Breaking Through Cognitive Barriers

Yesterday and today were my first days back to work after being on vacation for a week. I didn’t really go anywhere but I definitely enjoyed having time to myself to do things I love and some things I’ve been meaning to get to (like cleaning my whole house!). I read books, I colored, exercised, cleaned, spent time with family, played video games, and just generally relaxed. I could get up when I wanted, sleep as late as I wanted, and nobody was around to yell at me for not doing enough for their child.

So back to work. I come in to 28 e-mails and 6 voicemails all with parents needing this or wanting that. I kind of expected this. But what I did not expect, and literally became speechless at, was a parent calling her child a “psycho” and a “nut” because the child engaged in self-injury. She feels the child should “just get over” things that have happened in the past. No matter how much I, or other clinicians, try to explain to her the reasoning behind it (coping skill…not a good one but still a coping skill) she just doesn’t get it. I couldn’t think of a single thing to say professionally (although I thought of plenty that would have lost me my job). I talked to my supervisor and she said we could talk to her together at some point. I let her know I already spoke with his therapist and family therapist.

I forget sometimes that not everyone is in my field and doesn’t have the knowledge or the training I’ve had. There really are people out there that think that mental illness is something to be ashamed of ,or worse, mocked. I think even if you don’t get it basic human compassion should kick in at some point. This is obviously a person in pain and you think it’s okay to treat them horribly?!

Good night for now.