Amy Coole’s (’18) Social Work Story

in Social Work Month
March 15th, 2017

By Amy Coole (’18), Fall River Campus

While a clinician at a jail diversion addiction treatment program, I was transferred to work at the women’s program after working at the men’s house for over a year. I was terrified.

Girls and I never “got along” and I felt like I wouldn’t be able to serve them well. After working with female clients for two months, I made the decision to leave the position based on my school schedule and internship requirements.

I told my clients that I would be leaving in a few weeks. One particular client became angry with me and marched out in the middle of our session. I felt nervous and uncomfortable, but still continued to work with her despite her attitude and comments.

On my final day, I was about to head out and was saying my goodbyes to the group. That same client came up to me, and totally caught me off guard with a hug. I returned with a “clinical hug” but she collapsed into my embrace and began to cry. With huge alligator tears she thanked me for caring and helping her, then handed me a homemade card.

I told her that she should be proud of herself and said, “You can do this!” With a dripping-nose-smile she laughed and said, “I can do it.” Of course I cried in my car and called my mom after I left, but this moment showed me girls aren’t so scary and my work impacts them more than I know.