Motivations to being a counsellor
When I first began my counselling diploma at Sheffield Hallam University in 2003, I never knew how much I would be more aware of myself or how it would change my thinking or who it would affect the way I interact with my peers, friends and colleagues. I did not imagine that becoming a counsellor would influence me not only in my work but also in my own personal life. I also did not know how much I would grow to love being a counsellor and continue to be motivated in my work.
I remember the first time sat with a client who expressed her raw emotions to me. I learnt that just being there to listen meant more to her than I ever thought. She just wanted to be heard, and listened to. I felt her pain and the hurt that she was experiencing, and knew that being beside was important. It struck me that this is where I wanted to be helping her, and I was going to love the counselling work.
In the last 14 years since I was a counsellor trainee, I have learnt a lot and grown. One thing that has not changed is how much I love my work as a counsellor. I continue to feel honoured that clients trust me to share their feelings and to take the risk of looking at themselves and to show me their vulnerabilities. I always want to be there with them, step by step, and to offer them a guiding hand. The counselling journey isn’t always a smooth easy path for my clients but I’m happy to be with my clients and love being part of the journey.
So why do I love being a counsellor?
- I believe in the counselling process.
I’ve been there where I felt lost, hurt and confused. I needed help. I thought no-one was there. Someone led me to a counsellor. She sat with me and listened. She guided me to look at ways I could help myself, and to make good changes in my life. It was a powerful and a life changing experience. Since then I’ve have believed in counselling and wanted others to be part of the counselling process.
Through my training and life experiences, I have learnt that a listening ear in a non-judgemental and safe environment can make a difference to clients. I enjoy being there for my clients and building a trusting relationship so that the clients can find their own way to helping themselves. It is humbling being part of their journey and being able to see their change. I believe change can happen. The relationship is the most important part. I enjoy establishing a relationship, and putting all my trust in the client. I enjoy being there, step by step with the clien
2. I learn from my clients
Over the last 14 years, I have learnt a lot from my clients. Often during my quiet, reflection time on my work, I am struck by my client’s strength and resilience. This often leads me to think about my own weaknesses and how I can make positive changes in my own life, as well as learn to deal with my own painful emotions.
I’ve learnt that I cannot change my clients. Change can only come from within, and it is my job to help them bring about that change in them. From this, I have learnt the only person I can change is myself, and how I react to things. Changing things about myself, has built my empathy and deepened my work with my clients.
My clients stories, give me an opportunity to look at my own life and make appropriate changes.
3. I can be myself
It has taken a lot of reflection and self-awareness to realise the best I can be is to be myself, and to be honest with my clients. Rather than being frightened of the feeling of being stuck with a client, I have learnt to listen to that feeling and to tell my client. When I feel sad from a clients story. I don’t have to hide my sadness. I need to be real in the relationship to build trust. I don’t have to work to be different. The more genuine I am, the better the relationship and the deeper I can work with my clients.
I make ‘real’ connections
I find I can always connect with a client. No matter how hard they resist me or not like me, I always want to enrichen our relationship. There is always something I find I want to learn from the client and I am intrigued by them and look forward to our next session. That connection with the client, always makes we want to continue with my clients. My continued desire to connect with my clients is at heart of my therapeutic alliance.
I enjoy helping people
I love helping people. It is an honour and privilege to be part of my client’s life and their journey. It is rewarding to help clients with their suffering and to improve their lives and build upon their happiness. I love being able to see clients feeling pleased with their own progress or when they see hope for their future. I love it when a client is happy to leave their counselling journey and feel optimistic for the future.
I cannot imagine myself doing any other job. I will continue to learn from my clients and strive to be better at work. By being myself, I can experience both my client’s pain and laughter. My true relationship with them, will help them build my clients build a stronger, better future for themselves.