I'm now living and working in Wellington, New Zealand after an opportunity arose from the 2011 NZAOT Conference/Clinical Workshops in Bay of Islands. Here's some of the adventures from my life and work in New Zealand. Find out about OT, OT education and cultural issues within New Zealand!
Monday, 19 November 2012
WEEK 27 - Solution Focused Therapy, 6 months is up, & new volunteer position starts up!
So hello everybody!
I keeping hearing that winter is coming, the Christmas feel, lights and markets are up around UK towns and cities, and the weather is starting to get cold... well good bye to that world! Whilst I am looking forward to the warmth that a southern hemisphere winter may bring, I'm going to miss the idea of feeling cold and the chance of snow....
... so what is 'winter' going to hold for me? So far it means, artificial trees, Starbucks xmas paper cups, and most worrying of all, it means quite a few sightings of people wearing shorts in the work place! I had a discussion about this today with colleagues, who asked me when I would start to wear shorts for work? One of them seemed pretty shocked when I said, (unless I was doing sports with a client), I would 'never' be seen in shorts at work, as I'm from a place where it would be frowned on.... and I personally don't think it gives the right professional image for the kind of work we are doing. (I know I'm in palace were some people clearly don't share that opinion), and that's ok with me. I see plenty of people here walking down the street in bare feet (no shoes), it's a pretty normal thing here, not something I'm likely to do myself, but totally normal sight here!
On to other professional matters, and I just wanted to share a little bit of one of the most interesting and possibly inspirational work seminars / training courses that I have been to in many years!
SOLUTION FOCUSED BRIEF THERAPY - Delivered by Michael Durrant (An Australian Psychologist, but a nice Aussie!) This kind of therapy can be delivered (or certainly tried) with all kinds of clients or indeed person where people are seeking change. The basic idea is not to focus on diagnostic labels (a frequent conversation I have with my team psychologists) and ask very simple questions in a set procedure that uses only information provided from the person. There are no value judgements or suggestions from the 'Therapist', and done correctly, his kind of therapy can make the person seeking change feel really empowered. The style of questioning 'HOW DID YOU THAT?' and WHAT 'WOULD BE DIFFERENT?' offers a person to consider their PREFERRED FUTURE, and realise if they are actually achieving parts of that further already. The use of a 'MIRACLE QUESTION' is the bit I really like, but you have to make sure you get the wording right, or you can leave yourself confused! I already started trying to use this style of questioning with some of my clients today with some success! They always say that your clients know when you have been on training... and today was no different, as my clients were giving me 'that look' that said - you're being a bit weird today, asking me these odd kind of questions!
6 MONTHS IN - It was 6 months last week that I have been here (14th November), and that milestone probably would have hit me harder if I hadn't been on training! 6 months ago I packed my bag for an uncertain future, and now 6 months in, I have the beginnings of a new life, which includes some great upcoming travels, fun neighbours, a smaller waist line, and a local pizza store that knows my name! (I only go once a week, honest mum!) It also includes some interesting professional opportunities, which I haven;t been able to say for a good few years!
I celebrate this week with 2 trips to the Theatre (Circa Theatre) by the waterfront. the second trip there on Friday Night was to see a 'Pantomime' - Cinderella. Pantomimes being an English Christmas tradition, I was surprised they kept a pretty similar theme in performance, with audience participation and poor jokes! However, the director thought it clever to use his own songs, wrote in a 'comedy duo' that were not funny at all - It was professional apparently, though maybe that was the problem - panto is often best done by amateurs! (Oh Yes it is!)
As the volunteering role with the Basketball group doesn't start up again until February/March 2013, I wanted to put my time to some good use other than doing healthy staff, or watching Homeland, NZGT and Glee! So I have started doing some 'youth mentoring' volunteering, for an organization here in Wellington. The general gist is spending time doing 'fun' stuff with young people / teenagers who have had, or have pretty tough lives for various reasons. I met the young guy that I will be paired with, this weekend and had 4 hours to kill. I have to say he was a great kid, and basically spent the most time teaching me about fishing, places in New Zealand and marine biology - he loves fishing! He pretty much gave me a guided tour of the huge museum here! I think this is going to be far more of a learning experience for me than the other way round! The volunteering process for this kind of work seems far more relaxed than my previous experiences, so it's going to be a learning curve I'm sure! Now I have to come up fun stuff to do with this young guy!
Ok, so due to having to do some preparation for an upcoming presentation, and a 6 month report to the OT Board to have my 'scope of practice lifted, - the blog was a little late! Soon I'll officially be able to have students, supervise people and pretty much rule the world! - Well you get my point!