Nothing like feeling useless in your job on a Monday afternoon. Not to mention a little gullible. And like you maybe should learn to read people a little bit better.
I have a fourteen year old client that I've been having a hard time engaging in therapy in general. So, today I picked her up and she came bounding out the door like she was happy to see me. She showed me the burn on her forehead from a curling iron. Something about the way she made a comment made me ask if she had gone to school that day. She said yes. Fast forward to partway through out session. I asked her how things were going at school. She said good. I praised her for the limited amount of trouble she has gotten into at school because I was a little worried when she transferred to her current school at the beginning of the semester that she would not be able to maintain her behavior. I praised her some more for not only almost getting through the year, but also getting through the year with just a few office referrals. We talked about school for a few more minutes. Fast forward to when I took her home. Normally I just drop her off, but because I needed to reschedule our regular appointment next week, I went in to talk to her mom. After scheduling the appointment, her mom says, "Did she tell you that she got suspended from school for five days?"
Ummm....no. She didn't mention that when I asked her if she went to school today. And I'm pretty sure she didn't mention it when I praised her for not getting into trouble this semester at school. I had an internal volcano going on! I mean, I wanted to slap my forehead because of the things I had said that were so encouraging that were also so untrue! But I remained calm and asked her why she didn't tell me. To which she didn't answer and shut down completely and wouldn't talk to me. Which is typical behavior for her. I just smiled and said I would see her next week. I knew it would do no good to address it with her at that point.
So, maybe I should look into getting a different job. Obviously this one isn't going so well for me today!
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