So I don’t write about what I do in practicum a whole lot or even talk about it because I work with some controversial and high profile cases. But, the past few weeks have been so amazing that I feel the need to share how much I love working in a state psychiatric hospital and forensics center. I’ve met a lot of social workers who’ve told me that they don’t support what I do based upon “ethics” because working with victims means that perpetrators are off the table I suppose. But I’ve always shared with them my stories of success, such as a patient with a TBI acknowledging and comprehending guilt in group sessions. Or the victim turned sexual predator coming to a recommitment hearing and telling the judge they aren’t ready for discharge because they know in their heart they will re offend.
I don’t know what the rest of the social work community thinks about state hospitals, sexual offenders and violent clients but I know that they deserve the same treatment as those on the outside. I also know that state hospitals and forensic centers will always be needed for the very few patients who cannot be safe in the community. I believe that most people with mental illness have better outcomes when they are not in institutions but I also believe that there are always exceptions.