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work as councillors / therapists / support leaders etc

Joined
Jul 26, 2017
Messages
50
#1
hi all,

keen to take your opinions on INTPs in the supporting professions, i mean therapists, councillors etc

i am tempted by it, but i also know emotional discord i find difficult to handle, but pragmatic advice giving and support giving i have gotten much wiser at

i ask this question as having come to understand myself better at a later age, i am reviewing career options and this appeals

thanks
Mark
 

redbaron

consummate salt-extraction specialist
Joined
Jun 10, 2012
Messages
6,566
Location
38S 145E
#2
ive considered working in youth justice, most of the work seems a good fit for me

probably not intp though
 

Jennywocky

guud languager
Joined
Sep 25, 2008
Messages
10,610
Location
Charn
#3
hi all,

keen to take your opinions on INTPs in the supporting professions, i mean therapists, councillors etc

i am tempted by it, but i also know emotional discord i find difficult to handle, but pragmatic advice giving and support giving i have gotten much wiser at

i ask this question as having come to understand myself better at a later age, i am reviewing career options and this appeals

thanks
Mark
What do you mean by "you find emotional discord difficult to handle" exactly? Emotional displays? Dealing with other people's anger? Being in proximity to someone who is hurting? It's not clear from your comment.

I have considered this kind of work, but at this stage of my career and the types of credentials needed (cost and time) to get to a place to do it seems not to be a good choice for me.

Basically I really enjoy hearing people's stories, puzzling out various aspects of what they might be dealing with, and helping them figure out a way through. My main contribution is providing clarity, cutting through the assumptions, and helping them prioritize their approach, and I have spent a long time experiencing and thinking about various kinds of problems. I accept I can't make any decisions for their lives because we're all autonomous and responsible for our own healing in the long run -- we each make commitments and choices that no one else can make for us. Put another way, I accept the limitations of the therapeutic process. It also is very meaningful to me when I see people have that "a ha" moment and make conscious decisions to change and make their lives and themselves better people. It's why I am even interested in stories -- the evolution of a person, the growth process.

I think where I do not do well is when people want to rely on me for ongoing emotional affirmation. A more professional relationship actually is beneficial because it has its own inherent boundaries on time / contact, but I know IRL I don't do well when someone is lost in their own broken cycle and constantly is a drain on my energy and doesn't respect my boundaries. I need some space and distance. And while I can be low-key warm and very accepting, I'm just not great at putting those signals out or interacting on a totally emotional level. My mom is an ISFJ and was a registered nurse for her entire career and is so much better at the small daily helps and affirmation kind of thing than I am; I just intellectualize everything far more, and my contribution is much more about ideas.

Anyway, that is more about me in particular, but I think it hits on some responses to your question. There is room for various types of therapists in the industry, and you have to be willing to accept your own strengths and weaknesses in the role. Make sure that your vision for a good therapist is something you can actually adhere to, or be able to tailor your understanding of valid therapeutic roles along with the limitations of the job. It's less about type and more about you; like, who cares what type you are if you can actually be effective in your own way and enjoy the work? (Also, no job is a perfect fit even if you enjoy it overall -- there's always some amount of crap that has to be done that isn't enjoyable.)
 

Yellow

for the glory of satan
Joined
Sep 2, 2009
Messages
2,865
Location
127.0.0.1
#4
My INTPness is in question, but I'll answer assuming I am. I work in behavioral health. I've been a direct service provider and a program administrator (and frequently both at once). I've also been a teacher, and I've done ABA work.

Ermagerd.

It's stressful because a lot of the duties are in direct conflict with your preferred at-rest state.

1. Responsible for the actions of others
If someone does a thing, you have to do a thing in response to the thing, even if you don't want to do the thing. Sometimes you're really unlucky, and get in direct trouble if the person does the thing.

2. Responsible for timely and thorough documentation
Any time you are working with vulnerable populations, you have to not only use documentation to keep yourself safe, but to also justify your continued employment. If that wasn't stressful enough, the paperwork is hefty, and the time constraints are pretty unreasonable.

3. It's draining
Just the sheer amount of talking involved is daunting. Sometimes I'm too drained to even listen to music. I just need silence. But it's not just the socialization. You have to be at your best at all times. Bad days are not acceptable because even minor displays of irritation, impatience, or pure exhaustion will have a disproportionately negative impact on the person(s) served. Of course, here, we have an advantage over our more passionate counterparts, but it still takes a lot out of you over time.

4. You will be less effective with most people
It's true that we have a lot of potential when it comes to helping someone understand and change themselves. We're naturally nonjudgmental, perceptive, and respectful of others' autonomy. But we do all these things at a distance. We'll never bond the way other providers can bond. We can be role models, we can be supports, but some people need to feel a kind of emotional connection that we can never provide. To feel truly understood and accepted. The best we can do, is give them a knowledgeable and caring robot.

Argument in favor: this field needs us.

Most people in "helping" professions are doing it for emotionally selfish reasons. Maybe it makes them feel good to help others. Maybe they want to be a hero. Maybe they want to boos people around. No matter how altruistic it may sound, they're doing it for personal satisfaction.

So if they are working with someone "difficult", or "ungrateful", it can become pretty toxic pretty fast. They most often find an excuse to avoid/neglect the person, but some will become vindictive, passive-aggressive, or downright mean. Not all workers, maybe not even most, but enough that "the system" is a categorical source of trauma.

We are better than most at sitting in the fire without getting burned. Our extended capacity for detached involvement allows us to truly extend unconditional positive regard to people who need it most. It also gives us a fresh perspective in a field dominated by SFs.
 
Last edited:
Joined
Jan 24, 2013
Messages
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Location
A hut in the woods
#5
@Yellow,

I recall previously yourself and I believe Jenny talked about needing to be "the best" in a way that is not competitive, but more so to challenge yourself to be the best "you" you can be.

How does this affect you in this line of work?
 

Yellow

for the glory of satan
Joined
Sep 2, 2009
Messages
2,865
Location
127.0.0.1
#6
@Yellow,

I recall previously yourself and I believe Jenny talked about needing to be "the best" in a way that is not competitive, but more so to challenge yourself to be the best "you" you can be.

How does this affect you in this line of work?
I feel an overwhelming urge to be utilizing high fidelity evidence-based practices, and to confirm that it's making a difference with solid outcome measures. (In this case, that's tracking repeat admissions, following up after so much time to see how people are doing, etc, and confirming that these positive numbers are improving.)
 
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