Burnout & Venting

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Good day, beautiful people!

I really miss blogging. And I want to take a moment to be transparent and vent. My life as a crisis counselor has pretty much dominated my life.  Over the past few months, there has been a spike in the number of children going into crisis.  I literally feel pushed to the max.  Outside of the piles of paperwork and the countless hours of driving to a crisis, I have the responsibility of making serious decisions about what is  best course of action to help the child and their family.

It’s difficult explain to parents that their child needs to go to a psychiatric hospital to be evaluated. I hear and see so many heartbreaking and disturbing things that I have nightmares about them. I have encountered negative and sometimes unethical helping professionals who give those of us who do what we’re supposed to do a bad name. To be honest, I have seen more negative than positive in the workplace. It irritates me to see people who are supposed to help others have no genuine concern about people. They literally make my skin crawl because they are the most judgmental, insensitive, and power hungry.

The longer I work in the mental health. The more I question if I should keep doing this. I’ve been burnt out before and I took a hiatus for over a year and a half just to find myself and take care of myself. I enjoy being able to help others. And when I did “talk” therapy, I loved being able to be a part of my clients’ healing process. Helping others comes naturally for me which is great. The challenge for me is that I don’t help myself as much as I should.

Self-care is one of those things I have to literally fight for. I have found out that companies do a poor job with supporting helping professionals. I have gained too much weight for my comfort and health as a result of work. My body has been suffering as a result of my high stress job. I had a conversation recently that those working in my field are over worked and under paid.

I recently transitioned to part time and do my assessments via the Internet. I have been transitioning to a vegan diet and I work out more. I also get more needed rest.

Has anyone been burnt out? What did you do to recover?

Thanks for the vent session!

Much love,

Brandi

Here are a few photos on my journey as a crisis road warrior!

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Autism Awareness

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Hi everyone!

I  am super excited about sharing some information and resources about autism.  When I first started my training as marriage and family therapist, I worked primarily with children who were diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder during my graduate internship.  In graduate school we had an opportunity to learn about this disorder, but we never got a chance to really go in-depth.  For me, the best way to understand more about autism to actually get experience working with children autism and I did tons of  research.

Back in the day, not long ago, autism related disorders were all grouped as pervasive developmental disorders (PDD). Some of theses disorders were called Asperger Syndrome, autistic disorder, and childhood disintegrative disorder.  There has been a recent change in the name for autism in the new version of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM 5)  that has now grouped all of these disorders into Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).

Over the summer, a young lady named Kathleen saw my blog and reached out to share her story and online resources.  Kathleen was diagnosed with Asperger Syndrome and she is a part-time high school student and volunteer-intern-extraordinaire  at EducatorLabs. For more info about Asperger Syndrome click here. Thank you, dear, for sharing resources and I applaud you for all of the hard work you are doing to educate us about Autism Spectrum Disorders.  I would like everyone to educate and familiarize yourself with Autism Spectrum Disorders.  If anyone else knows of any other resources, please reach out.  I enjoy spreading awareness about mental health!

Talk to you soon,

Brandi

Recommended Resources

Autism Speaks Resource Guide

http://www.autismspeaks.org/family-services/resource-guide

Career Assistance for People with Autism

http://www.hloom.com/career-assistance-for-people-with-autism/

National Center for Autism Resources & Education

https://www.disability.gov/resource/national-center-for-autism-resources-education-ncare/

Autism Educational Materials

http://www.autismweb.com/materials.htm

AutismNOW Transition Planning

http://autismnow.org/in-the-classroom/transition-planning-for-students/

Aquatic Therapy for Children with Autism

http://www.saveonpoolsupplies.com/landing/aquatic-therapy-for-children-with-autism.aspx

Autism

http://healthfinder.gov/FindServices/SearchContext.aspx?topic=81

Guide to Flying with an Autistic Child

http://www.e-aircraftsupply.com/aircraft_products/file/guide-to-flying-with-a-child.aspx

