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Friday, September 20, 2013

The one bad apple

I just completed a marvelous 3 day training.
Another training that involved mental health professionals and equine (horse) professionals.
And encourages them to work together. (this one, in my opinion, was more thorough, organized and professional than the last one. I also get CEUs)

I will get into the training itself and where I see myself going with this at some point in the future. However, this is not the point of this post.


This one is merely to vent.

I greatly value my role as a professional counselor. And I greatly value the input and contributions of other professionals who are sincerely trying to improve the lives of others in the community.

Something happens though when you put so many people into an intense and exhausting environment. people with big egos.  people who are trying to prove to other professionals how much they know. When in fact we are all there to learn.

Do you know where I am going with this?

I met some awesome people from all over the country. I met some people who I would love to grab a cup of coffee with and talk to and collaborate with more who are local. A therapist from Wauconda with a hilarious self-deprecating sense of humor. A horse person in Belvidere, originally from Texas with a calm confidence. Another woman is just up 83 from me in Burlington.

But there were also some people who by the end, I would have loved to just punch in the face.

I recognize how inappropriate this thought is coming from a CBT therapist who works with violent offenders. I do believe violence is wrong and blah blah blah. The picture in my head just made me feel better. Catharsis. Coping, if you will.

You know when you start to notice those people a little bit in the beginning. And think that maybe they are just quirky. Or confidant. And you give them the benefit of the doubt. And they magically begin to know more than the trainers. And they brag about how awesome they are at everything. And talk down to people who see a situation differently. Sulk if not the center of attention. And slowly my benefit turns into contempt. And then, by some horrible stroke of luck...you (I) get placed into "processing groups" with those people. And role play. I start twitching. And it is UN-BEAR-A-BLE.

My saving grace???

I am not alone.

I begin to notice the facial expression I am feeling. Or perhaps unintentionally expressing myself (since we know I have practically no filter when it comes to feeling and my face). On others. not just me. And we smile and give each other a knowing look. And they offer me a chocolate covered cherry.

Even one of the horses seeks me out for a quick nuzzle.


And it is so relieving.

More relieving than my desire to dislocate someones teeth.

I am amazed sometimes at my own ability to allow one or two or three people to almost ruin a perfectly wonderful experience. To overshadow the 40 other professionals who are going to nail this thing. Who I have learned so much from and am inspired by their vulnerability and honesty. And who I hope very much to see in part 2 in November.

May I work to always see the 40. Instead of the 1 bad apple.


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