I did not plan on learning about myself when I was assigned to write a treatment plan for Steve. At most I expected to be taught something about analyzing how a traumatic experience can become something one can cope with. However, in the course of producing the plan, I became aware of myself and my unique experience in life which in retrospect helped to make my approach to the assignment an effective one. I have always enjoyed working with young people and have been doing so for over ten years. In fact, when I refer in this essay to the Teen Director at the YMCA, I am talking about myself. Working with youth from the inner city, especially teens, makes me aware of how violence pervades the lives of adolescents today on the streets, in the schools, and at home. Working with them on a daily basis, I have found myself in the heart of serious cases of trauma and recognize that providing emotional safety is an important part of my job. The Youth Worker in me was able to identify appropriate environments where a young person like Steve could feel supported, nurtured and valued. This was for me a critical part of his treatment.



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