Thursday, February 6, 2014

A free impromptu therapy session

When a friend of a friend was in town visiting Philly this week, arriving at just the right time between the snowstorm and the icestorm (come on spring, hurry up!), we met up for dinner. In talking to her I was blown away by her: a small (shorter than me!) woman who has such a purpose and positive attitude about life.

Her job as a social worker has showed her sometimes the saddest and most tragic things in life: from conducting family therapy sessions to help the child to her current role of parlaying the importance of organ donation to families who have just lost a loved one, in hopes they will consent to organ donation of the deceased.

Our conversation gravitated to the Asian community since that who she mainly serves and there were some interesting points she brought up:

- Sometimes the most "successful" people have many issues since the lawyer/doctor/engineer has been pursuing what their parents have been telling them their whole lives that they suddenly realize (around mid-life crisis) time that they don't know who they are, this in turn affects the child which sometimes feel intense pressure to "do well" and not necessarily valued for who they are. These are the families showing up to therapy.

- Asian Americans have one of the lower organ donation rates and as an organ donor counselor she has about 60% success rate in her clients consenting to donate. Lots of times families are so wrapped up in grief and despair that they have no head space to think about donations.

- People tend to make the idea of "love" to be an end all be all. If the person has issues, love cannot solve it for them so they need to work on themselves first.

I felt like I got an free impromptu therapy session into the lives of others! 

Some quotes that really struck me:
"You have to play with the cards you've been dealt till you can play the cards you want."
"Since you're a glass half full person, instead of concentrating on how you deserve the whole glass, think about how wonderful and thirst quenching this half glass is until you can get the whole glass."
 The key here is owning your life through the decisions you make and that no matter how bad things are in the "now" there is potential for it to be better in the future.