It came from behind to surprise me. STOP! I caught myself in time, otherwise I would have probably panicked… yes, I caught myself. It’s probably one of the few times I’ve been catching myself before getting overwhelmed by life. Deep breaths, long deep breaths… How else can you stop yourself otherwise?
A while ago I made a decision; I promised myself that from the moment I start my counseling training I ought to pay attention to what I am doing. I promised myself to be responsible and to hold myself accountable because the first day of my training was the first day I would not be on my own again. So, maybe I scared myself a bit. Maybe I exaggerated a bit when I told myself on a somber tone that if I do not watch my every move, others will pay for my mistakes. The point is, in order to make myself accountable and aware of what I am doing I needed something to remind myself of.
Anyways, here I am almost mid-way through my training. I am making active efforts to better myself, be understanding, and apply counseling skills in day to day instances. I was wondering if this will become second nature. Will I just automatically stop myself and breathe before I do/say/think something? How do counselors learn to catch themselves? How do they stop themselves from getting carried away by their lives, their problems? How do they manage to keep the clients in the back of their mind and to remind themselves “it’s not about me, it’s about my client”?
I am not under the impression that counselors are magic people who have their lives in perfect order and make no mistakes; I do think that we are more on the fence and manage to catch ourselves before we get totally overwhelmed. But how does one do that, and more importantly how does a newcomer learn how to do that?
I guess I am a bit concerned and a little afraid of what the future holds for me as a future counselor. I know I should stress only about studying, after all I am just a student but these thoughts keep revisiting every once in a while. Any thoughts?
Diana C. Pitaru is a counselor-in-training, and a student at Walden University. Her theoretical interests are in Gestalt, Art, and Narrative therapy while focusing on multicultural issues and eating disorders.