Feeling More Confident

I’ve been a counselor on the BetterHelp platform for nearly seven weeks at this point.  I’m finally starting to feel more confident in this position.

BetterHelp provides its counselors with multiple statistics regarding their performance. This platform recently sampled 107 of my sessions to date. Ninety-six percent of clients reported that sessions with me were helpful, which is deeply satisfying to know.

I’m learning to not take it so personally when clients decide to switch to another counselor. After all, the goal of this platform is for clients to be matched to the best therapist for their needs. Sometimes, I’m that counselor. Sometimes, I am not.

So far, I’ve dealt with an enormous variety of clinical issues. There have been issues with addiction, marital infidelity, academic pressures, eating disorders, alcohol abuse, financial stressors, domestic violence, ADHD, depression, panic attacks, unemployment, childhood trauma, panic attacks, smoking cessation, sibling rivalry, and attachment issues.

Annual Mammogram

I just phoned to schedule my annual mammogram. I neglected to have this important test performed last year, so it’s now been close to two years since I’ve had this test.

Because I have dense breast tissue, my nurse practitioner wants me to have a 3-D mammogram. Thankfully, I can do this locally. I just found out that I’ll receive my results the very next day, too.

My mother was diagnosed with an early stage of breast cancer, several years ago. Early detection of this malignancy saved her life. In honor of my mother’s birthday tomorrow, I’ve scheduled this vital test.

Missing My Mother

Today is October 15, 2020. Tomorrow would have been my mother’s 91st birthday.

I miss my mother terribly, every single day. Just one short year ago, we had a wonderful surprise birthday party for her. My daughter ensured that no detail was neglected.

The birthday party was a Golden Girls theme. I still remember the look upon my mother’s face when she entered the room where we held her party.

Fast forward one year, and I no longer have my mother. The world has changed substantially, due to COVID-19. Personally, I’m currently not teaching any college courses. I’ve been finding myself exceptionally busy with my BetterHelp position.

My mother was always my strongest cheerleader, without any doubt. There are so very many things that I wish I could say to my mother. I’d tell her how very much that I love her. I still do talk to her, and I strongly believe that she continues to listen.

Clients Switching Therapists

While I’ve been licensed as a clinical psychologist for close to twenty years, I’m very new to providing online counseling with BetterHelp. It’s been a steep learning curve, actually.

BetterHelp’s system matches you to potential clients, based upon your specific area(s) of expertise. To date, I’ve had clients switch therapists, before we’ve even had our initial session!

Clients are given the opportunity to say why they have switched therapists. Some simply reply that they are looking for a counselor with a different expertise. Other clients fail to provide an exact reason for why they’ve switched counselors.

This is so drastically different from working as a clinical psychologist in nursing homes. Those residents typically are very happy to have a therapist with whom to meet, especially given their extreme COVID-19 induced isolation.

Nevertheless, I’m really enjoying the challenges of working with a substantially younger population. It feels good to use skills that have been dormant for quite some time.

Caring is So Tiring

I’ve really been feeling especially fatigued recently. Concurrently, I’ve been very busy with building my caseload of online clients.

I always try to be “on” for the individuals whom I see, but I’ll admit that this is very challenging. I’m dealing with such a wide variety of issues and concerns: eating disorders, suicidal ideation, infidelity, low self-esteem, strained relationships, unemployment, substance abuse, sexual trauma, chronic illness, increased anxiety, etc.

I was definitely looking for greater variety in terms of the clinical issues with which I had been dealing. I certainly received it.

So, I’m thinking that I’ll follow my very own advice. I’ll schedule periodic rest periods, as well as time to pursue my artistic interests.