My Fantasy Life in My New Career

When I envision my life in five to ten years, I imagine that I will be living a good life with my husband in the Gulf of Mexico. I may have a gold fish or a cat as a pet. I hope to be spending a lot of time with Kenlee and Elliana. I plan to have my master’s degree completed at that time and will at least be making a comfortable living in my career field. I envision my fantasy life as working with addiction recovery, but I still want to be able to do some volunteer work. I would like to be able to volunteer with the children’s emergency shelter in my community or volunteer with the deaf and autistic youth through the Georgia Vocational Rehabilitation Department, hopefully at the Cave Spring center. I would also like to pursue a hobby on the side as a wellness coach, by obtaining my certification in fitness training and group exercise and host group fitness classes, such as Zumba, as a volunteer service to benefit people in my area who are unable to afford the cost of gym memberships. As an outlet for my personal “mental health” moments that I utilize for downtime to recharge my own self personally, I would choose to remain active in my car club, although no longer as an admin or front runner, but more just a spectator to enjoy occasional car drives and car shows with my friends, and having an outlet that has nothing to do with human services or impoverished or suffering people just to maintain a clear balance of my own health and wellbeing.
The agency I would like to be working for is Riverwoods Behavioral Health System. They have a very comprehensive inpatient program that includes both individual and group therapy sessions. They also go beyond, traditional therapy to offer various additional therapy practices, like art and music therapy, that work to help the patient recover from the addiction in healthy ways that incorporate replacing the addiction with more positive and beneficial outlets. Then, they work out an outpatient program to follow the patient once released from the inpatient therapy treatment.
The type of tasks I would perform would include strengths-based counseling therapy. I would focus on the strengths the client has and utilize those to help empower the client to believe in the power of making positive changes in their life and how their recovery from the addiction will give them back a better life for themselves and their family. I would like to be involved in both the group as well as individual counseling therapies, as I believe they both are valuable to a person’s recovering process. I would also be responsible for maintaining adequate records and time management. Keeping in mind that any document or file in my possession could be considered a legal document in the event of litigation regarding any client that has been seen by myself or the agency, I would be cognizant of the importance of thorough and clear reporting in my documentation. I would also continually keep in mind the rights of each client to their privacy, barring the threat of harm to themselves or anyone else, and give the utmost respect to that right by protecting their privacy.
The types of clients I would have in this practice would be varied. Addiction does not discriminate, so there would be clients from all walks of life and races, ethnicities, and cultures. The clients would be both male and female and range from young adults/teenagers to even the elderly. The important thing will be to respect each one of them as an individual and try to gain an understanding of any cultural differences that I may have with them to better serve them in the helping process.
The type of cross-cultural work performed may include working with people of different ethnicities who do not believe I can understand or sympathize with the circumstances that led them to their addictions. Also, there would be the situation where understanding a client’s different culture and beliefs will be important when it could be a conflict of therapy practices.
By this point in my career, I hope to have attained a high level of cultural competence. I want to feel confident that I am able to maintain a respectable and professional demeanor when working with clients who are from different cultures than my own. Any differences in cultures that I do not understand or am not aware of, I would take the time to learn about, through reading, internet research, or by allowing the client themselves to educate me from their own perspective; which would give me a better understanding of not only the importance of the specific difference or custom as a whole, but more insight into what is means personally to the client.
I will maintain my level of cultural competence by continuing education and utilizing websites such as The Department of Health and Human Services, which offer free online cultural competence training, like Think Cultural Health, where there are classes that are offered online, and at no charge, that can apply credit hours toward the required training needed to maintain credentials. Also, I plan to maintain cultural competence by studying and researching different cultures that I am not familiar with, to help gain a better understanding of the practices and customs that guide the client’s beliefs. There are many options for taking online CEU’s in cultural competence, both free and for a fee, as well as classes offered through various agencies- many of those open the classes up to participants outside of their own agency due to the importance of developing a field of culturally competent individuals in the human services arena.

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