I recently went to observe one of our interns, Yu-Wen Huang, at a memory care facility. Our interns are currently at the mid-way point of their internship and they are starting to develop their own style and presence. With Yu-Wen’s permission, I’d like to share a snapshot from the session with you.
The session was underway and we’d just finished singing some familiar songs. Yu-Wen was getting ready to distribute scarves for an expressive movement experience she had planned, when suddenly the activities director (who is a fantastic woman by the way), began giving each of the clients their snack – a banana!
So now they had their hands and their mouths full! Let me just say that when I was an intern, this would have seriously freaked me out. Yu-Wen, however, held her ground. She sang a few more familiar songs and was generous enough to let me have a crack at singing “Day-O.” When the clients were done snacking, she grabbed a napkin and swapped out their banana peels for scarves.
It’s little moments like those that I love. To the untrained eye, it’s imperceptible. But if you know what to look for you can see that in one move, Yu-Wen managed to remove an obstacle and ease the session onwards, all while maintaining her own composure, preserving the dignity of the clients, and holding the therapeutic space. If that’s not professional, I don’t know what is!