Thursday, July 01, 2010

Demoted. Sort of.

A few weeks ago I found out that our psychiatrist will no longer be working at the Brooklyn site of our agency. Yesterday I found out that we're not getting a replacement. Instead, all clients with mental illnesses will need to see outside psychiatrists, and their individual counselors will work with them on that. I will no longer be the dual diagnosis recovery program coordinator; I'll be a regular substance abuse therapist again.

It's a disappointment, but also a relief. Because I never got the support or structure I was promised to make the program work -- and it wasn't working. I was always frustrated and angry. Now I don't have to be. They're not saying it's my fault or the result of my inability to make the program work; they just said they couldn't find a psychiatrist and they're going to focus on other populations, not clients with mental illness.

I do have to make some quick referrals for the clients who need the most psychiatric care -- it wouldn't be ethical to keep them at our agency if they can't receive on-site medication management. And it will be a hassle and a half helping the others find outside psychiatrists. But not as much of a hassle as trying to get other counselors' clients to attend their psychiatric appointments -- and trying to get counselors at both Brooklyn offices to follow the procedures and policies we set up for the dual diagnosis program.

And this makes it even easier for me to leave. Because now anyone can take over the clients I'll be keeping. They won't need my medication management skills.

I'm more concerned that now the higher-ups are saying they won't provide documentation so I can get my LCSW, which is what a co-worker recently told me has been happening. I haven't heard this directly. But I have enough supervised hours to get my New Jersey LCSW, and I hope the agency will live up to the promise they made me when I interviewed.

Copyright (c) "Ayelet Survivor"


  1. Don't wait on that. Get a paper signed with hour numbers on it. That LCSW is your ticket to everything, the whole private practice option, and you don't want to mess with the Jersey licensing boards.

  2. I already requested a meeting with the person who has to sign off on the hours, and she agreed to help me. I'm trying to play on their guilt. I might not be moving to New Jersey, but maybe I can get a job there anyway and reverse-commute.