What to say

Thursdays are my busiest days. It doesn’t change whether it was 7 years ago working in senior day facilities, running substance abuse groups for teens, or the past 6 years in school based services. Now, working in an office with scheduled clients, a hair-breadth away from private practice, it’s the same deal.

Clients cancel 1-24 hours in advance, don’t show up at all, or reschedule early in the week. Mondays are notorious for being empty. In the therapeutic line of work, empty is boring. I plan sessions for my clients, questions to push them towards progress. I create home practice to be completed between sessions and built upon the following session.

On the internet you can go to any search engine of choice an type in “therapy client no show” and get advice. Many of the results present advice for ffs clients (fee for service). What about medi-medi clients who have no co-pay?

I make a phone call about 15 minutes into the missed session. I offer them an opportunity to reschedule the following week. I ask about problems arranging transportation and make recommendations. If I end up leaving a message, it’s “Hi XYZ, it’s Megan from [insert employer here]. You missed your scheduled session with me today at 9 A.M.. You can call me back at 123-456-7890 to schedule a different time.”

At my previous employer we worked with Medi-Cal clients alone. This enabled us to discuss the 3 consecutive no-show policy held by Medi-Cal which resulted in termination of services if they did not respond to a mailed letter reviewing the policy and their endangered client status. At my current employer I review the policy at the initial session, and the policies are posted at the receptionist.

What about Medi-Medi clients who do not have a co-pay?

When it rains

It’s not metaphorically pouring, but a steady cold drizzle.
Last week it was the shower:

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Simultaneously plugged and dripping in my drought-ridden state. Yesterday the lightbulb in the ceiling fan died. My fish (red wag platy) has Ich, a highly contagious fish disease that could kill off my entire tank.

I caught the flu on NYE, and another possible version of it last week, or the cold at least wears me out and I’m easily chilled.
There’s also my sister’s wedding, and those are already dysfunctional events. Arguments about vendors, “traditions”, money. Money, we meet again. I thought you’d stop badgering me after the raise. No, Money came slipping by and settled in my lap showing me all the fancy things and trips well-to-do yuppies do without a second thought. They don’t study their mint.com accounts. They don’t work for 20+ hours to earn the quantity needed for airfare and hotel. Money whispered many things, all my failings: poor choice in degrees, work locations, etc.

I hope people start thinking about what’s best for all people in the wedding party to participate and feel included rather than a drag-along. A budget is not how much can be blown, but how much the lowest income-earner can afford to contribute. Work from there. That’s a budget. That’s appropriate, considerate and sensitive.

Sunshine

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I was hoping to sit by the bank of windows, their light murky and scattered by years of grime. Ceiling tiles overhead have been removed to reveal years of dry, and maybe, wet rot. A spare classroom. Used for students who need extra testing time, the afterschool program’s space to complete homework, or on Wednesdays where I unglamorously provide mental health services to kids. Here I sit across the room next to the electrical outlet to charge the phone.

The sound of students reaches me: running in the halls, shoving each other in the cafeteria line, the dull thud of soccer balls.  I try not to think about who sits alone at lunch or who is bullying to the point of being sent to the principle’s office.

I want to sit against the window pane. Instead, I stare at the little table at which I do all my work covered by my lunch bag and coffee mug, the EBP model booklet, coloring pencils, collage materials &c. The vestiges of last cling to me: dry eyes and a headache, perhaps a resurgence of a pinched nerve; more likely holiday dread. My own, but also the kids whose heads swim with financial dreams their parents can’t meet; dreams of hover boards, happiness, fully attentive parents, family trips.

I’ll hold them, but Jesus, are you holding them too?

Vocational Retreat

I’m in Tehachapi, CA for the following week. I know my absence on here has been long, but I haven’t had anything worthwhile typing. Please keep me in your prayers. I’ll be making my Consecration to Jesus Through Mary on the 25th, of course. Hopefully I will have more clarity if this is my home away from Home.