365 Days Handmade

Making life a better place, one day at a time

Day 128/365: One Way to Get Out and Stay Out

2 Comments

5.8.2015

One of the better things about my job is working with inmate-patients consistently for a couple of years and seeing them make progress and develop insight and change and grow emotionally.

Back in 2013, a young new arrival was assigned to my caseload.  He had been on parole and was back in prison on a new term.  He was twenty-four years old and struggling with a lot of emotional issues.  He had a lot of unresolved anger, and his primary coping skill was substance abuse.  The combination of being pissed off at his girlfriend while drunk led to his offense and arrest.

At first, he had a hard time sharing anything personal with me because he thought that would be a sign of weakness and vulnerability.  So when I saw him for his first few appointments, our conversations were short and superficial—nothing more than case management.  Eventually, he began to feel more comfortable talking to me and confessed that he felt nervous and scared about being released into the community.  He was constantly worried that he would mess up somehow and wind up back in prison, or that he would do something violent while still in prison so that he’d receive more time added to his existing sentence.

Once he was honest with his feelings, I was able to really start working with him on a deeper, more therapeutic level.  I referred him to treatment groups for additional opportunities for psychoeducation and guidance.  Gradually, he stopped being so anxious and started feeling more confident about himself and his ability to succeed.

Today was his last appointment with me.  His release date is Monday the 11th, my day off.  When he came in to see me this afternoon, I asked him how he was doing.

“I’m feeling excited this time,” he said.  “I don’t have to come back unless I want to come back.”

Advertisements

Author: FC5

Happily married and childfree by choice. Licensed clinical psychologist at a state prison for men. I work four 10-hour days in exchange for a 3-day weekend, every weekend. Outside of that, I appreciate my freedom and enjoy a life of various creative pursuits.

2 thoughts on “Day 128/365: One Way to Get Out and Stay Out

  1. i have not seen a palm tree for real since i was 13 years old. they have some on the tropics trail at the zoo but it’s not the same. they still hold the same magic for me as they did as a little kid! i liken it to someone who rarely sees snow, which we have a shitload of.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s