It's About Them

Young People … Our Greatest Resource

“Until Joy Comes Back”

A few years back I was a consulting psychologist to a large childrens’ home in south Texas. One of the caseworkers, Joy, had to go up to the school and bring a girl home because of a behavioral episode at school. (This happened often as these youngsters had been displaced from their homes of origin for various reasons. Many of them were still pretty upset about it.)

Joy, one of the caseworkers, and the staff made it a point that any youngster brought home while school was going on was not going to have a better time at home. She put the girl to work raking and sweeping leaves out in the front of the administration building.

I made a trip up to the admin office and spoke briefly to the girl as I was going inside. She told me Joy had given her that job to do. I returned to the office a couple of hours later, and the girl was still out front, raking and sweeping.

“How long are you supposed to do this?” I asked her, pointing to the good-sized pile of leaves she had raked. 

“UNTIL JOY COMES BACK,” she responded. 

Wow, think of what you could do with that response. In this case she was talking about her caseworker, but the same “until Joy comes back” could be the easiest remedy for the sort of thing that happens with a youngster or an adult who falls into a kind of funk that wants to paralyze them.

Activity helps. By the time we break out of doing nothing and get active in some way, however small, we feel better.

When we decide to DO something, joy might not come rushing back, but perhaps it could be coaxed into taking a “U”-turn.


James Sutton, Psychologist



June 9, 2008 - Posted by | Counselors, Difficult Child, family, Inspirational, Parents | , , , , ,

1 Comment »

  1. Doc,
    This is a great story and keen observation on your part. Thanks for sharing!


    Comment by tobeme | June 27, 2008 | Reply

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