As a psychologist, a profession that brings both routine and unpredictability, I try to hold onto – and maybe even control – what I can.
For me, that means starting each day with my cup of coffee (which I often leave on the Keurig until reminded by someone that I made it) and looking at my schedule to plan for my next few days.
There is comfort in the routine and also excitement in the possibilities of the unknown. Together, this dialectic keeps me passionate for what I do with my patients in consultation, therapy, and assessment.
And yet, one possibility, a mostly unspoken fear during my education and at training sites, was the chance that I would lose a patient to suicide.
Throughout my many practica and on internship, I completed numerous risk assessments and hospitalized patients voluntarily and, in a few cases, involuntarily. The focus of those interventions was the preservation of safety and the illusion that I would be able to keep each of those individuals alive.