New Year, New IPEs

Darren Community Mental Health and Addictions 0 Comments

Hi everyone, I hope all of your Holidays were loving and full.

I would like to start the New Year with the topic of IPEs and what they have done for me. The first time I wrote about my Integrated Practical Experience (IPE) I had just gone through a major change in my viewpoint on the difference between harm reduction and abstinence model of recovery. I came into this course not entirely sure what I was getting into as I have mentioned before but the clarity each day brings me is absolutely amazing.

I am currently placed at the Whale House which is a clubhouse run by Options in Surrey, but all my IPE placements have definitely shown me the direction I want to go in respect to a career and how I would like to live my life. I realize now that more schooling will be necessary but I look at that prospect with the bright eyes of a toddler just learning to walk, it is exciting for sure. I have to give credit to the IPE training I am getting. Without it I don’t think the picture would be as clear to me but as we move along it shows me more and more what it is that I want. It also helps me be sure of the reasoning behind my decision to enter this field of study. I am happy to say that there are no doubts to the road I take, I want to help people who suffer with problems in their lives get the help they need and deserve. That is the bottom line, I am tired of our society as a whole in the way they view and treat people with problems. There is so much negative stigma so you truly have to believe in what you are getting into.

Empathy is the first thing you will learn at Stenberg College, I know I have learned about myself as well. The IPE program helps me truly see the different places people can be in their lives, it is sometimes disheartening which is why we need to sure about what we are doing. I won’t lie and tell you all that I have never had a doubt because I have once or twice but I also gain a certain amount of strength and confidence with each shift. As I have said it has painted a clearer picture.

My next IPE will be on the Downtown Eastside at a resource centre called Drug Users Resource Center (DURC) and I cannot even begin to tell how excited I am and how much I am looking forward to it. I live in Langley and use transit so the distance I have to travel to get to DURC should give you an idea, being that I am still excited despite that trip. No problem to me because I am positive it is going to show me something (actually a lot of things) that I will need to know. Our class took a field trip to the Downtown Eastside and showed us many resources that have been established. DURC was one of the places we stopped at to visit and I felt this instant positive vibe and really I wanted to stay there longer to be honest. Insite is where our trip began and I was instantly entranced by the positive vibe.

That is what my IPE training is showing me the most, that there is no reason to feel awkward or feel fear when you are communicating with people in troubled lives. They don’t want to hurt you they just want someone to listen to them. Sure, some of them have some bad habits they use to support other bad habits but we must remember most of them did not choose this and they have a better sense of community than I have seen anywhere. Guidance, encouragement and confidence are lessons taught to me and I feel it is my responsibility to share this with as many people that may need these three things. I know I did and still do, we all do admit it or not.

Until next blog my friends have fun have hope and most of all… Just care, it’s a wonderful feeling.

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