This morning did not start well. I was cycling to work; a little later than I had hoped and a little flustered as I had to do a lecture at 9.30. As I got to the steep hill through the golf course I was overtaken by a large black gas-guzzling 4 wheel drive with blacked out windows. On the side of the van was a logo for the company called dreamcatcher and over the doors was a list of all the services they provided. I was taken by surprise when I saw that they offered life-coaching, occupational therapy and to 'make your dreams come true'. Now I have great belief in my profession and the positive contribution it can make to people's health but I am old enough and grown up enough to realise that nothing is as simple as 'making your dreams come true' and even if they do come true they turn out not to be the dreams you though they were (so I would never pay anyone any money who claimed to do this!) Anyway, maybe I was a bit grumpy but the van really annoyed me and I cycled up the hill muttering to myself about 'life-coaching..they just want to get over it and get on with it!' My annoyance was made worse by the fact that when I got to work the dreamcatcher van was in the car park and I realised that they were lecturing to another group of students. Imagine my fury then when I discovered that there had been a mix up with the room bookings and they were in the room I was meant to be in. This news was tactfully broken to me by the person who had organised the talk who came to tell me while I was half dressed, trying to pull my tight trousers over my sweaty ar*e as quickly as possible in order to get upstairs and start my lecture! I ended up finding another room and it all worked out okay but the dreamcatchers certainly did not make my dreams of a nice stress-free lecture come true!
I came into my profession to help those in genuine need of my skills; those at the lowest point in their lives, those who can't imagine any sort of future or those whose futures will be very limited. Inevitably people in that position have no money and rely on what the state can provide and for years I was privileged to be able to provide part that service to the best of my ability. Now it seems that this type of care is being increasingly marginalised, limited, difficult to access or just not there and is being replaced by occupational therapists working as 'dreamcatchers', from the back of van, offering an expensive service to people who don't really need it but have the money to pay. It sums up, in a nutshell, the reason why I am going to become a llama farmer!