I think I remember writing about this after the last workshop I gave in March, but it bears repeating again here.
I am the kind of person – and I have no idea if I’m the only one like this? – That after I study for and take a test, or work on writing and then turn in a paper or, in this case, prepare and then present a workshop, it’s over and I don’t want to think or talk about it. I don’t know if there is a deep psychological reason, it really doesn’t matter. I just know that I just want to walk away from it and not talk or deal with it for a while. I’m not always interested in feedback right away. I guess I just need time to let it settle. (I spent last night not thinking about while watching MY FAIR LADY with NED and Ely- what a classic! And where were MB and DB? That's the next post...)
So here I am the morning after, and for the sake of those who left me such nice support comments (which I really appreciated!) and those who called to see how it went (thanks Mom and Spaz!), I’ll process it a little here.
The workshop started and ended on time. I am very proud of myself for that. There was not as large a turn out as I had anticipated, but it was an intimate group to work with. There were about 30-35 women, most were interns from the clinic, people I see weekly. Only a couple were from outside the clinic.
I realized why my anxiety level was higher than it usually is. Usually when I do a workshop, the chance of seeing the participants again is very low. The seminar I gave yesterday was mandatory, at least for interns, which means that most of the participants are my colleagues that I see on a weekly basis. The expectation for me to give them enough information felt so much higher.
The short snippets of feedback I have received thus far have all been positive. People felt I gave a nice balance between information and experiential. People left feeling like they could use some of the examples I gave them. People left feeling like I had moved issues within themselves that helped understand their own processes better. And people left knowing that there is more than just talk therapy out there to help aid in the processes of our clients.
I left feeling good about it. There were times that I felt I was totally flying by the seat of my pants (actually skirt) and making up answers for questions on the spot. I felt confident enough in the theoretical piece to believe what I was saying, even though theory is not my strength. I would appreciate some criticism, though, to help me know what to work on for next time. Hopefully that will come.
The hardest part for me was knowing there were people there who were very resistant to the process and therefore left the workshop without saying anything to me. I admit, I know for sure that they were resistant, but I don’t know for sure why they left (could be they had an appointment). But there is something about a therapist not willing to look at his or her own stuff that makes me nervous about that person as a therapist. I was trained to believe that a good therapist knows what pushes his buttons. We have to know our own stuff in order to relate or be empathetic to our clients. For example, I might not understand the pain of infertility, but I understand the pain of other losses and can feel that for and with my clients. I know already that this issue is going to be a hotspot in this clinical training. It brings back a lot of memories, some not so fun memories, of my training in graduate school. I don’t want to relive that process again and I hope I have matured enough professional and personally to know how to handle it properly this time.
So that’s about it. If you are interested to know a little detail about what I did, I ran the workshop like a therapy group, but gave commentary as I went along. The process of creating the art or being in the moment of expression was interrupted quite often.
We played with objects from a play blanket (all of my children’s toys thrown onto a blanket in the middle of the floor.) Group members broke into dyads. They did movement, a conversation drawing, and two volunteer dyads did a movement to reflect their drawing. We did some intense question asking and writing (One person asks these three questions 5 – 10 times over and over again while the other writes their answers. Then switch. The questions are: Who are you? What are you afraid of? And what do you believe?) Then they created an art piece around “What are you most afraid of?”
There was a lot of discussion and processing in between and most people came over to me at the end to say they had a really fun time.
I’m glad it’s over! Now I can go bake challah for Shabbat!