For a number of reasons – one of which is gaining more diverse therapeutic experience – I have started a practicum with the Sutherland-Chan School & Teaching Clinic on Mondays, as one of three rotating in-house counsellors. Our purpose is to “be there” for students enrolled in the clinic.
I wasn’t sure, at first, what to expect. My home practice is moving along and my clientele growing modestly. Their needs for seeking a psychotherapist vary: some have acute issues, others less tangible (more existential). At the clinic, all of the students I counsel have the same thing in common: they are all training under the same roof and have the same tests put upon them. Yet, beneath the homogeneous surface stirs a diversity of thoughts, feelings, and reflexes. It’s not unlike a group of people making their way through an amusement park, who are each mandated to experience each ride on the midway, each game in the arcade: each person will have a particular skill-set, a particular threshold. The rides or games which do not lie within their sets of skills, which require resilience beyond their particular threshold – these are the events which differentiate, which personalize the common experience.
Even within a prescribed course of study, where one would expect common dips in personal performance to happen at certain compression points of time and workload, on their own our blindspots, our subconscious organizing principles come to the fore. Often in spite of us. It is here where I have people knock on my door at the school, and ask whether they could talk with me.
And we talk.