Bridging barriers to care-giving
Julian Martinez draws from a well of wisdom to connect with the young people he mentors at the Community Residence in Olean.
His unique supportive style could stem from Plato who advised teaching through play, or 20th Century psychologist, Carl Jung, who said creativity draws from “the play instinct rather than the intellect.”
Julian’s intentionally open, non-anxious, presence elicits a playful response from the teenagers he supports. It also builds a trusting relationship based on mutual respect and the warm rapport they share. It was Julian’s on-call work as a Direct Support Professional at Five Mile Residence earlier in
his career that set him on this course. Once challenged about his ability to support
residents who needed a greater level of care, he has since learned that laughter and play are key to supportive bond-building.
“At first, when I had to help someone in the bathroom, I didn’t know if I could do this work,” he said, recalling an experience which caused him to doubt his ability to give someone a shower.