Textbook or Experience?
Yesterday was my one-year anniversary of full-time, PT employment. Fabulous! I have been a real career-woman for a whole year! Bring out the cake already. A minimum of 40 hours of work every week; waking up on time, paying bills and paying taxes. Ahh, adulthood.
Now, I won't use the word "reflected," but I recently looked back (nostalgically) and realized how much I have changed over the course of the last year. It's one of those things I have a hard time explaining to others. When my mom asks me, "How is work?" sometimes I can only tell her, "Well, I am better now than I used to be." As I have mentioned before, I really thought I knew a lot when I graduated. Not that I was naïve or ignorant, it was just a different stage of my career. It was new.
When I first started practicing, I was very methodical and very textbook. As I have gained more experiences over the past year I have grown into a much smoother practitioner. I'm able to adjust myself, my positioning and my reaction to patients much more easily. I feel comfortable mentoring others and I'm not afraid to answer, "I don't know" to a question. When I first graduated, I assumed I had to know everything. In real life, that isn't the case. I still consider myself a new graduate. I don't consider myself very experienced. Yet.
I guess we all make progress as therapists. We listen better, we communicate better and we engage more honestly; mostly because that is what our experiences taught us to do. What do you think? What experiences have added to your career as a therapist?