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Self-Therapist Interview Essay

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Throughout U. S. history people with disabilities have struggled to be heard. Prior to the Progressive Era of the early 1900’s our society dealt with the disabled largely by keeping them hidden away in sanatoriums or asylums and ignored. The age-old adage, out of sight out of mind ruled. Thankfully programs designed to support cognitively and physically disabled people find their rightful place and voice in our culture have improved. While the social welfare system has improved it is clearly time for another major round of debate over disability policy and program expansion. Open honest heartfelt communication is the foundation that will lead to positive change.

A guest speaker with a lifelong physical disability in class last week, Pam, shared her experience in a powerfully moving declaration of courage, strength and hope. At one point in the presentation Pam was sharing some of the less than supportive reactions she has received from people over the years and Professor Duponte shared an example of what that can look like. In the context of the
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The mutual respect and camaraderie shown set the tone for Pam to share very personal and revealing experiences of what it has been like dealing with Arthrogryposis her entire life. The opportunity to see Professor Duponte in therapeutic mode was inspiring. While appearing completely casual and at ease she steered the interview with a deft hand to more and more revealing topics in a way that showed her skill at gathering highly sensitive information while maintaining the client’s confidentiality and dignity. The session left me humbled and emotionally drained. The professionalism and empathy shown by our Professor Duponte and the spiritual strength and courage demonstrated by Pam made me both motivated to learn the OT process and figure out how to shield my empathic senses just a bit
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