Today we had two field trips, one for leisure’s sake and the other for our counselling class. The first one was really interesting, it was a case conference in the university hospital for the Faculty of Psychiatry. What was really neat was how there were five hospitals videoconferencing together about a case study. Both the psychiatrist and his resident were at their ends with treating the particular subject and so we got to see how collaborative work actually happens. It was really neat, as we went with one of the psychologists from our clinic and just watched as people presented various alternatives or critiques. The first forty minutes were essentially like this, and they touched base on the basics of successful intervention; collaboration between the practitioner and patient, belief from both parties that the intervention will work, and a working trust between the two. It was an interesting case, as the patient did not fully believe in the cognitive behavioral therapy they were applying, and yet was going home and reading about it rather religiously. Drug therapies had also largely seen little effect. A true mystery! I also liked how one of the psychiatrists pointed out that CBT should not be taken as the only successful intervention, and that its simply its ease in monitoring progress that has resulted in its widespread presence in the literature.

Which then came into the case for our second field trip, to the Hope Foundation of Alberta, a clinic dedicated to the use of hope based therapy. Hope based therapy, in contrast to CBT, is a very difficult intervention to monitor, and as a result, has seen little presence in the literature. I found the trip quite a neat experience, and was one of the few times I have actually taken notes (!). One of the most important things I found was the contrast between goal versus hope based perspectives which are largely probabilities versus possibilities respectively. The simple change in thought made me realize that the situation I was in actually had quite a bit of hope, and that I wasn’t entirely in the final end, no matter how much my emotive self felt. That mere reframing was amazing in how I approached the rest of the day.

I was also called an asshole today, and it felt great. It meant that my snarky remark during our hope presentation hit home, and hit home well! I love it. I was on my A-game today.

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