Thursday, March 22, 2007

Ayelet the actress

Today in Foundations of Social Work Practice I participated in a long role-play therapy session. Actually, two sessions. I was a lesbian alcoholic; the first session was with me and the substance abuse counselor, the second with me, my girlfriend, and the counselor.

And I killed. I was amazing, if I do say so myself. I nailed all the typical addict evasions, denials, and externalization of blame. I created a compelling backstory, including my troubled relationship with my girlfriend, my stressful work environment, my acting out on the weekends -- dancing and flirting with other women because my girlfriend didn't like to dance and thought I made a spectacle of myself. All those L Word episodes sure came in handy. I nailed the eloquent nonverbal communication and body language. And I made everyone, including the teacher, Professor Fun, die laughing. One of the students said that she would have liked to have my character as a friend, because she sounded so fun.

I used to write plays, back in my twenties. I had great dialog and character development, but terrible plots. So they never amounted to anything. But as a writer, it's easy for me to create a character and add in tons of convincing detail.

Good as I was, however, the "counselor" was better. She was amazing. I hit her with all kinds of crazy stuff, and she never faltered, flinched, or fumbled. She asked all the right questions. She managed the direction of the session. And when my "girlfriend" and I were sniping at each other, she brought us back on track and calmed us down.

I honestly don't think I could have done as well as she did. And I can't help but be afraid that while I was good at pretending to be a screwed-up client, I won't be able to handle being a competent therapist -- I won't be able to stay as calm, focused, and directive.
Copyright (c) 2007 "Ayelet Survivor"

2 comments:

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  2. I hate to buy into your self-doubt by trying to convince you that you'll be a good therapist. You'll be a good therapist either way. You just need to get past the self-doubt by recognizing it and eliminating it.

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