The best part of working in the addictions field is the people one comes across every day. People with different backgrounds, race, age, gender, financial status, professions and family dynamics.
As a professional, the more I work, the more I learn. It is truly amazing to witness how, when my ex-clients have completed their therapeutic process, this leaves me with some knowledge that adds to my experience and personal growth and builds more on my eclectic knowledge. I have learned so much about myself. Yes, I am a social worker; however, I am a human being with emotions and feelings. In many areas I get touched by going down the memory lane of a client’s past trauma. The flow of tears, the body language that cries out for a hug, and then the anger that exudes from their eyes … I feel it.
This process allows me to empathise, and use all my micro-level skills of interaction in the session. I offer attentive listening, I read body language, I reflect to show clarity and understanding, I probe when necessary and I simply listen. I am learning every day, no matter the duration of experience I have on paper, I learn and thrive on learning through my clients.
“The best part of working with people is their wonderful unpredictability. We are so different one from another, so endlessly surprising. It’s easy to stay fresh when working with people. The search for understanding is never over…” (Help for helpers; 1989)