this line of work. Not to mention, safety concerns as well. Many therapists don’t even place pictures of their children or family in their office. Some clients can become distracted by seeing the therapist’s life and try to deflect attention away from their problems. Some therapists may even do this as a safety precaution so their children’s or spouse’s faces are not recognizable. Personally I don’t place family pictures in my office either because they are a big distraction.
My current office setting is pretty relaxed and functions for mostly outpatient therapy, as well as other services for our clients (advocacy, case management). Outpatient therapy consists of 50 minute individual sessions with an assigned therapist.
Here is a brief rundown of what a typical day looks like for myself:
- Check the calendar to see what clients are scheduled for the day. I usually do this the night before or in the morning before work. Having a session immediately after arriving at work requires a little more preparation (and maybe coffee)
- Clients are usually scheduled on the hour and each session is 50 minutes long. If clients are scheduled back to back I have a 10 minute window to return calls/check voicemails/consult with clinical director, if necessary.
- Therapy sessions are not just “talk” therapy. Sometimes I use worksheets to educate the client on certain topics or I use a wipe board to help them visually map out what they are learning. Clients may bring in their journal assignments and we process what they have been writing. Or I may ask them to list stressors, recent successes, what they are grateful for or what they have been avoiding. Mind you, this is a condensed description of therapeutic techniques!
- If there is an hour break between clients I am able to return calls, hopefully process last hour’s session, complete a case note for that client (which only takes about 15 minutes), file the note and prepare for the next client.
- If a client no-shows or cancels I may have to email or fax a note to their caseworker, if they are mandated by the court or state to attend treatment. Another case note will need to be completed for no-shows/cancellations as well.
- If I am dealing with a client with specific concerns (returning PTSD symptoms, new mental health diagnosis, new psychotropic medication, retraumatization, etc) I will need to find time to research resources, new treatment modalities and/or consult with other therapists.
This doesn’t seem like too much fun for a child!!
And all of this takes place before I start blogging for the day!! Whew!
Are there reasons you wouldn’t take your child to work? What does your child/family need to know about your daily routine?