For some professionals, particularly those who have worked in the field for some time, the daily challenges appear to have less to do with salaries and benefits and more to do with adjusting to the changing face of the treatment population. For example, an increasingly younger cohort today is carrying personal values that are different from many of the clinicians who work with them.
“They are used to having access to electronic devices, which we don’t allow here,” Gilliam says of many of her program’s patients. “They don’t know the concept of delayed gratification, because they have had access to whatever they want whenever they want it.” As a result, “What clinicians see in the person is a sense of entitlement,” she says.
Callahan sees the effort that clinicians exert daily as valuable beyond words. She is currently pursuing her master’s degree and sees much hope for the future, even though she knows that much of her work can be characterized as putting out fires.
“A lot of what I do with my clients is prevent a full-blown crisis from occurring,” she says. “In our program, we don’t throw people out if they relapse. That is a blessing for me.”