Advantages A lot of personal satisfaction.
Disadvantages Can be very emotionally and mentally demanding
So you think you could be a counsellor?I have already written an opinion on counselling training programs. This time I thought I would write an opinion on counselling and your reasons for thinking you could become one. Why you would want to become a counsellor. Examine the reasons carefully. We all live with pretentions in our lives, we all think we can do things we cant or are good at things we are not. This especially applies to counselling.
Here are some questions you should ask yourself carefully before you even think of attempting to become a counsellor.1)Do all your friends, family workmates and acquaintances come to you for help and advice on matters going on in their life?
If you answered yes, then do you listen and keep quiet before answering, or do you butt in and try to solve the problem for them? Do you give advice? Do you try to "rescue" them?
You should be keeping quiet. Listening properly is an art in itself and is one of the most important skills in counselling. Listening skills are drummed into you from the beginning of any counselling course.
However counselling is NOT about giving advice as most people think. It is about helping that person solve the problem themselves, you are just a tool to help them achieve that aim.
Giving advice or telling people what to do to solve the problem may have worked for you but will it work for them? Everybody’s circumstances and reactions are different.
Giving advice is being directive, counselling is non-directive and all about the client having freedom of choice to choose for themselves the best way forward.
A lot of people, and I have seen many, come into counselling because they “THINK” they have sorted out their own problem/s but really they are using counselling as their own personal therapy. You may think this does not happen but I have seen it plenty of times.
Having said that though, if you genuinely have come out of the other side of these problems then we are always stronger people for the experience, and it can help you immensely, in counselling work as it helps you empathise with other people’s problems.
We all do, but could you sit in a counselling room and not sympathise with someone when they come in and tell you their husband has left them after twenty years and their three kids have just been killed in a car crash?
In counselling you would be wrong. You must empathise but not SYMPATHISE. Empathy means being able to put yourself on the edge of that person’s hole and feeling their pain without falling in the hole with them. Sympathy is falling in the hole with them. Could you do that?
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