The happiness of being a counselor day 31

lucyI’m reminded of the importance of the human need for connection and support when I put in a full day of counseling.  People often feel alone and isolated when experiencing stressful life circumstances.  Having that safe space where one has a present and compassionate witness can make all the difference in how you navigate adversity.

The work I do as a counselor is challenging.  This is even more so than when I am seeing clients just for Reiki.  Counseling involves critical thinking, assessment, active listening, sorting out truth from false beliefs, being mindful of boundaries as well as trusting my own intuition when to push and when to pull back as a client relays their story.

But although this work demands much from both my education and experience, it’s incredibly enriching.  I see it make a difference in my client’s lives.  I know it does, because they come back week after week.

Everyone’s story is different.  Some people face health challenges, job/life work challenges, relationship difficulties.  Some are dealing with addictions, some are trying to raise their children as single parents, others are dealing with the criminal justice system.

A counseling session doesn’t necessarily ‘fix’ the existing problem, but it gives it space.  When a problem is acknowledged in a safe space it has a chance to transform.  When it’s being held tightly, when it’s not being shared, it only festers within.  The problem will then affect the balance of one’s life.

Often, a client has outmoded beliefs around their circumstance or unrealistic expectations.  These ways of seeing the world may be long standing patterns, passed on from generation to generation.  Sometimes we have to let go of these beliefs in order to find a new path.  This is one of the most challenging and yet rewarding aspects of the work I do.  Helping others see that new path.

I might see the new path before they do.  But giving advice doesn’t work.  It’s not embodied wisdom.  Advice is external.  The client needs to find their path through their own searching.  Then it comes from within.  When it’s internally discovered, it is embodied.  They own that realization.  And that’s where the magic of counseling occurs.

This all takes time.  And incredible amounts of patience.  And despite this not being Reiki, there are similarities in that as a counselor I am constantly ‘letting go’ of my own ego when I work with clients.  It’s their journey, not mine.  How can I help them see the path more clearly?

Powerful.  Enriching.  And incredibly rewarding.  The quality of happiness that comes from this work is a long and rich sustained song.

Eileen Dey 2014

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