ACA Blog

May 18, 2012

Embracing Serendipity

[caption id="attachment_4859" align="alignleft" width="150" caption="Jennifer Bingaman"][/caption]

Call it destiny. Call it coincidence. Call it happenstance. Call it luck. I choose to call it serendipity.

In the past several weeks, I have hit a windfall of serendipity in my counseling practice. I’ll read an article one day I find in my Twitter feed and then two days later, my client’s presenting problem in session is exactly what I educated myself about the week before. I’ll have a colleague tell me about a way they worked out a problem with their own client and the next day I’ll get a client who brings up the same presenting issue. I’ll take a yoga class that focuses around a certain meditation for the day and something the yoga teacher says is exactly what my client needs to hear a week later.

Sometimes, I find myself in the parallel process. Clients present issues or worries I have come across with my own friends or with myself. As we conceptualize the client’s problem, I begin to see how clear the answer has been all along for my own process. I become thankful that I have the profession I have.

I don’t know if it’s the chicken or the egg here. Am I subconsciously seeking out the information my clients’ need or am I finding things that I am applying into the counseling session? The repeat incidences tell me it’s more than just chance. It’s something greater.

I’ve chosen to view this as a spiritual experience. I am in a place in my life that I feel has made me primed to help my clients. As a result, I am passively offered these chances to acquire knowledge that may serve my clients. It’s a bit of open-mindedness to the process and a little bit of divine involvement. Sometimes, I worry that I’m a hack because I’m absorbing all this information and applying it in session without the instinctual academic bibliography. I can’t very well say to my client, “Yes, I heard that phrase in a yoga class last week!” and completely derail the process. I do find myself smiling when my client’s eyes widen, when they look over at me and say, “That’s exactly what’s going on for me!”

I know. I know that’s what’s going on for you. It’s going on for me, too.

It’s serendipity.

Jennifer Bingaman is a counselor-in-training and freelance writer. She blogs about her experiences as a client and a counselor with a few life musings thrown into the mix at The Pursuit of Sassiness

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