Shifting our practices is a journey.
It’s a journey that requires us, as therapists, to look at our current practices and have the courage to step back and understand that there may be areas where we need to grow. This is difficult because it requires us-- first and foremost-- to acknowledge that we may not have been serving families in the best way possible... that we may have let families down. It takes courage.
It's a journey that requires us to be open to exploring new ways…to tolerate the internal struggle that results from studying something new and examining the evidence behind it, all while continuing to serve the children and families who are already on our caseloads. It's a journey that requires us to challenge our traditional views; to re-examine the things we were taught and the ways we learned to be therapists; to go to the very core of what we do and challenge ourselves to do even better. It takes faith.
It's a journey that requires us to deeply understand the concepts of attachment and family systems—things that very few of us studied in school--and to find ways to integrate those systems of knowledge into ours. It's a journey that requires us to know our scope of practice and to challenge how we think about it while still operating within it. It's a journey that asks us to redefine our own systems, to find ways to bridge the gap between the requirements for billing and documentation and the expectations of evidence-based practice, to both know our limits and push them. It takes creativity.
And it's a journey that challenges us to give our colleagues space to forge their own path while still walking toward the same destination; to find ways to respectfully disagree; to develop trust with each other; and to take comfort in the belief that, in the end, we all want to do the best for the families and children that we are called to serve. And doing this, we find hope.
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