Friday, November 7, 2008

The Least Favorite Assignment Gone GOOD

Gina Marchando Photography

Recently, to my surprise and pleasure, my least favorite assignment of the semester crossed over from the dark side and became useful. Maybe I'd even say enjoyable.

Last week in one of my classes we were required to videotape ourselves doing a very brief snippet of "family centered" therapy, and I have to admit that I was less than thrilled to videotape myself as a therapist. Granted, in my field work I am required to videotape myself nearly every week for the sake of fidelity to the Parent Child Interaction Therapy model we use at my agency, but the layout of the class assignment required a family scenario outside of my comfort level. During the 15-minute videotape, I was supposed to focus on the goal-making segment of my work with a family, and focus on empowering the family to set the goal, ask about previous attempts to solve the problem and use all of my mad skills to help the family feel good about the new goal, and optimistic about being able to accomplish it.

The real catch? After critiqueing our own videos, we had to exchange videotapes with another classmate, and do a peer review of each other doing family centered therapy. That part was also not a highlight of the assignment, but luckily we weren't graded on our performance as therapists, we were only being graded on the quality of the critiques, and for the concreteness of the improvement plan we created with all of the feedback.

So, what was initially a really negative experience crossed the line to being positive. Not that the feedback from my therapy was all puppy dogs and rainbows, but I now have some solid and specific things to work on that will help my future me be a more therapeutic clinician, and that's worth videotaping any day...

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