- Youth work has become a competitive industry and this permeates through to staff.
- Vicarious trauma which is not dealt with properly has to come out eventually, usually in burnout.
- When people work in close proximity in tough situations it can lead to some personality clashes.
- Managers provide minimal accountability and do not squash issues within the team quickly enough.
- Some people are just not cut out for youth work!!!
|Youth work isn’t always fun!|
“A difficult time can be more readily endured if we retain the conviction that our existence holds a purpose – a cause to pursue, a person to love, a goal to achieve.”- John Maxwell
A hallucination is defined as a sensory perception in the absence of any external stimulus, and is experienced objectively by the young person eg. they see it and you don’t. Hallucinations occur in any of the five senses, although auditory (hearing) and visual (sight) hallucinations are the most frequently observed. Auditory hallucinations are typical of psychosis and symptoms such as ‘voices talking about the young person’ and ‘hearing one’s thoughts spoken aloud’ are indicative of schizophrenia, whereas second-person hallucinations such as ‘voices talking to the young person threatening or insulting or telling them to commit suicide’, may be symptomatic of psychotic depression or schizophrenia. Visual hallucinations are more likely suggestive of organic conditions such as epilepsy, drug intoxication or drug withdrawal.
An illusion is defined as a false sensory perception in the presence of an external stimulus, in other words a distortion of a sensory experience, and may be recognized as such by the subject. The best example I can think of is mime artist or the visual illusions of Giuseppe Arcimboldo. The old adage that your eyes play tricks on you is no more true than when we think of illusions. Illusions in themselves are not necessarily an indicator of mental illness but could mean a physical disorder or intoxication.
|One of Giuseppe Arcimboldo’s illusions|
A pseudohallucination is experienced in an internal or subjective space such as ‘voices in my head’ and is regarded as akin to fantasy. Other sensory abnormalities include a distortion of the young persons sense of time, for example déjà vu, or a distortion of the sense of self (depersonalization) or sense of reality (derealization). These symptoms could be suggestive of dissociative disorders, epilepsy or brain damage.
|Maslow’s hierarchy of needs|
Today Australians throughout the world stop to pay tribute and remember those who lost their lives in World War One and subsequent conflicts. We remember that these young men and women fought for the cause of freedom and lost their lives to help us live the lives we live today. Their sacrifices will never be forgotten. Lest we forget.
As a youth worker I was reflecting recently on the role of youth workers during both world wars. In many ways it was the height of youth clubs. Whether groups like Boy Scouts, the Hitler Youth or the Boys Brigade they all had a surge during those world conflicts. In most cases the youth workers who were involved sought to bring the best in their young people to the fore through skill building and service. However, they also became recruiters for military service.
Youth workers even today find themselves in this role. How many young people have joined military service instead of going to jail after a well meaning youth justice officer persuades a judge that this would be a good option? How many young people have met recruiters in their schools after the welfare team set up a careers day?
Military service is not a bad thing at all. In fact I know many young people who without the military would have ended up in really bad places. The question for youth worker’s is about transparency and role power. There were a number of youth workers on all sides of the wars who used their influence and role power to insight young people to join up and train with malice in their hearts. There were a majority Who supported young people to join up for the cause of freedom and peace. The difference was transparency and use of their role.
Today we are less likely to see a world war than in years gone by. However we are still recruiting young people to fight in conflicts throughout the world. As a youth worker we have a lot of power and influence over young people. We must make sure that our actions are clear and transparent and bring about good.
What do you think???
|MItchell Youth Centre|
If you stop seeing your clients as human its time to go. Wether it is a particular case or the orginisation or the entire career path will be determined by how jaded you have become. You will only do damage to your clients and in turn to yourself. It is a self fullfilling prophecy and it only ends bad.
If your orginisation will not support or is unable to support you, jump ship. Better to take your chances finding another job than being fried. Your health and wellbeing is more important than making quota or your CEO feel better. Needless to say, an orginisation that does not support its staff is not really supporting its young clients either.
Having significant people outside of your career is crucial to providing clear insight into you and your level of strain. I mentioned my wife, who was an amazing support during this time, however I had friends, family and mentors who also provided much needed respite and assurance.
It can only end bad if you keep gutting it out. The more you invest the more likely you will fall. If you are not getting good supervision and support gutting it out is like playing russian roulette. The question is not if you will get shot , but when.