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"The soul that can speak through the eyes, can also kiss with a gaze."
~Gustav Adolfo Becquer

Busy as a Bee

>> Sunday, April 12, 2009

...And itchy feet.

The past Month or so has been hectic for me. Limited time, a bit stressful and very busy. It's been apparent as I haven't done too much with updating here on what's been going on in my life, much less to make the rounds to the pages of a few people who've become endearing to me over the course of time.

Back in January I started taking a class at Syracuse University, at the recommendation of my director. Three other clinicians besides myself are taking this same class. I was rather excited about this due as part of the perk for me supervision Master Level Interns from SU's School of Social Work, means that the University kicks back to my agency, 3 credit hours, for each Intern we supervise. Nice Perk, huh? Problem with that is that the agency had never allowed me or any of the other clinicians to ever use any of those credits that 'we' actually generated on behalf of the agency. Why? Because The Powers That Be feel that those credits are meant for those who don't have their Bachelor's or Master's degree in anything, and one would have to be Matriculated into a specific degree program. So there goes any Continuing Ed. classes. My director knows that I've been pretty vocal about my displeasure of this, as I've been one of only two clinicians that regularly take on this additional task to be mentor and supervisor here.
Well, she must have listened to me (Thank you!) as she had secured approval to send four clinicians to SU for this class.

It's a PhD level class on Clinical Supervision. It's basically a class, based in Theory and Modalities, of how to supervise other Master Level Therapists. I don't think I mentioned this before but I had recently been promoted and am working into a more supervisory position, so this class will give me actual formal training in this, rather than just move up through the ranks. I currently supervise the Interns coming in through SU, and will be now supervising two master level therapists and one master level case worker.
I'm sure we ALL have had a Supervisor-From-Hell at one time or another, am I right??? If my office walls could talk, they'd surely could tell tales of experiences of my prior Director, for all intents and purposes, should have had her professional license taken from her. That's a story for another time, so before I digress too much, I'd like to have some formal training to prep me for this, as I don't want to end up on any 'Bosses we love to hate' reality shows.

So, while I've been pretty excited about taking this class, I have forgotten how much work it is, to go back to school, after you've been out of school for several years.

10 to be exact.

And going to a 3 hour class after a full day of work, just sucks. It really does.

I just had finished a paper that was due and next week we get a take home Final Exam.
'Take home" final, I hear you say. What could be so hard about that?
I've had this professor 3 times back 10+ years ago. He's been teaching at SU for many years, has his own private practice here in the city, and also contracts out to supervise many other clinicians in this area. Basically, he's pretty well known. He knows his stuff, but tends to be ...way 'out there' theoretically-speaking, so he requires all his exams to be Essay-type that is based rather abstractly.
I am tired of thinking.


I do this Forty hours a week already, I no longer want to do this (intensely) for another 3-6 hours a week.

How has this affected me?
Back when I was going for my Masters, I was attending school Full Time, working Full Time, and also had to do an Internship 16 hours a week! That didn't leave much time for me and was stressful at times. Back then, I had come down with, what I thought was Athlete's feet. Ewww.. you say. Yup, I said the same thing. I couldn't understand why, I kept my feet clean, etc, etc. I had bought all sorts of sprays and cremes for athletes feet, it would clear up a bit and then get red and itchy again. UGH! I made an appointment with a doctor, who ran some tests and found out that I didn't have Athletes feet, I had Eczema, brought on by....stress. Who knew!
He gave me a prescription strength medication that helped to clear it up.
I graduated.
Two weeks later it disappeared completely, and hadn't ever returned

...Until Last week!
ugh! Actually, my feet just started to itch and hadn't gone full blown yet thankfully. So this has become a huge cue for me. When stress hits, My feet itch. Messed up, huh?

Anyway, I will be done with this class in about 3 weeks, thankfully!

Aside from the school piece, I've also noticed a rather odd trend at work. I had been getting some rather significant high risk and seriously disturbed clients. Chronically disturbed. Not your average garden-variety depression or anxiety. I mean several people suffering from schizophrenia and people with rapid-cycling Bipolar. I couldn't understand why I was getting such a significant amount of high-maintenance people until a fellow coworker clued me in recently. Apparently I, along with just a couple other clinicians there are the only ones qualified and licensed to take Medicare Clients. No big deal right? You think Medicare clients, one typically thinks the elderly, right? Not true. Those who are on SSI are also on Medicare. And to be on SSI for mental health reasons, one has to be chronically and severely impacted by their mental illness to the point where they are unable to consistently work, they may be frequent flyers to the ER or psychiatric hospitals, etc. Therefore, I have a higher percentage of chronically and severely disturbed clients because of Medicare approving me as a treatment provider, than those clinicians who have not yet reached that qualification.
So yes...this has also got me a bit stressed and busy lately.
Combine that with a ton of new clients that they assigned me very recently and I bet your feet would start to itch you too. :)

One piece of good news also, in between all this chaos, I recently (finally) got my R# Status (LCSW-R). I had been qualified for it 4 years ago, but hadn't sent in the necessary documentation for it until recently. Techically speaking, I can now accept all 3rd party payments from Insurance companies, (Private Practice), and am now qualified to supervise all LCSW's working toward their own R#.

Hopefully, I'll be able to breathe easy again soon, cause I need it.


© 2009 Greeneyezz

5 Reflections:

Ricardo 5:53 AM, April 13, 2009  

Seriously disturbed patients? Was I there? LOL!

I have a nasty case of anxiety that was limiting me in just about every aspect of my life. Got sent to the ER over it. But I am sick of it and fighting it head on and I'm getting better with it in regards to panic attacks. A LCSW wanted to put me on Paxil but I will NEVER go on any of those drugs again after the nonsense with celexa. And would you believe that some of this anxiety was brought on due to bad work supervisors? Anyway, enough of that, I'm sounding like a patient already and what a bore. You're writing here to escape it for awhile.

The eczema/high stress thing is not that uncommon. I have had it once in a great while. Not common but it hits.

Sounds like you have a huge hill to climb but it will pay off in the long run.

Attend a keg party on campus to relieve stress.

LORENZO 11:17 AM, April 13, 2009  

The price we pay for education...some fresh air and sunshine will help us all. Though I think you may have to wait a bit longer for that where you are...

Anonymous 9:32 PM, April 13, 2009  

To go though it makes you understand it. When you council others to handle their own stress and anxiety, you can relate in a real way - one may sense that and be more willing (conscious or unconsciously) to tune in.

Greeneyezz 7:43 AM, April 14, 2009  

Ricardo - "Attend a keg party on campus to relieve stress."
I laughed out loud at that one.
I know I'm old enough to be their mother! ;)
*Ponders the thought of being Mrs. Robinson though. ;)

Lorenzo - Hey!! I remmber you from both the MW Society and from the badge that Robert Bourne had on his site. Good to see you here! ;)
Ahhh, and is New Jersey *that* much more Tropical than Upstate New York with our Famous Winters? ;)

"Anonymous" - Yes, I go through it makes you understand it. Though that's not applicable to all things. (I don't have to have schizophrenia to be able to help someone with that illness.)
Relating in a real way is very important, I agree.

Ricardo 1:20 PM, April 16, 2009  

A little Mrs.Robinson never hurt. Be a cougar for the experience of it.

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