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Confessions of a Social Worker | Christine

The words “chronic mental illness” can conjure up many thoughts and feelings in a person, some of which may be negative. For the past 13 years, I have worked with clients who have dealt with …

. . .little did I know that it was I who would receive so much from them.

I remember the first day I started providing therapy services to clients, naively thinking that my journey into the field would primarily consist of me helping people.  While I always hope that the clients I work with feel that they are getting what they need from me, little did I know that it was I who would receive so much from them.  The clients I have worked with over the years have taught me so much about resiliency, courage, perseverance, and love.

What kinds of things have I learned?

I’ve learned that someone with schizophrenia can successfully hold down a job, marry, and have children.  From one specific client I worked with, I learned that music was an awesome coping skill for her.  She explained to me once that although she often felt in control of the voices she hears, she sometimes felt overwhelmed.  During those times, she would put on that old song by MC Hammer—“You Can’t Touch This”.  I always thought that was the neatest thing—chasing away voices with music!

I’ve learned that family members love unconditionally, even when their loved ones cause them a lot of heartache.  People who suffer from bipolar disorder often go through intense highs and lows in mood, making their actions sometimes unpredictable and frustrating to those around them.  I’ve worked with family members who never give up on those loved ones, always welcoming them back into their arms with compassion and love.

. . .everyone has strengths—sometimes they are just buried so deep that the person no longer recognizes them.

I’ve learned that severe depression, after suffering from it for years, can really take a toll on a human being.  It can be lonely and debilitating.  But everyone has strengths—sometimes they are just buried so deep that the person no longer recognizes them.  I’ve learned that finding those strengths and capitalizing on them can be exactly what a person needs to help cope with the depression.

From one specific client I worked with, I learned how perseverance helped him deal with his chronic depression.  He remained faithful in attending therapy sessions every week.  Even though his progress was slow, he never gave up!  I eventually learned that he used to paint oil canvases.  We worked, step by step, on him revisiting that creativity.  After months, he finally starting painting again and his self-confidence returned along with unleashing his inner strength.  At our last session, he presented me with a canvas painting of a beautiful sunrise.  To me, it represented all he had worked so hard to overcome.

When I am done with my work day, no matter how overwhelming or chaotic it may be, I walk away feeling so blessed to have had the opportunity to learn from my clients.  As long as I live, I will never underestimate the power of people and the strengths that lie within each of us.

About Christine

Christine Watson received her Master’s in Social Work in 2001 and has been a Licensed Clinical Social Worker for several years.  Her first job in the field was providing outpatient therapy services at a community mental health center. Currently, Christine is the Director of Therapeutic Services at Harsha Behavioral Center in Terre Haute, IN working primarily with the adult and elderly population.

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We're Radiant Health.

As of January 18, 2023, Grant Blackford Mental Health and Family Services Society, two organizations that merged in April 2022, rebranded under the unified name Radiant Health.

We’re excited for you to meet the new us, and to get a chance to help work together on the new you.

How we help.

When you’re in the middle of it, addiction can feel like a dead-end road. We know for certain that it isn’t. Just like any mental health challenge, addiction is an obstacle on our path. And, with some innovation and hardwork, we can work our way around it. On the other side of that obstacle is a bright future with healthy relationships, purpose-driven life, and a profound joy that’s been missing for all too long.

What do we mean?

Like so many things, mental health is passed down through families. Through behaviors, mirroring, and conditioning, we learn so much of what we know from those closest to us. Oftentimes that’s for the better, sometimes it’s not. At Radiant Health, we’re here to help ensure that your family makes purpose and joy as hereditary as any trait you might pass down to future generations. With a bit of hard word, together, we can make joy run in your family. 

What is Better?

Better ≠ perfect. Better means a path of continuous improvement; of evolution. When we focus on getting 1% better, 1% brighter every single day., we’re able to see the joy in the moment, while feeling the pride that comes with taking the reins over your life and working hard on yourself.  Here at Radiant, to focus on your future, we move towards it one achievable step at a time. 

What is Better Care?

When we talk about “brighter, better care” through our specialized services it boils down to 3 simple ideas. First, better care is safer care. Our facilities and staff are trained and equipped to offer safe, secure facilities during any stay. Second, better care is a respect for dignity. We believe in the dignity of every human being and we treat each person with the same level of respect. Finally, better care is the pursuit of purpose. Our treatment is designed with the firm belief that every person has purpose and, through it, finds joy.

What to Expect?

At Radiant Health you can expect a warmth and cheer that are rare in the mental health space. We believe firmly that the commitment to mental health is a commitment to finding purpose, but also discovering joy in the pursuit of it. Walking through our doors is a simple and transparent process. You’ll begin with an initial consultation with our expert staff, developing a blueprint, and taking that first step towards incremental improvement.