“This is exactly what you need!” my inner voice whispered.
The curriculum for the Master of Psychotherapy program included an internship in various medical settings. I worked part-time in an advertising agency, rented an apartment in a high crime neighborhood in East New York, and got a loan for my studies.
My inner voice did not steer me wrong. I did not even once regret making the decision to become a psychotherapist. It was a simple and, it seemed, obvious step, but to have made it required so many years for me!
So, this is actually a short preface to how I found myself in the office of the outpatient psychiatric clinic of a hospital in Brooklyn, where I will have to complete my last internship, and where I met Jenn.
At first Jenn offered for me to get acquainted with other psychiatric divisions of the hospital. In addition to the outpatient clinic, the hospital had Psychiatric Emergency and Psychiatric Inpatient units, which the patients themselves jokingly called the “cuckoo-house.”
According to Jenn, any psychotherapist should know, as you say, the cycle the psych patients go through from the Psych Emergency to the “cuckoo-house” and then back to outpatient. In addition, the season of the autumn Jewish holidays was starting. Jenn requested time off in advance and did not want the future young shrink idling without anything to do in her absence. That is why I went to the Psych ER first.
People there are brought via EMS vehicles and often accompanied by police. Not everything is so horrific there, not everything. Some patients are very calm: lying in the beds or sitting in armchairs, waiting for when the doctor on duty calls them in and decides where to direct them to next.
On rare occasions, the doctor on duty would send those in “psychiatric emergency” on their merry way after conducting an examination.