Therapeutic Use of Self = Work on Your S+@!

I need to stop listening to podcasts that have writers come on. They magically end up in my Amazon cart. I highly recommend The Science of Stuck by Britt Frank. In occupational therapy school, there is an emphasis on “therapeutic use of self”. What does that mean? The most widely cited contemporary definition of therapeutic use of self describes it as a therapist’s “planned use of his or her personality, insights, perceptions, and judgments as part of the therapeutic process” (Punwar & Peloquin, 2000, p. 285 as cited by Taylor et al. 2009) according to www.myotspot.com

Here Brit is took the same principals from pilot training. “To prevent loss-of-controlled behaviors, it is important for you to recognize and maintain heightened awareness for situations that increase the risk of loss of control. Disoriented people may no always be aware of their orientation error…due to to the combination of not understanding the events that ares unfolding, lacking skills required to alleviate or correct the situation, or exceeding the psychological ability to cope with what is happening.”

If you can’t recognize this in yourself, it makes it really challenging to help others.

I have taken field work students at various levels for the past 3 years. This is always an issue. Occupational therapy students who are prone to anxiety are attracted to doing a “yoga” based field work site. As much as I explain to universities that I don’t run a yoga studio, they still tell their students this. I was doing a final evaluation for one of my last students and said they really need to change the wording from therapeutic use of self to work on your shit.

This ties back into my last post that maybe the introduction to the book. You can’t keep stepping over the dog poo. Eventually there is a big mess to clean up. I feel like this is half of the students that I am getting recently. Is this a generation thing? I don’t think so. I had a quarter life mental break down when I was 22. I didn’t know there was a mess until it all surfaced. Maybe that transition into adulthood? I have said this before but we all need wellness checks for a psychological health just like our physical health. The brain and body are connected. The health of one part impacts the whole system. Some day.

To my therapists that read this of all types, how are you working on yourself? Are you cleaning up the poo as it comes or waiting for the mess so you have chaos. I know many siblings that function this way. All they know is chaos so they will create their own chaos to function. What does therapeutic use of self mean to you?

woman in black tube dress sitting on black chair

I work with people of all ages and various diagnosis’s. The fun part is I don’t really care what the label is. The more I work on my own stuff, the less poo is laying around, and there aren’t messes to clean up. This just means I am more present for the people I serve. How do you stay calm in the chaos?

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