BEATEN Being Exceptionally Alert To Environmental Nastiness
Which one of these people would you want to be?
Well, let’s hope you picked Chuck Norris because:• Chuck is constantly alert and aware• Chuck never gets surprised by anything• Chuck has a sixth sense about impending danger• Chuck is always in control• Chuck is sensitive to the needs of others• OK, so he’s sensitive to the needs of others for a front kick to the head, but he’s still sensitive
What can Chuck teach me asa mental health professional?“I really wish I’d studied Chuck’s principles before I had myhead suddenly and involuntarily rotated what felt like over 180degrees at something approaching light speed by the 240-pound schizophrenic patient I was talking to and took my eyeoff of for just a split second…although I guess I could havemaybe avoided it if I hadn’t somehow convinced myself that hewasn’t really capable of hurting me, which now that I think of itwas really dumb…but hey, how was I supposed to remembersomething so trivial as the note in his history I’d just readabout the time when he held a friend hostage at a backyardpicnic table for almost two hours by standing over him whileholding a hammer and thumping it into his hand and whackingit on the picnic table six inches next to the guy over and overagain. I bet Chuck would have remembered that, don’t you?” Jeff Rogers, Washington County Civil Commitment Investigator
Chuck’s Basics: INPATIENTS• I -- Insist the patient stay at least 15 feet away from you• N -- Never talk in person when you can just call• P -- Patients are there for a reason…a really good reason• A -- Always defend yourself first and empathize second• T -- Trust is something that eventually will get you killed• I -- If you start to relate to the patient, refer to the “A” rule• E -- Expect the worst from everyone, staff included• N -- Nobody will be there to help you when you need them• T -- Take care of yourself, and I don’t mean wimpy self-care crap• S -- Someday, somehow, one of them is going to get you
Chucks Six Simple Rules of Effective Therapy• Only complete losers need therapy• Only complete losers believe others need therapy• If people can’t pull themselves up by their bootstraps, they have no reason to exist in the first place• If people have no bootstraps, they didn’t have the guts to steal them from a sleeping homeless person• Telling people to go to their “safe place” is like Leonardo DiCaprio (action hero, my ass) telling Kate Winslet that climbing onto the stern of the Titanic is better than tumbling head over foot down the vertical deck while people and heavy objects weighing tons thunder down on them, thus bringing them the quick and beautiful death that all real heroes dream of.• The Total Gym can bring about total mental and physical fitness in just three 30-minute sessions a week
How to tell when a colleague hasn’t been listening to Chuck• Obvious startle response evident when patients come within, I don’t know, half a mile• When in the milieu, maneuvers so as to always keep another staff member between him and a certain patient• Overheard telling patients that he/she is really the only staff member on their side• Responds violently to practical jokes like pasting “Kick Me” signs on the back of his shirt• Urinating uncontrollably when asked to conduct group• Whimpering• Bendable “Safe Pen” sticking out of forehead like some sort of bizarre drinking straw
And if you’re wondering,“Can I follow Chuck and still feel compassion for my patients?” just remember……