In this column and subsequent columns, I will share my perceptions of working in the mental health profession. Names and identifying information—such as race, gender and ethnicity–have been changed. Names of colleagues have also been eliminated.  Any resemblance to persons living or dead is purely coincidental.

The first part of my internship consisted of sitting in on therapy sessions conducted by skilled clinicians. “Do you mind if Mrs. McCullough sits in on our session today?” Mr. J, or Mr. A. or Dr. B. would ask their clients.

No clients objected. I guess I looked harmless enough.

As I watched these skilled therapists at work, I wondered if I would ever be able to come close to matching their level of expertise in helping clients.

I was also impressed with the courage it  took for these clients to make the decision to improve their lives by going into therapy in 1972.

Today psychotherapy has gone main stream. In some cities and town, there are as many therapy offices as there are restaurant.

Therapy is available online, on Skype, as well as in office settings.  In 1972, being in therapy was something one whispered about. Something kept in the closet.

But in 1972, options for therapy in our area, options for therapy were limited to the two psychiatrists connected to the mental health clinic and to one or two licensed psychologists. The mental health clinic was the hub of treatment.

In the next column, I finally get my feet wet with a client of my own.



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