Thursday, August 11, 2011

A day in the life of an in-home therapist

Enter into another perfect day with me. It is 9:30 and I arrive at my first house of the day. The family is sitting outside enjoying the perfect weather. I enter into a conversation with the mother about the logistics of next week's schedule. I half-listen to my client, who is 8, telling me something about trying to catch a squirrel (don't tell my boss that I sometimes only half-listen to my clients!). As I am finishing up with the mom, I turn around to locate my client so we can go, and he is holding a plastic bag under a tree staring at the squirrel. I started laughing and said, "What are you going to do once you get the squirrel in the bag?" He hadn't thought any further than getting it into the bag. It took me a few minutes to convince him to come with me and put off the squirrel-catching until another day.

Fast forward to 2pm. I arrive at my last client's house, who is 12. Grandma goes into his bedroom to wake him up. As we wait for him, she tells me that he has not been sleeping at night but has been sleeping all day. He does not come out of the bedroom. After about 15 minutes, Grandma lets me come into his bedroom and try to get him up. I spend five minutes trying to get him to talk to me. He won't. I go back out to the living room. We wait a few more minutes. I go back. At this point, I tell him that I didn't meet with him last week and that we needed to meet this week. I told him that he could get up and come with me or he could be angry with me for coming into his room every five minutes to get him up. Either way, I was going to be with him for an hour and a half and he was not going to sleep. Grandma gave me free reign to go in and out as I pleased. I started taking things from him. Blanket, pillows. He was not getting up. I saw a water bottle on the floor and warned him that I might have to use it and than asked Grandma's permission. She laughed and said "You go girl." So, stripped of nothing to cover up with, I started trickling water on his head. Eventually he woke up enough to talk. I finally compromised with him. As long as he stayed awake, we could have our session in his room. He agreed. So, 45 minutes into the "session", we actually got some good therapeutic time in. Well, sort of. I still don't know why he isn't sleeping at night, but we reviewed concerns about his not sleeping at night and discussed some things he could try to do differently.

It's all in a days work, folks! Squirrel hunter and Nazi therapist.


Peter & Kelli said...

I wish my job was as exciting as your's, Teresa! I think you do a really good job. The best way to catch squirrels is with peanut butter. They like nuts, but it's sticky :)

Mom said...

What a day you had! The Grandma was probably waiting for you to come to handle getting him out of bed! :)
Have a nice day today!

Ann said...

Next time, let client 1 catch the sqirrel and bring it to client 2's house. If you throw the squirrel in his bed, that will probably get him up. :)