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Another Epiphany

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Another Epiphany

Postby RoyOdhner » Sat Mar 28, 2015 7:09 am

I'm sitting here in the wee hours, sipping on a large dram of Glenmorangie and a big ol' Pete full of Haunted Bookshop tobacco. Why? I've come to an epiphany - a legitimate, honest-to-goodness, shift (and a seismic one at that) in professional perspective. I'm still trying to wrap my mind around it, and the Glenmorangie and Haunted Bookshop makes this mind wrapping a far more enjoyable activity.

I'm a graduate student in the counseling program at Texas Wesleyan University in Fort Worth, Texas. My goal, upon graduation, is to work with sex offenders and their victims. An unusual endeavor, even among therapists, but I've come to understand that it is a calling as a much as it is a professional interest. This requires a certain understanding of offenders, those they have violated, and the dynamics of sexual trauma and sex offending. My professional orientation had been Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Rational Emotive Behavioral Therapy, but that was greatly expanded when I discovered the works of Murray Bowen and his Systemic Theory. Salvador Minuchin and his Structural Theory then expanded on this.

Tonight, during the course of doing some research for a term paper, I came across some information that has just blown my mind: trauma (and continuing primary and secondary stressors) completely rewires the human brain - particularly in the case of children and adolescents. It impacts how they process and manipulate information, how they relate to others, levels of empathy they have towards others, attachment styles, affect, cognitions and memories, relationships (particularly intimate relationships) with others, and impulse control. This has caused me to completely reconsider how to deliver programming and therapeutic services to the clients with whom I want to work. Heck, it goes beyond this and has implications for any sort of programming tailored for offenders of any sort - or any client suffering from PTSD.
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Re: Another Epiphany

Postby KevLa » Sat Mar 28, 2015 3:39 pm

Sounds like an important idea! All the best of luck in your new direction, Roy :)
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Re: Another Epiphany

Postby kats » Fri Apr 03, 2015 8:13 pm


Any trauma (or positive event,for that matter) creates a new "normal". That normal just is - and it may be healthy to stay there, or counter-productive - but it just is now normal. Counseling is about challenging normal, and move a person to a new/better normal or accepting and dealing with what is now normal.

I work as a Personal Finance Counselor for military personnel. I am facinated with an observation I came across recently.... those who have been through divorce tend to look at, and handle money differently. They are much more likely to have "His", "Hers" and "Ours" money... while first marriages tend to stick with more traditional "Our" money. There's a difference in the trust and respect - and money behaviors. I'm also seeing that cohabitating couples are about a 50-50 mix of "Our" vs "His/Her/Our" monies. That differences have huge implications to behaviors, budgeting, goals, planning, etc... and all finance counseling!

Heres a paraphrase of a quote that I have posted on my desk...

The Problem with Problems....
Convincing people that a problem exists in not enough! From there the work begins to...
Show that the problem affects the client directly.
There is something the client can do about it.
And inaction will result in more pain to the client personally than the pain of taking action to change.

(we don't do change very well)

I need a good drink and a smoke!
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