I wanted to start this blog with a brief mention of how I came to the main theme of my work: Hopeful Practice.
I was listening to the podcast for On Being with Krista Tippet, wherein she was interviewing one of my social work heroes, Brené Brown. In the course of their discussion, Brené said (in talking about C.R. Snyder‘s work) that hope is a function of struggle. The phrase resonated with me, though not in the context of their discussion.
Rather, in social work we encounter struggle daily. Sometimes it’s the more usual struggle of finishing our paperwork accurately, conscientiously and efficiently. And sometimes it’s something much more than that. It’s the struggle of finding the right tools to help our clients, of putting the right presentation together to impact our community or of advocating for change against a tide of opposition. My average week often consists of talk of trauma, self injury, suicide, severe and persistent mental illness, personality disorder, anxiety, depression, financial struggle, relational difficulty, eating disorder, addiction and grief.
And yet, when I am working with or for my clients and community, I am often motivated by a strong sense of hope. Out of their struggles, my struggles with my work engagement with them, erupts this wellspring of fervent belief that we can do better. We can change and grow and learn and expand our understanding and improve so much about our worlds – both within and around ourselves.
And I believe that therapists especially need this sense of hopefulness to accomplish what we set out to do. You know…change the world, one person at a time. And the reality is, that takes a lot of practice. A daily practice, to focus on what we can do to create change, redefine our goals, and maintain our boundaries so that our hope can flourish and we can accomplish what we set out to do each day.
It’s a struggle, but it’s powered by hope.
So there we are. The things with feathers and our hopeful hearts, ready to work and learn. It is my hope that this website grows to reflect at least some small part of that desire.