New Season Ahead!

by Nancy Casey

We have just finished a string of cold, wet, overcast days. The coming forecast promises blue skies and sunshine. It’s going to get hot. Gradually, we’re entering a new season.

Does it feel like the beginning of summer to you? What comes into your mind when you imagine the summer ahead?

As you set up your page, let your mind ramble on the idea of the summer season which stretches before you.

Summer isn’t just about weather. Summer clothes and summer shoes might pop into your mind. Or hair styles. Chores and activities. Fantasy plans. Foods and allergies. People. How one summer can be different from another. What you are and aren’t looking forward to.

Draw a line at the top where the title will go, and mark off some space that you can use for doodling and illustration. At the very bottom of the page, draw a rectangle that’s about an inch high and as wide as the page.

Write about the summer that is stretching ahead. You could write sentences that begin with, “I hope…” or “I’ll wear…” or “On Wednesdays…” Write whatever comes to your mind from thinking about the coming summer.

When your mind goes blank for writing, draw or doodle in the illustration space. Go back to writing whenever a thought you could write down pops into your mind. Go back and forth with writing and illustration until the page is full. But leave the rectangle at the bottom completely empty.

When you are satisfied with all of the drawing and writing on the page, direct your attention to the blank rectangle. That’s the space reserved for the unexpected. Because something unexpected always happens. All sorts of things that you can’t predict are going to present themselves to you this summer.

Decorate all around the edge of the rectangle somehow. As you do so, remind yourself that for better or for worse, along with everything you are pretty sure will happen, things you didn’t expect will also pop into your life over the summer.

When you have finished decorating all around the edges of the rectangle, you’ll probably be about as ready for the unexpected as you can get.

Be sure to give your work a title and write the date on it, too.

Here is an example of what someone could write.

You can share your work by posting it as a comment below. You can type it in, or take a photo of it and upload the image.


Nancy Casey has lived in Latah County for many years. You can find more of her work here. She occasionally teaches a Write-For-You class at the Recovery Center and offers free online writing coaching for people in recovery. For information contact Nancy or the Latah Recovery Center.

A Letter from the Grand Hotel

by Nancy Casey

Today, your writing will take the form of a letter. You can write it to a real or imaginary person, and you don’t have to mail it.

Pretend that you have just arrived at a Grand Hotel, a splendid vacation spot with marvelous amenities and superb convenience. Write a letter telling your friend how amazing, wonderful and perfect everything is.

Here’s the catch: all the details of the letter have to be details about your very own home and surroundings.

You can tell about the services, the entertainment, and the furnishings. You can tell what makes it comfortable and pleasant. In the spirit of making lemonade from lemons, you can describe challenges or discomforts in terms of the outstanding opportunities for growth that they present to you.

You can say anything you want, as long as it is positive to the point of bragging and describes something real and factual about your home and surroundings.

Begin to set up your page by drawing a large rectangle that makes the page have a frame around it that’s about an inch wide. The frame will be your drawing space. Your title will go in the frame, too. At the very top of the page, draw a long rectangle inside the frame that the title will fit into when it comes time to write it.

Write the date at the top of the writing space like you would for a letter, and begin with “Dear So-and-So”… using a person’s real name.

If ideas for bragging up your living space come to mind right away, begin writing. Every time you have to stop and think, don’t stop your pen from moving, just move over to the drawing space and begin decorating the frame. When you get another idea for writing, move over to the writing area and continue there.

Try not to ever pause completely. Always keep your pen moving in one part of the page or another. Either decorate the frame, or add to the letter. Can you do it? Sometimes it takes practice and concentration at first, but the reward is usually a deep calming inside your mind.

As you get down to the end of the writing part of the page, sign off the way you do when you write a letter. Read over your work. Make small changes if you need to. If you haven’t yet finished decorating the page’s frame, keep working on that until you are completely satisfied with the whole page.

When a title pops into your mind, write it down in the rectangle you have saved for it.

Here is one example of what someone’s page could look like.

Share your work by posting it as a comment below. You can type it in, or take a photo of it and upload the image.


Nancy Casey has lived in Latah County for many years. You can find more of her work here. She occasionally teaches a Write-For-You class at the Recovery Center and offers free online writing coaching for people in recovery. For information contact Nancy or the Latah Recovery Center

LRC IS HIRING!

Please send your resume and cover letter to Darrell Keim, Latah Recovery Center, 531 S Main, Moscow, ID 83843 by June 25. Or email latahrecoverycenter@gmail.com.

Latah Recovery Center

Master’s Level Clinician

Job Description

——————————————————————————————————————————-

Salary Range: $22-26

General Information:        

This is a part time exempt position that reports directly to the Latah Recovery Center Executive Director and receives clinical oversight by the staff of the Rural Crisis Center Network.

