Skin.

Over a year ago, I wrote a post called Rockstar.  In it, I discuss one of my experiences with a bit of something like celebrity.  Nothing huge, but, for me, more than a bit overwhelming, even on a small scale.

I am gaining confidence again.  Having left the engineering field, particularly in the supply chain arena, I am no longer a subject matter expert (SME), but find myself as the newest member of the counseling team.  I should add that one of my colleagues has a nursing background and not one of counseling.  Regardless, she’s a strong ally.

I have the good fortune to speak to over 100 clients a week, some of them more than once or twice, even.  The groups that I facilitate are a Spirituality group, two Life Skills groups, a Criminality and Addiction group, and a DWI group that focuses on the impact of families and peers on our consumption of alcohol.

I remember the first group I facilitated.  I was horrible.  Correction, I let the group “run” itself – which it really did not.  The group were a handful of extremely independence and strong-willed women and I did not exert the energy or effort to keep the group on topic for the discussion.  My supervisor let it happen.  Afterward, she asked me, “You didn’t think I was going to help you, did you?”  Not everyone’s style, but it was one of those moments of, “You’re not going to do that again.”

It was a few months of trial and error and developing my own sense of style and pace and structure for the groups I facilitate.  Different groups require different skills and areas to observe with the group members.

I’ve been with the organization for nearly 9 months.  The time has flown quickly.  And it was quickly (mostly due to being incredibly busy) that I became a valued member of the team.  My analytical skills help me to stay on top of my caseload.  And my confidence in the group discussions is increasing with each group I facilitate.

Some of the clients in my groups have been so since May when I started, with newer members joining just last week.  Either way, I do my best to make sure that I am sufficiently prepared for the topic I select, as well as that I am able to roll with what the group needs dictate.

For example, one standard activity is the check-in.  While this helps with group members knowing each other and with the treatment team monitoring their progress, it helps the group members themselves to know how they are doing in mood-regulation for themselves.  If someone has had a particularly challenging day or week that might be potential scapegoat for a relapse, we allow the members to address and process it with each other.  Part of the team of recovery.

All of this to say that I am gaining confidence and finding my footings in my new field – and growing in passion and concern for the clients I serve.

What steps are you taking to gain confidence in your life?  Who are you turning to for guidance?  What obstacles are you overcoming, and what is the hardest lesson you’ve learned on your path?

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