Posted by Ensign Kerilah Winter (Doctor) in Counselor DE Check-In (Tag> Lieutenant Bethany Kovra Gadi )
Posted by Lieutenant Bethany Kovra Gadi (Counselor) in Counselor DE Check-In (Tag> Lieutenant Bethany Kovra Gadi )
Posted by Ensign Kerilah Winter (Doctor) in Counselor DE Check-In (Tag> Lieutenant Bethany Kovra Gadi )
IC: Bethany had glanced briefly at her file as it transferred to her console. “A doctor and a psychologist? Tell me Kerilah what approach do you prefer? Clinical or more wholesome approach for an evaluation when you see someone new in sickbay?”
Lt. Gadi, CNS
Kerilah watched as she leaned in, attentively and recognized the approach. [Establishing a connection, it is. Nice.] she thought to herself and smiled warmly at Bethany. “Well, I guess Spring Ball is most easily compared to Raquetball on Earth. I’m sorry to say I’m not familiar with Betazoid sports, so I don’t know what it would be comparable to for you…” Keri thought for a moment about what else she had asked, as she got lost in thought, trying to recall her basic studies in Federation Cultures but drew a blank on sports. Then she remembered.
Bethany let her think quietly for awhile. Silence didn’t bother her and she didn’t want it bother anyone in her office either. After a bit of silence she spoke, “I’m familiar with racquetball. I grew up on Earth. Was never much good at it.”
“I’m sorry, I was lost in thought for a moment. I had a hard time choosing between medicine and psychology as a major, yeah. When dealing with a medical patient, I prefer talk therapy with an emphasis on Dialectical Behavioral Therapies”, then she raised a slender finger for dramatic emphasis, “But I prefer the clinical approach in Forensic Psychology, which is my true passion”.
“Forensic psychology? That’s an intense field. A colleague of mine is a trauma specialist. She said she took several forensic psychology courses to help with her work. She said sometimes patients won’t talk or respond and that the forensics really helped her help them. Ever consider working with trauma patients?”
Ensign Winter sat back and casually crossed her leg as suddenly realized this was technically a session and she should probably get more comfortable. It was silly, actually, for her to lose sight of that, but also a credit to the Counselor for putting her at ease enough to forget. And what a clever and disarming device, little Luna was - she smiled. There were those that might see it as a cynical view, but Kerilah saw it as a wonderful example of excellent training and honed skill, nothing more. She was relieved to know how adept Lt. Gadi was at her job and encouraged to know that she felt at ease talking to her.
Bethany took note of Winter’s body language and was glad that the ensign seemed to be at ease. Luna of course wasn’t there to help her do her job. Bethany had found the long hours of her shift to be lonely. People tended to avoid counselors unless they had previous experience with them. Revneer’s patients still were seeing him, which Bethany totally understood and was happy to encourage. When a patient makes a connection to a therapist it’s important not to ruin that. T’Jal, Bethany’s mentor, had told her being ship’s counselor could be very lonely, and she’d been right. Hence her adoption of Luna. Now Luna came to work with her. She was glad to see that Luna had to put the effort as well though. She needed to earn her keep.
“I am having some trouble focusing today, though”, she told the woman, somewhat abruptly. “We’re never very good at taking our own advice, are we? I mean, I’ve taught skills for just this kind of mindfulness, and yet now, on my first day aboard, I just can’t seem to slow my brain down. It’ll pass as I settle in, but right now I’m a little ‘off’ my game”, a soft giggle passed her lips and she allowed the silence to breathe.
> Dr. Winter, Ens.
OCC: The Helix is the upper cartilage of the ear? She has five tiny star-shaped piercings that are the colors of the rainbow - she doesn’t wear them when on-duty, but she hasn’t reported for duty yet; just doing check-ins. (Honestly, she probably forgot to take them out when she got dressed. Ha!)
OOC: Thank you.
Bethany smiled, “People either become physically hyper focused or they become thoughtful on the millions of thoughts swirling around when nervous and entering a new position. If you weren’t slightly to either of those sides I’d be worried. It’s normal and healthy. It’s how your mind processes. As you say, I’m sure it will be pass as you get settled. What are you looking forward most to in sickbay?”
Lt. Gadi, CNS
“That’s very true”, Keri said with a smile. She considered Bethany’s questions carefully, especially the first. “I’d love to work with trauma patients. The aftermath of their experiences can shape so much of who they are, and I believe they should be empowered to sculpt their own way through it. However, I’m also fascinated by the mental states of those who cause trauma to others. In a perfect world, we could determine those factors and help prevent those specific types of trauma from happening at all”, she considered such a reality for a moment and felt naive, but hopeful too, then pulled herself back. “But even understanding the kinds of dissociative behaviors and pathologies that form violent criminality would be an important step towards that, I believe.” Kerilah let the thought linger for a moment and then thought about her duties in sick-bay.
“In a perfect world we could to that. Unfortunately not all trauma is directly caused by another person. Experiencing natural disasters, loss through,” and here she uses air quotes, “natural means. And then there is war. Caused by a specific thing but not necessarily a specific person to the one traumatized. There is so much there to consider.” Bethany considers Kerilah as she talks. She has a quick and analytical mind which is needed to be able to handle the myriad reactions of those suffering trauma. They are extremely unpredictable, through no fault of of their own.
“I know it can sound terrible to a lay-person but, I’m looking forward to the mysteries and the injuries”. She shook her head as if getting ready to defend a position she was all too accustomed to having questioned; though she suspected the Counselor was not the type to do so. “I mean, I never want people to be hurt or injured, and of course, I want the ship to simply explore and fulfill its missions without incident, but that isn’t reality. …and if I’m honest, it’s not why people become Doctors, Nurses, Counselors, or even Engineers. I dream of a world where my services are no longer needed, but until that happens I want to be challenged and do ground-breaking work. We all do, don’t we?”
