Dr Nader Shabahangi speaks with the 2015/2016 Pacific Institute Gero-Wellness Program participants about “Wherever you go, there you are.” He encourages the interns to be themselves and how their engaged involvement will help shape their internship/practicum year. Nader also touches on the meaningful impact their engagement can have in the AgeSong Community they will be working in.
Wherever You Go, There You Are
This year there is a great opportunity to have a deeper understanding of how our professional comes into the personal and how the personal comes into the professional and how there really is very little no difference, if any. Wherever we go, there we are. We show up and we show up as who we are.
There is an idea in standard psychology that we are a psychotherapist or LMFT and we are in that role. We are a somehow an expert and we are not ourselves anymore. They call you and I relating “therapy.” I thought we had a relationship. So the moment we call this “therapy” we have instrumentalized the relationship that you and I have.
You are starting the year and there are expectations. You have ideas. And really all of us are dealing with issues. What are some of the things that we might be working on this year? We are working with frail elders, forgetfulness, we are working with “end of life.” At AgeSong in working with elders we are working with the most marginalized group within our society. Frail, vulnerable, people who are often not that verbal anymore. That get judged. This is also an organization that tries to change how elders are being looked at. So you will deal with the mainstream which does not seem to be dealing with the aging phenomenon.
All you will be dealing with the mainstream that doesn’t have too much of a useful purpose for elders. And that attitude is manifesting itself in the way physicians social workers, psychologists, therapists, and hospital admins are helping or not helping our cause.
As GeroWellness interns you will be in the middle between the mainstream and the AgeSong vision. You will want to get in there and make a difference. You will want to make a change. And you will see obvious inadequacies. When that happens remember that AgeSong is an organization wanting to make a difference. Be on our side, talk to us, the change begins with you, you will have the opportunity to be an agent of change. Bring your ideas for change to us and let’s see if we can help you manifest the changes you seek.
What is wonderful about this internship is that Elders are very accepting kind and caring and they allow you to be yourself. Interns can bring themselves to the internship and effect change by being themselves in an accepting and inviting environment.
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Read more stories about GeroWellness Interns in AgeSong Communities.
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