Monday, November 4, 2013

From the Neighborhood Bartender to the Professional Craftsman Begets the Barchologist.

Bar, Counter, Drinks, Alcoholic
Now I am going to get a lot of heat for this statement.  Do Bartenders and Psychologist, and MFT’s have very similar roles? Yes!  And to just throw myself into the fire I will argue that
a good bartender can serve as a support system for managing mental health.  There, I said it.  A great bartender can do my job because the good-enough bartender must have some elements of being a good therapist.  

Several years ago I attended Bartending School.  I now recognize that had I continued in the field of bartending I would have been providing a service of listening to people and trying to support them in some spiritual way (whether through “spirits” or through the psyche).  

Girl Young Woman Beauty Model Hair HairstyNo, really!  I did! I can boldly say that I still can make a Southern Comfort Manhattan. And I might still be able to make a Smith and Kerns. I now recognize that had I continued in the field of bartending I would have been providing a service of listening to people and trying to support them in some spiritual way (whether through “spirits” or through the psyche).  In the article What It’s Like To Be … A Bartender, Dan Fastenberg profiles bartender Jeff Bell from Please Don’t Tell of the East Village of Manhattan. The article initiates thought about traditions, values, and striving for excellence.  Furthermore, the article opens the door for the discussion about being the best you can be.  I recently told a very young man without a college education to be open to doing custodial or janitorial services but if he were to do it he must take pride in it and be the best at it.  I remember cringing as I said to myself “God!  This sounds like something my dad would say.” I now realize that I was trying to not just mentor this young man but instill in him a type of value or tradition that has been forgotten in the American culture.  

For many young people out of high school and college there is a new fear that exists that the country has not seen in many generations.  High unemployment with the Generation Y’s is daunting. With this anxiousness in the entry level job market we need to reflect back on tradition, values and excellence.  There is a perception that there are no jobs available.  The reality is that there are jobs.  Our employment culture has now shifted in that there are no longer the 30-year-stay-at-one-job-until-retirement type opportunities.  So, many of the unemployed have to be prepared to find their own path.  The new criteria is that one must have stronger interpersonal skills or have or create a product that people perceive to be of high demand.  

Our current workplace is lacking these very values that strengthen the American dream.  These values are key elements to the success of the American work ethics.  If you take pride in what you do; whatever it is that you do, you will succeed.  It is not about monetary success but purposeful success.   It is not doing a job for the money but for a purpose which has a connection to Self, family, community and the borders outside one’s community.  

It is about Purpose.  And if that is true you must be engaged with people as it is a universal skill that translates in any profession.  If purpose is the primary meaning in your work you must not use your job as a means to collect a paycheck.  It is no longer a challenge but an effortless unconditional to think about one’s job outside of work.  This overtime philosophy is not a stressful ideology or a means to promote burnout.  Investing in your work outside of your working hours is a continuing educational and fascinational component to improve your career – your purpose.  

So, no matter the job no matter the career. Create your passion. Enjoy your passion.  And if you are not recovering go to a local bar with friends, dates, or solo and enjoy the craftsmanship of the guy behind the bar giving mental health support to help strengthen the client’s psychosocial stressors. 
Read more about Dr. Strayhorn's practice and philosophy...

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