So I’m chillaxing after my first day at new foundations. Things were kinda stressful in the morning with morning nurse coming in later than expected transportation coming in earlier than expected so no time to actually sit and eat breakfast. So I got meds and ran out the door however my CAN had already gotten my food so I ate in the car.
It was interesting to see what had and hadn’t changed since 2012. Same intake coordinator who seems pretty burnt out. Just distant and kinda worn down I guess. Really wasn’t willing to collaborate/ discuss how there were issues with the right transportation company being used and rather than following up just said I did what I was supposed to and wouldn’t really listen to Edith my case worker. It was a quick meeting with her. She didn’t have much to say. I just said how I had been doing which is actually pretty good. Explained self-injury harm reduction care plan. Talked about why I didn’t like turning point and last IOP ETC.
Was let out in time for first group. On route ran into the art therapist Gail who had also been there in 2012. Had no idea how to work with a blind person. Her best idea was because I love playing with those really shineyrocks you get at shops, she had me go outside with sandpaper and sand a rock. Then she read how the dust of that is super bad for your lungs even outside! But anyway it was like the most boring activity ever and I failed to see the therapy aspect.
So I run into her and she’s like Sam you were my star student! I’m thinking really? We hardly did anything. I did ask up front if she could make tactile modifications for stuff and she said yes and that they have clay (which they didn’t before) and they use yarn to do stuff ETC. I also have materials to bring in. I always do this with art therapy type groups since I know the person’s gonna be pretty lost anyway.
So yeah CBT actually turned out to be the best group of the day and I wasn’t expecting that. The therapist was very animated and clearly passionate about it. At turning point this subject was presented rather simply and rigidly as in you must do this a certain way for it to work and then it’ll work and in four months you’ll be all better literally. Not taking into account the whole person. I feel like this therapist really did see the whole picture talking about how nine times out of ten we notice our feelings before our thoughts. Even though the sequence is: event, thought, feeling, action, consequence. So yeah we talked about that and how to work backwards to look at what you had been thinking once your feelings have run their course. That it’s about looking at different perspectives not always just being positive and she emphasized this this happens slowly and over time.
So we did worksheets on coping skills unhealthy and healthy and consequences of that. It was cool to do even though I’ve already gone over this stuff in therapy it was good I felt I could relate to what was going on and didn’t feel like shutting down like most times I encounter CBT. Also a couple people in the group mentioned turning to self injury or wanting to so I didn’t feel alone at all and the therapist was chill about it all.
Next group was WRAP. Wellness recovery action planning. It’s a consumer developed system so not by professionals. But by people who wanted to have a way to take responsibility for their own mental health care. A lot of it sounds really useful. Writing down things that help you maintain some kinda mental health. A list of stuff you need to do everyday to keep on track ETC.
So now they’re on this very detailed crisis plan. Basically writing out what you’re like when in a crisis and what you want certain support people to do ( I.E take care of kids, take over house work, take you to the hospital ETC.)
I feel this is best suited and makes a lot of sense for people living alone or with family or friends. However as I’m living in a facility with profesionals 24 seven I sort of can’t do a crisis plan. Or at least not exactly how they’re doing it. Sometimes I don’t even know when I’m in crisis. Or I could feel like things are manageable but due to my behavior the staff/ psychiatrist decides to hospitalize me. When truly in crisis hospitalization is what happens and there’s no choice about it. Ultametily it comes down to the psychiatrist making the decision. Once they’re envolved the final choice is actually out of even the staff’s hands. I’ve heard recently from caseworkers who probably weren’t suppose to say this that they’ve had residents that have been hospitalized and they didn’t think it should have happened!
So anyway they’re filling out this stuff and it’s like totally not applicable and I kept trying to tell her that. This therapist different from the first group. Some other residents were fed up because it’s a set program this group yet some people have taken it every quarter and have had to fill this thing out multiple times. That doesn’t make sense at all and she’s like if you’re in the group you have to do it. I think something that’s a set criculum like that should be done one quarter a year or every other quarter or something. Obveously people don’t need to be doing it over and over again if they’ve done the whole thing once.
So yeah not impressed. Third group I was gonna go to trauma and greif but it’s a closed group so no. Went to confident communication. And found out to my annoyance and surprise that my case worker from 2012 was still here! I was not at all impressed with this woman when she took the job when I was there. She had little mental health experience or training.She had her bachilor’s degree but that was it. It wasn’t really about training though it was just her. Just an incredibly sdcattered disorganized person. She took me someplace and smoked in her car with me in it. She kept talking about how she loved smoking and couldn’t seem to calm down without a cigarette. Just really immature and just all over the place and not all that clinically minded. I mean she’s on the opposite extreme from those people I think are too clinical. She could do with showing her skills as a caseworker in some way but that just didn’t happen. I really didn’t trust her obviously to open up to her. I’m really intuitive about people so figured this out like within a week. Really wanted to change but the intake coordinator was really unmoved about it all. One reason for leaving I just didn’t want to drive all that way to deal with her.
So back to today she’s like Sam! I’m so glad you’re back I was your caseworker!! I’mlike yeah I know. In my head I’m like don’t remind me! Will be working with caseworker from here to try and avoid getting this woman again.
Needless to say it wasn’t a very good group with her leading. Within like ten minutes I realized in spite of two years hopefully changing her she was pretty much the same. Laughing at inappropriate/ just weird times. She was like making jokes to certain people that must be like inside jokes or something. Like she kept teasing this guy about wonder bread and martens! So I have no idea. What she had us do was boring and weird. She had this huge list of 35 proverbs. That relate to conflict styles. And then rate on a scale of one to five how often we used this style.
Like: Kill your enimies with kindness.” Or “No Person has the final answer but every person has a piece to contribute.” Or “ It is easier to refrain than to retreat from a quarrel.” So anyway a lot of people had trouble understanding these.
I read something in abnormal psych about how among a million other diagnostic tools if you give someone a proverb how they interpret it shows a lot about their mental health. I don’t remember any more than that. But I wasn’t surprised people had trouble some of them I did as well and I was plain tired of writing them down. And this woman leader was like “yeah these are hard it might take a minute.” But provided no advice. Finally I just got up and left. They have a relaxed policy that if you don’t have a group you can just hang out.
The rest of the afternoon was pretty laid back. I listened to my ipod for awhile. Then there was this music book. This I again saw in 2012. Same woman who didn’t know a thing about music doing the same stuff. A bunch of guys with song sheets that I assume have guitar chords on them. Someone plays guitar okish others drum it’s all like music like I don’t know how to describe the style. One song was called “lonely people” and another “blackbird.” I really didn’t like it and they didn’t play or sing very well at all. Not sure what Marie was up to. This one guy was more the leader than she was. I wasn’t actually a part of the group. We were all in this big main room and I was across the room at the table with a woman who was playing solitaire on her phone. I listened somewhat but it was really badly done music and just so weird.
I’m trying to learn ASL for fun and to communicate with a girl that lives in my building. There’s a sign language teaching book on bookshare with pretty ok descriptions of letters. So I sat there practicing my letters and reading the book. My own little probably done wrong sign language class!
Then transportation didn’t come til three instead of two. Other than that it was ok. I wasn’t nervous like I thought I would be. Helped I took Ativan in the morning. Hey at least I got out and did some stuff. I like that you can hang out if you don’t have groups to do. It’s better than nothing for right now.