I started off this semester feeling excited with only a slight case of nerves... and then I had my first diagnostic session with my (adorable!!) client this past week and it was a slightly chaotic blur where I attempted to take
data (kinda failed at that) on the various informal and formal assessments I administered. By the end of it, I felt more incompetent and anxious, and not as excited... and don't get me started on the paperwork I had to whip out that was due an hour after my session ended. I know I didn't turn in quality work, not even close and I'm supposed to meet with my clinical supervisor about it preferably before Tuesday... but because of work, I can't. So yeah, feeling a bit down on myself this weekend.
BUT I have to remember that I am not alone. I'm not the only SLP grad student to have ever felt this way about clinic or even grad school in general. I have only had one session and I think it took me by complete surprise how crazy fast and hard this all just hit me... I need to chill the heck out and remember I'm still learning!! It was my first session! It was my first time turning in a real SOAP note and the fact that I turned in anything at all within an hour is amazing in itself!
So, I did a search and came up with some great quotes from SLP students who have experienced the same self-doubt (slp livejournal):
“I really sat down and thought about why I have been so anxious, and I came to realize it really boiled down to I don't like the feeling of being incompetent. It's at these moments that I need to remind myself to re-focus. I CAN tell you that these moments of self-doubt get less and less frequent over time.”
“You're not supposed to be a great therapist right now. You WILL be one, someday. Give yourself time.”
“It's not uncommon to feel overwhelmed, anxious, or ready to give up. I know that it's hard, but you CAN do it!”
“Don't sweat the small stuff. Find your niche, find out why you're feeling incompetent in clinic. Why do you "suck?" Also, SOAP notes are hard for a lot more clinicians than you think. Report writing is even harder.”
And of course this great blog post by Speechy Musings: You know you are in SLP graduate school when...