Summary:                

This position works with participants entering our programs via either a Rural Crisis Center or a Recovery Community Center.  The clinician provides:

  1.  Risk Assessment and Crisis Management

Typical responsibilities:  applies clinical skills to assess client/family safety; employs standard suicide assessment measures; provides best practice crisis interventions to ensure safety.

  • Crisis Therapy and Case Management

Typical responsibilities: works with the client to identify supports, access resources and develop a safety plan, provides emergency, crisis intervention, and after hours on-call services.

  • Consultation/supervision

Typical responsibilities: Provides supervision for non-licensed crisis center staff.  Group supervision includes reviewing crisis center interventions, documentation, safety planning.

  • Rural education and outreach

Typical responsibilities:  Weekly outreach and educational efforts in rural Latah county.  May include trainings, consultation and volunteer recruitment.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities: 

The Clinician shall be responsible for carrying out the following duties:

  1. Risk assessment, crisis therapy and other clinical assistance of Crisis Center and Recovery Community Center participants.
  2. Work with existing staff and volunteers to improve existing peer coaching program.
  3. Cultivate positive relations within the team, peers, and external parties. 
  4. Support growth and program development in all areas of the Center.
  5. Keep current client documentation, reports and proposals. 
  6. Other duties as assigned by the Executive Director or Rural Crisis Center Network.

Supervisory Responsibilities:   

The Clinician will supervise bachelor level non-licensed peer specialists and recovery coaches relative to their work in the Crisis Center.  The clinician may supervise interns as needed.

Job Relationships: 

The Clinician will attend all regular staff meetings, committee meetings of the board as assigned, and meetings of the board of directors as assigned.  Regular contact with the Executive Director, Rural Crisis Center Network lead staff, board committee chairs, and staff shall be required to maintain a current coordination and awareness of agency-wide issues.

Qualification Requirements/Education and/or Experience:   

A Master’s Degree (or higher) in a direct clinical practice Human Services field is required for this position.  (Master’s Degree in social work, psychology, marriage and family counseling, marriage and family therapy, psychosocial rehabilitation counseling, psychiatric nursing, or very closely related field of study).  Licensure with the State of Idaho as an LMSW, LCP, LCSW or LCPC with Supervisor certification is preferred.

Language Skills:   

Excellent written and verbal English is required.  

Mathematical and Computer Skills:     

Knowledge of Electronic Health Record software such as WITS or ability and wiliness to learn are required.

Ethical Considerations:

The Crisis Center is a health facility.  As such, HIPAA regulations apply.  Confidentiality protocol applies to all interactions with clients and co-workers across the combined agencies. The Clinician must support Center policies, goals and mission at all times.  This involves maintaining confidentiality regarding consumer information and internal agency information.  Additionally, the position necessitates a degree of political and social awareness required by the unique nature of the organization.

Listen!

by Nancy Casey

One thing everybody knows how to do is react. Sometimes we choose our reaction, and other times the reaction chooses us. Often the reaction is external—we say or do something. If the reaction is internal, we change ourselves psychologically.

What kind of a reaction is listening? You will explore that in your writing today by practicing listening and noticing what that is like.

Set up your page first. Draw a line at the top where the title will go. Then set aside a small space for writing. Draw a shape (a box, a circle, a blob) that’s only big enough to fit a sentence or two. The whole rest of the page is your drawing space.

Without saying anything, draw in your drawing space until it is filled up. If you draw without talking, you are listening.

What can you put in the background for yourself to hear? Some ideas:

  • A recorded voice that is talking (or perhaps singing.) Such as a podcast, the news, a comedian, an audiobook, a playlist.
  • A friend who wants to share some thoughts. Make sure your friend understands the exercise you are doing. You can also trade places and do the exercise again so that you are the talker and your friend is the listener.
  • Instrumental music, the world outdoors, the non-silence of a silent room. As you do this type of listening, you might also begin to hear the sounds of your own thoughts.

The important thing about the drawing part is to keep your hand moving. It doesn’t matter what the drawing looks like because it is a picture of your listening.

Maybe you enjoy drawing and will dive into this task with delight. If filling a page with drawing feels daunting to you, here are some ideas:

  • Color the whole page one solid color. That counts.  Watch the color grow.  You’ll be listening.
  • Copy or trace a picture. Color it if you want. Make the same picture over and over again.
  • Scribble and doodle. Make dots, circles, or spirals. See how close you can draw lines next to each other without touching.
  • Try one thing, then move to another spot on the page and try something else.

Don’t evaluate your drawing as a drawing. Just draw. Keep the pen, crayon, pencil (or whatever is in your hand) moving. Who knows, you might decide to fingerpaint!

