i was reacently asked by my shrink to work at a hotline for depressed/suicudal teens for the following reasons
1. i've been there, done it, and exprienced it and i know alot about the subject.
2. because he feels they can related better to someone who has experienced it rather then someone who's just read about it.
3. because he feels it will make me better to talk about it, and it will help me in the process.
Im scared though, i dont want to ruin a kids life with the wrong advice or anything. I have such a negative perspective on life and i have for many years, and i dont want to come across to desperate teens in need of serious help as though their life isnt going to change, their for result in something serious, like suicide.
I know i can do the job, and do it well, but my negativity is holding me back.
what should i do?
------------------ Psychiatrists say that 1 of 4 people are mentally ill. Check three friends. If they're OK, you're it.
Posts: 16 | From: where nothings sacred | Registered: Jan 2001
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You said it yourself hon. You know you can do it. And your shrink knows you can do it.
I know its scary feeling like you have a hold on someone's life but your shrink is right. You have been there, you should know what advice to give to people who call for help. Alot of times, these people call to talk to someone who understands. And I think you do.
If you are really unsure, let your shrink know and maybe he/she could have a run through session with you before you actually go and man the hotlines. Gd luck hon.
I think it's a great thing to do, and I've suggested several people here do it myself.
Honestly, you'll find that for the most part, you do simply automatically rise to the occasion and put your own crap aside and really help others most of the time. That's what real compassion does to a person.
And lemming is right: you do get a heck of a lot of training, and at most facilities, your calls will be monitored for a while, and you'll get the support you need.
Trust yourself, trust others.
(And by the way, your quote is hilarious. Reading it this morning resulted in a netbloss of about two mouthfuls of my first cup of coffee. My monitor doesn't thank you, but I do.)
seriously unhappy? r u sure? i know for a fact that's a very stressful job... but devinity u can do it! i know it i did... but i don't know, i didn't like it..not really sorry, but i do it for my friends all the time. i've sworn to my self to never bcome a shrink.. my mom's a counsler and i hate it! she's always busy w/ other peeps... but devinity... u will rock! Posts: 36 | From: i'll tell you when i get there! ;b | Registered: Jan 2001
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well crusher i am going for a degree in mental health if i could get a job doing that it would do nothing but help me. as for stress im stressed out all the time anyway i could at least do something io like. divinity dont worry about it so much, im sure you would give great advice. just tell them what you think they should do. make them feel better. tell them what you would want someone to tell you if the situation were reversed. it will come natural to you im sure.
I thought I'd shed a little light on what you're actually doing when you work at a hot line like that.
I went through a standard, national training program, so I can pretty much guarantee that these guidelines will be the same as yours.
You're not really giving advice; what you're doing is called "active listening." You listen to what the other person says and then reflect this back to them, so that *they* have to provide their own advice. All open-ended questions. Things like, "Have you been in this situation before? What did you do then?" and lots of emotional verification ("So you're feeling kind of sad [or alone, or angry]?")
Anyway, it has less to do with giving advice than with listening and helping to sort things out - but, of course, compassion helps, and so does having a little common sense in there.
Good luck, again, and I would encourage any of you who would like to help as telephone crisis counselors to look around your neighborhood.
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