Monday, January 15, 2018
"Never Say Never"
For as far back as I can remember when I first entered the counseling profession I would always say, "I'm never working with Pedophiles." I have always referred them to other therapist. I was not willing to be open-minded about their story preceding or leading up to the act. YES- I was judgmental. Over ten years ago when I was doing contract work, I had the pleasure of going to the jail to interview a father about his child. Upon entering the jail, I heard the large metal doors slam close behind me and immediately the sound petrified me. I remember asking the jailer how would I get out if something were to happen. She replied, "You can't get out until I let you out." Needless to say, I never entered another jail where I was required to have the metal doors slam close behind me.
Last year there were a series of events which occurred, one in particular was my transitioning my private practice from counseling children to counseling adult women. With this transition came a significant drop in my income (which I knew would happen). I wrestled with the idea of getting a job because I was having a feeling of failure if I re-entered the workforce from private practice. However, God assisted me in confirming this decision as I was "robbing Peter to pay Paul" and not being able to do anything outside of necessity for my household.
I began working at the prison on December 5th to be exact and even though I am still unsure how I feel about the environment, I can say that I have learned a lot about myself. I am back working a five day work week which I haven't done since 2013. I don't have my phone for 8 hours a day (unless I go to my vehicle) which is a total change! I am working around fifteen other counselors (with a variety of attitudes) which I have never done. The most important change and thing which I have learned is regardless of how heinous the crimes are that these individuals have committed, at the end of the day they are still human beings. Some have changed, some desire change, while others have no remorse for the crimes committed. Again, I say, never say never because never in a million years did I ever think I would be working in a prison with murderers, rapists, and child molesters on my caseload with me being able to see past their crimes and being non-judgmental in order to provide them genuine therapeutic treatment. Time and circumstances changes things. Doc Dee