Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Stay or go? Safest to have no choice.

It's time for me to move from my current job. I've been part of a team for the past twelve months, where I have felt welcome and valued and I have had opportunities to work with children and their families who are struggling in a variety of ways.

Limited terms and "college requirements" are one of the drawbacks of a training job. Broad experience and contact with lots of different teams is really valuable, but fitting into a team, just in time to leave it can be disappointing. What also makes me sad is the fact that the team I am leaving is bruised and broken, having lost a number of staff recently. People have moved on hurt by their time there and there has not been much effort to bring healing. Processes have been started to work out where things went wrong, but I don't know whether this will ever be able to create a better place, where people have learned and grown from the experience. Instead we let people creep away wounded, by finding another job, we don't actually offer them a process for resolution or change.

Part of me is regretful that people don't stick it out to let the process work and be part of improving and changing the place. But who am I to complain? I always knew I was only here for a season. Maybe that gives me a detachment which makes me courageous on other people's behalf? Would I stay if my job was permanent? Would I stay if had been subjected to ridicule or innuendo, or if I had been spurned when the idealisation was over? Perhaps my limited appointment is a convenient excuse which means I don't need to actually live out my principles of participating in difficult change.

Leaving to start another term gives me convenient way out, and is forcing me to look ahead to what I will be doing next. The only inconvenience is having to face those cases where I have to decide the best way to move on for the patient. Some of them are not getting better the way I planned. I am faced with my own inadequacies as therapist as a parting gift. I am having to keep my hand plastered to my chin in order to keep it up. The more I write, the more I see this is fodder for supervision tomorrow. Bring it on...

To the team I leave behind... thank you for your support and what I have learnt from you all. For the team you will become as you grow again (and I know you will), you will be in my prayers, and I know that what you have seen and endured will build you stronger.