In the January 2002 issue of the AAPL newsletter there was an interview published with a well-respected & experienced forensic psychologist and correctional clinician, Joel Dvoskin. He described correctional work more eloquently than I have ever heard before. When I finished reading this, I kind of wanted to stand up and cheer:
To me the moral thing, the ethical thing, is not to cut and run. It is to maintain one's dignity and professionalism in the face of bad circumstances. It is to understand the difference between reasonable flexibility and selling out. It is speaking with honor and humility (even in court) about how it ought to be, and resisting the understandable temptation to sink into self-righteous and angry denunciations. It is protecting your own hope against all assaults, because hope is the most precious gift you share with your clients."
I think this should be framed and hung on the wall of every correctional psychiatrist's office.
If we had offices...
Your final comment is so funny, but true! The one time I volunteered to assess women preparing to parole, I sat in a supply closet on an overturned 5-gallon bucket because there was only one chair and I left it for the patients. In a men's facility, I conducted assessments in a x-ray room, placing charts on the x-ray table. I told the patients, "We are going to talk, then I'm going to take your picture..." If the only thing accomplished is sharing hope, I believe it was a worthwhile interaction. Maybe a tatoo...
so sweet I could cry....
I'll find a pic.
ROFL, you had a bucket? I stood in a linen closet for two hours once doing inpatient rounds. This is truly combat psychiatry, field medicine at its greatest. It pushes you to the limits of your creativity. You discover problem-solving depths you never knew you had. You learn to tolerate smells you never knew existed.
I can't think of anything I'd rather do as a shrink.
Thank you for what you do for your patients, and society.
I never even thought about how working with inmates would pose such a host of challenges in such a wide variety of ways.
I had a brother in prison and still it did not even occur to me.
the cartoon is perfect. you're getting there!--D
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