As of yesterday, I have officially been back in the world of Therapeutic Day Treatment Counseling for a year.
I almost can’t believe it’s been a year. Then again, when you combine the past year with the experience I had on this career path previously, I almost can’t believe it hasn’t been a decade.
I’ll be honest… this is a job that could easily see a high rate of burnout amongst counselors. When I was doing this before, I’d reached the five year mark and definitely hit burnout status. That led to me desperately seeking work elsewhere, which led to two years working for my church.
When my tenure on the church staff came to a close, I vowed that I would not get back into counseling. Why? Because I didn’t want to go backwards. And I didn’t want to wind up going full circle and reaching the point of burnout all over again.
Because when I got burned out before, I began to resent everything about my job. I hated my drive to work. I hated the paperwork. I hated the politics and red tape that ran so deep when dealing with insurance, etc. I even began to hate *gasp* working directly with the children on my caseload.
I know… who could hate working with kids?
Let me clarify, I did not hate the children themselves. But I grew to hate their behaviors and their obstinacy. Sidebar: I thought the correct word was obstinance… but that’s apparently not a word. Thank you, Google!
So why did I wind up doing what I said I didn’t want to do? For one thing, I knew I was qualified to do the job. For another, there was an opening. That opening wasn’t in the same office I worked out of before, which was kind of a bummer. But the opening was nearby, in Roanoke, working for a site director for whom I’d worked the very first time I took a stab at TDT Counseling, way back before Dad passed away in 2006. She was psyched to “steal” me away from the New River Valley.
I drove back and forth from Blacksburg to Roanoke every day during the last school year. In the meantime, I worked to save up enough money to make it worth uprooting myself and moving back to Roanoke from Blacksburg after being in the NRV for seven years. Blacksburg had become home.
Roanoke was the hometown. It’s where I grew up. Moving back made sense. I was resistant at first. But logic dictated that I quit making that drive five days a week.
With the new school year, there have been a lot of rumors swirling around about the current state of TDT Counseling, as well as the future of this line of work. And if you’re one of the few people out there reading this who was previously aware of Therapeutic Day Treatment, then there’s a good chance you’ve heard or read about the potential bad news that has been coming through the grapevine.
Personally… I’m not worried. I work for a great company that is in good standing and in a really good position to actually take care of its employees. I’m very blessed to be where I am right now.
Since returning to this career path, I’ve discovered that I’m doing something worthwhile. I’m doing something I’m actually good at. And I’m consistently receiving encouragement from the powers that be that I’m doing a decent job. It feels good.
I’ve met a number of really great people being in a new location compared to the last time I was doing this. Not just the people who work for the same company as I do, but the faculty and staff of the school where I’m placed. And I need to give a shout out to my co-counselor. She has been doing this job for over a decade, continuously. She is incredibly patient, even when she’s frustrated. I am so grateful that I’ve been able to work with her throughout this past year because she has allowed me to learn and re-learn from her as I’ve re-entered this work.
The past 365 days have had a lot of ups and downs. I’m grateful for where I am now. And that includes not just my job, but where I’m living now and all the things going on as we move toward the end of 2019. What will year two bring?