When you have completely filled the drawing space (and not before!) write down one thought in the writing space. Whatever thought comes to mind at the end of your drawing/listening session. Don’t plan it. Don’t overanalyze it. You don’t have to report on what you “heard.” Just write something down. It’s merely a thought that arose out of your listening.

When you have finished, take a good look at the whole page. Notice how big the listening part is compared to the words you wrote. Is there anything interesting about that?  Some people listen better (hear more) when they doodle.  Are you one of them?

If you practice listening, you learn about what it is like to listen to yourself, others and the world around you. And you can choose it as a reaction to any situation.

Don’t forget to give your work a title and write the date on it, too.

Here is one example of what someone’s page could look like. But everybody’s page will be different.

You can share your work by posting it as a comment below. It’s probably best to comment with a photo that shows all your work.  You could also simply type in the short text that you wrote.


Nancy Casey has lived in Latah County for many years. You can find more of her work here. She occasionally teaches a Write-For-You class at the Recovery Center and offers free online writing coaching for people in recovery. For information  contact Nancy or the Latah Recovery Center.

What It’s Not

by Nancy Casey

We can discover new ways to understand something if we direct our attention to what it isn’t. That’s what you’ll do in your writing today.

As you gather up your writing materials and set up your page, decide what you will write about. It can be anything at all. Not a whole wide story, just a thing.

You can choose an object. Something from your immediate surroundings–in the room or out a window. You can pluck the object from your imagination. It could be something you remember or something you invent. It doesn’t necessarily have to be real.

Instead of an object, you could write about an action or activity.  Dancing, talking on the phone, attending a meeting online, or something like that.

You can decide to write about a concept, such as joy, memory, or hope.

Once you have decided what to write about, begin by telling about what it isn’t.

For instance, a person could decide to write about “breakfast.” They could write down, “Breakfast is not made of rocks.” Or “Breakfast is not something to enjoy while you are asleep.” They could say, “Breakfast does not chirp, sing, yell for help.” Someone could add, “Breakfast doesn’t care if it has a broken tail light.”

Be patient with yourself as the ideas flow in. When you hold something in your mind and cast about for details of what it isn’t, you are juggling two thoughts at once. It can take a few minutes for your mind to coordinate itself to work like that.

If you have trouble getting started, begin by drawing or doodling.

Once you get going and find your groove, you’ll start to notice that the possibilities for what something isn’t are as big and wide as the whole universe. As you fill the page you might surprise yourself. You will certainly notice how clever you are.

After you the page is filled up, read over your work. Make small changes if you need to. Add additional color or decoration if you like. When you are satisfied with your work, give it a title and write the date on it, too.

Here is an example of what someone could write.

You can share your work by posting it as a comment below. You can type it in, or take a photo of it and upload the image.


Nancy Casey has lived in Latah County for many years. You can find more of her work here. She occasionally teaches a Write-For-You class at the Recovery Center and offers free online writing coaching for people in recovery. For information  contact Nancy or the Latah Recovery Center.

Temporary and Permanent

by Nancy Casey

What’s temporary in your life? What is likely to be permanent? That’s what you’ll be exploring today in your writing. Open your mind to those questions while you gather your materials and set up your page.

Draw a line where the title will go. Then draw a shape in the middle of the page. A circle, a square, a blob—any kind of shape. This will be your drawing space, so make it as large or as small as you like.

Next draw two lines out from the shape to the edge of the paper so that the writing space is roughly divided in half.

On one side of the page, write about some things that are likely to change in your lifetime. What changes many times over the course of a day? What changes slowly over a lifetime? Sometimes changes are traumatic, and sometimes they bring relief. Consider your life and your world the way it is right now and ask yourself, “What’s not going to stay that way?”

You can write about one changing aspect of your life in detail, explaining how it will change and why you know that is true. Or your writing might look more like a list.

On the opposite side, you will write about things that you would consider to be permanent in your life. Of course you can argue that nothing is ever permanent. Life is full of miracles and surprises a person can never predict. All the same, there are things that we realistically expect to remain unchanged in our lifetimes. The past, for instance.

As ideas come to mind, you can switch back and forth from the “temporary” side of the page to the “permanent” side. While you wait for ideas to come to you, doodle or draw in the illustration space in the middle.

After you have filled a page, read over your work. Make small changes if you need to. Add additional color or decoration to the page. When you are satisfied with your work, give it a title and write the date on it, too.

Here is an example of what someone could write.

You can share your work by posting it as a comment below. You can type it in, or take a photo of it and upload the image.


Nancy Casey has lived in Latah County for many years. You can find more of her work here. She occasionally teaches a Write-For-You class at the Recovery Center.  She offers free writing coaching for people in recovery. For information contact Nancy or the Latah Recovery Center.