The killer then turned the gun on her shooting her eight times. Recently, she has been in and out of court as the killer attempts to plea insanity. I watched her relieve the trauma when she spoke of the day her mother died. She wanted someone to listen to her without feeling sorry for her, while still advocating for her success at school—a tough place for her as she suffered from short- term memory loss. As someone who also witnessed the death of a loved one, I understood her loss and her need for empathy not sympathy. She felt that she could trust me. I had moments where I would go home and cry for this girl, but I could not abandon her. I had to help her in any way, whether that was to listen or speak to her teachers. Since October, I administer ABA to an autistic man in his early twenties. This job has allowed me to witness multiple crises a day. On a good day I aide my client and his mother in deescalating potentially dangerous situations. Working with autism requires quick thinking, because these clients can be unpredictable. I have to think in the moment to calm my client down from harming himself or others. Creativity and thinking on your toes is what makes a good crisis interventionist. At fourteen I witnessed my godfather die of a heroin overdose. This traumatic event still impacts my life, because I believed for years that I was part of the reason for my godfather’s
CRISIS INTERVENTION REFLECTION 3 death. When we found him, the EMS told us that had we arrived a few minutes earlier he could have been saved; however, we were late because I argued with my mother about friends staying over at the house. Being around addicts makes me uncomfortable, and I fear that when I begin seeing clients I will be ineffective with addicts or their family members. My godfather helped raise me, and I fear countertransference. I am afraid I will see myself in a child of an addict struggling to understand why her parents do drugs. I am afraid I will be upset with an addict for causing harm to his family in the way my family was harmed by my godfather. I do not want to feel as if I am reliving this experience when I am with a client. I have been seeing a therapist for this reason. I believe having someone to talk to has helped me work through these issues. When I encounter drug addicts I know I may need to step back and realize I am not still being hurt, and if I want to help I need to understand I can only do so in the right state of mind. When I begin feeling this way I will need to speak to someone to avoid countertransference. After taking the Professional Quality of Life Scale (Stamm, 2009), I realized I was experiencing some burnout from my current job as a technician for Applied Behavior Analysis. I always wished to work with children on the autism spectrum, and I have prior experience teaching and working with children with autism. When I began my job I assumed I would be working in a school one-on-one with a child and shadow him in class. My experience, however, has been vastly different than my original hypothesis. I work in my client’s home, following him around, and attempting to administer ABA treatment planned out by a supervisor I hardly see.
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- Spring '14