It makes it all worthwhile…

I have a story to share. A positive one. One that lifted me after the crappy 6 months I seem to have had (barring the trips).

A few weeks ago at work, there was a letter in my pigeon hole. Upon opening it, it turned out to be a referral to our service by a doctor but was addressed to me. I thought it was unusual as they usually address referrals to ‘intake’ and not to one individual but I thought nothing more of it. It turned out that the family did not live in our local government area so I faxed the referral to the service in their area and sent a letter to the referrer informing them of the same. And with that, I figured it was over and done with.

Then earlier this week I got a call from the parent who said that they were not happy with their local service and had in fact specified to the doctor to make the referral here following a recommendation from a friend whose son had been here. I told the parent I’d discuss it with the team and see what could be done. Unfortunately, given we are a public service, the manager basically said we couldn’t see them and they would have to go to their local service.

I rang yesterday after 5 pm to let them know. And the parent was disappointed. And then they said something which took me by surprise. They said again that they had asked the doctor to refer to me because they had heard about me from a friend whose child I apparently helped. And they thought that their child would also benefit from seeing me. They were nice about the whole thing of course given it was out of my control. But I was flattered. And I told them so. I was very tempted to tell them I could see them privately but that would be unethical. So I didn’t and wished them well and hoped that their local service could offer the help they were looking for.

Basically though, this really lifted me yesterday. I was tired after a week of work. And this just managed to erase all that tiredness. Working in a secondary service means we don’t always see change the way you would in private services thanks to longstanding mental health issues or chaotic families or all together. So it’s nice to know that there are clients who have found me helpful enough to not only remember my name post-therapy but to also think it worthwhile recommending me. I know I am nowhere near as good as some therapists I know but it’s nice to know I am making a difference in some people’s lives.

I think it’s something I need to remember especially on days when I feel beaten and cynical. While I might not be helping everyone, I am helping some.

For the record, I don’t know who the client is who made the recommendation. I was tempted to ask but again, it would have been unprofessional so I let it go. 21 months into this job, I still love it. Despite times when I get cynical. And turns out, I have helped at least one person who remembers me!

Life can be good to you when you least expect it.

Until next time,


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  • Smita
    9 June 2012 at 6:12 am

    wow!!! This is something which gives you a high which no other thing can give!! An appreciation for your efforts 🙂

    • Psych Babbler™
      11 June 2012 at 3:21 am

      Tell me about it, Smita! Best feeling ever. Public service is a bit of a thankless job (it’s not like your employers really notice you) so it’s good when clients have something like this to say!

  • Magali
    9 June 2012 at 11:19 am

    This is such a sweet story. I am sure you are truly wonderful at what you’re doing. 🙂

    • Psych Babbler™
      11 June 2012 at 3:22 am

      Aw thanks Mags…I honestly have no illusions about the kind of therapist I am but it’s nice to be appreciated once in a while…

  • Miss RBit
    9 June 2012 at 11:46 am

    That is wonderful! It can get like that with work sometimes. You only look at what you’re doing and forget about the “bigger picture”. And then something like this happens and it restores a lot of lost faith. Happy for you!

    • Psych Babbler™
      11 June 2012 at 3:44 am

      I agree RBit…we do forget about the bigger picture and it doesn’t help when your employers don’t notice much either and just care about stats. Thanks! 🙂

  • Anonymous
    9 June 2012 at 4:52 pm

    That is really nice. I know there’s nothing more satisfying than your clients appreciating you for all the hard work you put in and the good job you’ve done. It give you so much confidence and is so motivating. keep it up.


    • Psych Babbler™
      11 June 2012 at 3:46 am

      I agree Aparna…and I think in some ways this means a lot more than a client personally telling you they think you helped them! And definitely confidence-boosting!!! 🙂

  • R's Mom
    11 June 2012 at 3:38 am

    Wow! thats so so sweet…you should be really proud!

    • Psych Babbler™
      11 June 2012 at 4:07 am

      Thanks RM! 🙂 I’m flattered and humbled…

  • Spaceman Spiff
    12 June 2012 at 6:35 am

    The fact that you took up a profession that works towards helping others, is something to be proud of. Whether you’re good at it or not, is secondary.