As of August 17th, 2009, I will be starting work as a Residential Counselor at Volunteer’s of America’s Children’s Residential Treatment Center (CRTC) in Minneapolis, MN. I feel incredibly excited for this new beginning for a couple of different reasons:
- They have a significant focus on family and systems focused therapy.
- I will have a better schedule when I work there (every other weekend off entirely, in addition to Mondays and Tuesdays off for school!)
- When the time comes, they are willing to work with me so that I can complete my internship on-site.
It will also be exciting to get to work with different kids, different people and a different system. Throughout the interview process it seemed like at least superficially, Holcomb House and CRTC have very similiar philosophies and practices. I look forward to seeing how that plays out in their milieu and contributing to a positive milieu culture.
By the same token, I feel sad to leave Holcomb House. Since the time I started at Holcomb as an intern, I have changed dramatically as a person. Professionally, I have two solid years of experience working first as an intern and then as a staff. I have learned more of my buttons and boundaries and that it is not only okay, but necessary to ask for help sometimes. I have learned the importance of facing the little battles early on, so that they don’t become bigger battles later.
Personally, I have become more of a realist. I see things for what they are, instead of what I want them to be. In that unmodified light, I have the capacity to foster and witness real change. When I started working at Holcomb, I think that I was more of an unabashed optimist. I started off thinking that every kid in the whole wide world can and should go to college, work for the betterment of wider society, and lead the contented life of the self made man or woman that they would inevitably become. In short, if every child in the world was afforded all of the social services humanity could provide, they could, in short, become me.
Being successful doesn’t mean reflecting my values. I want a higher education. At the conclusion of my life, I want to feel confident that other people’s lives were more satisfying because of the work that I did. Those “wants” reflect some of my values, namely education and humanitarian work. When I want my clients to be successful, I have to put aside my wants and values and dig in with my them to figure out what they are wanting, the manifests of their values. Success has to be success on the individual’s terms.
Holcomb has changed me. I look forward to seeing the woman I will continue to become as I work at at CRTC.