Today I got a piece of paper in the mail. It is an essential piece of paper, but I was struck by how it really is just a piece of paper. This document has my name and an ID number, a license number, and an expiration date. I am not showing it to you for a good reason, but it is my social work license.
As I thought about the power in this document, I was reminded that I am not a good social worker for everyone I meet just because I am licensed. Just how every Dr is not suitable for every patient, every Pastor is not right for every congregant, nor is every builder right for someone who needs a house built.
I hope that you are someone who takes the time to interview anyone you are entrusting something to. It might be your physical health, mental health, spiritual health, or the landscaping of your yard. Still, I believe that anyone you enter into a relationship with benefits from time spent together first.
In my counseling practice, I would offer free first sessions as I believe it is vital for the client/patient/consumer to interview the professional before committing to working together.
I hope you will consider taking the time to get to know the people you entrust yourself to. It is important. It invites honesty, accountability and speaks to your willingness to venture into conversations that bring clarity.
Remember, neither a degree nor a license is the most crucial aspect of a relationship. How you feel in an individual’s presence and how you feel after you have been with them will provide you clarity about engaging professionally with them.
Just a few thoughts from a middle-aged woman with that piece of paper!