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Thursday, October 25, 2012

Do you ever amaze yourself?

I had some amazing client sessions on Tuesday. I just knew I was going to be able to make the most out of Bode not coming to work for us, even though this decision was tough on all of us. Most clients that are more apt to pick Bode, still know me, but just don't work with me. I have a few that do the same with Bode.

I found my voice again and went back to my roots...those roots that grabbed Tara's attention that I had the ability to be a therapist, even before she really knew it was a "real thing".
(C) Delta Family Counseling, LLC
I was so engaged with the client that we spent a lot of time forgetting Tara was there. It was a very client centered session. The client asked Tara to take pictures and was so proud of this collage we made of our interactions together. You can see my engagement with her, most of which was under her direction. I even "talked" with her, which she found funny. The pouncing game she taught me was quite fun. 

This client put her guard down and processed out loud for the first time (or so I am told) that was deep and meaningful. The client was even eager to share with her mom about our session, which is also unique for her.

It is so funny when they forget Tara is even in the room! I love this job and wouldn't trade it for the world. 

I am not sure if it is knowing I have to step up and can't depend on Bode for all the help any more or if the break from having his help the past few years has energized me, but I loved my day!

(C) Delta Family Counseling, LLC
On a side note, Tara was working on her lecture for the course she teaches at one of the Universities and we decided that this session could fall into it's own version of Motivational Interviewing. I was so attentive with the client and helped her get her story out. The motivation for change came with the desire to include and share with her mother, as well as recognize how good it felt to laugh, smile, and play!

As I sit smiling, I hope you are too after reading this!


Sunday, October 21, 2012

When Life Throws Lemons...

A big reality came to Bode and Tara this week. I have just watched and supported them through this as I am also struggling with it. After taking a week off from work, it became a realization that our vet was right earlier in the year. She told Tara that I was doing great, but that Bode's age was starting to show and that he should go down to part time work.

Tara was sad to hear this and tried it, but Bode resisted and was back to his self and as good as ever with clients. Life was normal as ever and we work our normal client schedules without problem. This past week, I worked a little more as Bode just wanted to be present in the office, but was struggling to engage the clients. He is tired and just wanted to observe. While there is nothing wrong with that, it is not his "normal" and clients were noticing too!

Each night we got home, Bode would go straight to bed and not even eat his dinner. I played a little with our foster siblings, but Bode would just watch. We really missed our family and working while the conference/vacation happened, but sometimes I hear Tara say "our minds and bodies don't think together, we have to teach them to do it". This photo shows how we found him hiding in one of the playrooms when no clients were there!

(C) Copyright Delta Family Counseling, LLC

This will be the first week where we try keeping Bode at home part time and focusing my efforts with the clients. I know I cannot replace him and there are things he does that I cannot do, but I will try my best as there are some clients I work with that he doesn't: it's the nature of our work for both humans and canines.

Tara's heart is heavy with this decision, but I heard her talking today to someone about how Bode will do more focused efforts with classroom visits and teaching workshops, which he loves more than I do!

We are thankful for the support of our family, our DFC family, and the community in making this difficult transition, but are reminded that life will often throw you lemons and you must decide what do with them!

Good night!


Reality Check...

Hide and Seek is a game I often play with clients. I am not going to go into detail now about why and the significance as I have to finish packing. We are headed to our grandparents as the humans go on a vacation and conference where Tara is teaching about using us in play therapy.

My reason for this is to talk about the fact that we don't always know what is going on with others. We may assume and create stories, but they are not always accurate. We saw so many clients over the past few weeks who are dealing with heavy hearts as they process and adjust to new chapters in their lives, and all of them have processed how much their pain grows when they hear rumors.

My challenge for you while we are away is to do a reality check and encourage others to do the same! Are you telling a story because it impacts you or it gossips about others? Don't assume, just grieve and pray for them and all who are involved. Due to the nature of our work, we cannot get more specific than this without identifying some of our clients, however please be careful and check information before repeating it....let's not force people to feel like they have to hide in their homes because people are spreading untruths about their situation and let's let them grown and find a new normal in the collaborative communities we live in!

See you when Tara gets back!


Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Such an honor!

We have been absent from our blog again, but have a lot to will just have to wait as we are busy helping Tara prepare with our friend Steve the Labradoodle and his human therapist, Meredith, for the Association for Play Therapy conference. Tara and Meredith are presenting "Pets at Play" in Cleveland, Ohio and it is all about us (and Steve!). Steve and Bode are too big to travel that far, so we are all staying behind. Tara and Meredith are busy taking photos and videos of us to share.

While we try to be very humble, Tara is insisting we share this email we just received:

"Congratulations on placing in the top 100 of the LIFE+DOG 50 contest. As a qualifier, your dog's name and photo will appear in the magazine." 

Our story of being AAPT dogs and foster siblings was shared and could make it to the magazine. No matter what, we get our photo and names in it!