“Most of us do. But the truth is that a lot of times, it the simple things that we don’t think matter, that make the biggest impact on others. But no need to explain to me. I get it. If people didn’t suffer we wouldn’t be able to examine the cause and find a way to help them. Either through mental support or medical intervention. It’s a double edged blade. I think you’ll be able to walk it just fine. It’s hard and you have to be strong, but I think you can do it.”
Kerilah looked up at Bethany and grinned, knowingly. “I’m sorry, Counselor. Initially, when I would make statements like that, without the exposition, people outside the field would often question my compassion. I guess I find it aggravating that they presume compassion and professional ambition are incompatible. But that isn’t what you asked… “
Bethany is quiet here. She knew that feeling all too well. She had chosen to go into Intel and found she was better fit as a counselor than some hero of the weak and innocent. And she was judged by others because they had bad experiences with Intel, or more likely Section 31 and didn’t know they’d been played. It was the exact situation she had here. The captain nearly despised her and wanted nothing to do with her. Bethany wanted to be there, on the Dresden, working with a crew. What had Stores said to her…something about crew is family and family was everything. She just had to find her place there. Finally, she nodded to Kerilah, “It’s hard, but you stick to it and don’t let anyone tell you differently. They may not understand but as long as you maintain your ethics and morals and Dr. Janvier has no issues then you’ll be fine.”
She looked at Bethany and wondered what the woman must be thinking of her. Then she found herself wondering about Bethany. [Is she permitted to socialize with the crew? Or is she forced to isolate because everyone is a potential patient? - It must be lonely. She has to have some friends!]. “I’m looking forward to the new and interesting things that come up when serving aboard a starship, as opposed to the more common duties of another type of assignment. But there will be plenty of day-to-day medicine here too, I’m sure”.
Bethany’s thoughts matched Kerilah’s without really realizing it. She looked over at Luna again and smiled as the rabbit hopped around looking for a gap in the fence. T’Jal had been right, being ship’s counselor was very lonely, Jake (T’Jal’s husband) had been even more correct, having a pet helped. “Well Dresden is a battle ship, no doubt about it. I’m sure you will have plenty to keep your skills sharp in sickbay. How do you deal with failure Dr. Winter?”
Lt Gadi, CNS
Kerilah considered the question for a moment and found herself thinking back to a recent case where she had lost a patient, “Well, I think I try to first remember that I’m not a god. It seems obvious, I know but it’s so easy to slip into a god-complex when you stave off death every day, or close to it. I had a residency in Emergency Medicine just before being assigned to the Dresden. It was exciting, but I saw a lot of my peers start to fall into the trap that they were in control.” She thought back to her friend Mathias, who had started out at the Academy wanting to help everyone, but by the time they reached residency he had become blinded by ego and the certainty that he had the power of life and death. It was sad to watch. “Medicine is science. I ply my trade with all the skill I can muster, but at the end of the day - sometimes, people die. It still hurts, of course, and I feel that, but I don’t feel ownership like it’s entirely mine. Does that make sense?”
“Yes it does make sense. Especially when we think about how far medicine has come and how relatively easy it is to fix even major injuries and injuries now. And with life expectancies so long now it doesn’t help to remind us of our inevitable mortality,” Bethany said thoughtfully.
“As for less dramatic failures, like not seeing a solution except in hind-sight or recognizing alternative treatments, I own those completely and use them to improve my skills. I feel responsible, but I don’t let it cripple me. It’s the only way, we improve. If you don’t mind my asking, don’t you have similar challenges? I mean, Counseling doesn’t work for everyone, sometimes with tragic results”, she considered Bethany as just another person for a moment, doing a difficult job. “It must be difficult, especially because so much of your work is subjective. I hope your friends are supportive?”
Bethany took a deep breath and let it out slowly. “It is very similar. There are times I really envy medical doctors. You might miss something, and yes it can be tragic and fatal, but in the end you can pin point what went wrong. A symptom that was missed, a medication that wasn’t made quite right, a parasite that was previoiusly unknown. And that data can be put into the library and applied to other situations in the future. Counseling, psychiatry isn’t quite so quantitative. Data is mostly qualitative in this field and what applies to one situation can not always be applied to others. Not to stay it can’t, but it’s not as broad an application most of the time.” Bethany thought about friends. Her team, back at intel were her friends and they’d been supportive, they were all each other had. But she wouldn’t be talking to them any time soon. Contact someone back at intel, even as a friend? Holloway and Revneer would have her out an airlock before the call was over. “My mentor…mentors are amazing people. They taught me a lot and have always supported me.”
Friends. Kerilah considered the challenge. She liked people, certainly but back at the Academy, it was simple. They had all been Cadets and therefore, had something in common. Each of them was facing the same worries and anxieties of ‘making it’ through their training. It bonded them. This crew had bonded through their experiences too, but Keri hadn’t been here for that. She was a stranger to them, and while they were also strangers to her, the job of fitting in fell to her, not to them and she wondered how she would manage without seeming like she was trying to ingratiate herself to everyone. [I hope the Counselor doesn’t think that’s what I’m doing…] She shook off the thought as ‘such seeds produce no good fruit’, as her grandmother always said.
< Dr. Winter, Ens
“What about you? Any friends or family you will keep in touch with from the Academy or before? You’ve just arrived on board and I know sometimes it can be hard to make new friends on a new ship.” Hadn’t it been for her? “The Dresden has, well had, a pretty tight crew, or so I’ve been told. But, also, from what I’ve heard since my recent arrival a lot of crew has been rotated out recently. So we will all have to find a way to tighten that cohesiveness again.”
Lt. Gadi, CNS
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