My Life in Crisis 

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Suicide, depression, psychosis, self – mutilation,  trauma,  abuse, homicidal thoughts are just a few situations that I encounter on a daily basis with children and adolescents.  I spend countless hours in emergency rooms, schools, homes, and  hospitals responding to crisis.  If I am not assessing, I am on the road or doing a lot of paperwork. Over the past few months, I have been adjusting to my new role as a crisis counselor.  This is why I haven’t been blogging on a regular basis like I normally do.  I want to send  a  special shout out to a blog sister of mine who actually reached out to me recently because of my hiatus.  Thanks  Hil for checking on a sister…please go support and follow her https://hilthethrill.wordpress.com.

 

I wanted to share my look from yesterday. The goal for my crisis style is to be professional and chic.  I make sure that I am comfortable so, no heels allowed. So, I rely on cute sandals and flats. My outfit is from Rainbow plus. I recently got my pants for $7. My beaded necklace is from Walmart $3.

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I got this tote last spring from TJ Maxx $24.99. I needed something that was professional and efficient for what I have to do. It holds a lot. I found this cute little key chain at a fundraiser. It adds a little flair to tote.

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I have been wearing my hair in Havana twist. They are super convenient for my busy schedule. I wore some pink lipstick to add a little life to my face when I don’t have time or energy to add any other makeup.

Outside of My Comfort Zone

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I began this post over two years ago but was not able to finish it until now. At that time I was beginning the process….

Hey, my wonderful people!  My desire is that you find this post encouraging. Over the past few years, I’ve felt this strong urgency and pull to do more and challenge myself even more.  I have been feeling that there is more to life than where I am.  I have been doing a lot of praying, meditating, and quieting my spirit to get clarity from God.  Since I have moved back home, I have had a lot of time to think and observe my life over the past year.  I never imagined that I would have ever come back home after being away for 7 years in college…then I went away for a year and now I’m back again. The first time I came back a few years ago, I worked and got active in my community.

I worked as a therapist and served outside of work trying to reconnect with my community. After a while, I was burnt out. I did not want to be bothered. I was exhausted and discouraged. I realized that my hometown was not a place of progression in general especially for African-Americans.  What I have come to realize is that the challenge of in productivity and progression is still here…but even deeper I see that there is a lack of purpose in the lives of those in the community.  I continue to see so many talented and creative minds, yet there is no direction and no guidance. When people who genuinely desire to see growth and inspire growth in others and themselves, there is a lack of support as well as some resistance. I’m not too phase by either. What does bother me is that there are too many people who speak the word service but their agenda is to feed their egos and insecurities. Negativity is too common.

Being here has allowed me to see to how much I evolved as a woman spiritually, mentally, and emotionally. I’ve learned that my weakest moments have produced strength. I am truly out of my comfort zone. It’s not easy or even popular at times to be different and have a mission of social change. I’ve learned how to stay authentic to who I am in the midst of unproductive, rigid traditions and belief systems that are not conducive to positive, healthy changes…in churches, schools, businesses, organizations, and government. I understand more clearly about nonconformity.

I do believe that it is time for me to branch out from where l am and move on and pursue my destiny even further. The tools that I have gained are invaluable. I am more strategic in my actions and choices. I don’t linger in unproductive, unhealthy relationships or environments. I make sure that I am clear in my communications and offer respect to every person that I encounter and I expect the same in return. I make sure that I support causes that concern me. I don’t overextended myself because I cannot be my best self if I am depleted. It is okay to say no. I am constantly feeding my spirit with inspiration. I take time breathe and laugh. Inhale. Exhale. Let it go. I forgive and seek forgiveness. Peace is necessary.

Most importantly, I have learned that in my moments discomfort and challenges is that it is intended to make me stronger and that there are lessons to be learned so that I am prepared for the next season in life.

Talk to you soon!
Brandi