Counselling

Hey all,

Hope you're all doing well. I myself am not too bad at all. Despite having some issues with my foot (I'll leave the details, all I will say is that it's quite painful) and it somewhat putting me out of commission from my usual training. I've landed myself a new job that should be starting next week and it will put me closer in line to where I want to go with my studies and give me some good experience in this field.  

Also! Big news coming soon. I will probably announce this on the first of July, which is not too far away at all. Please stay tuned, keep an eye out for a post that day. If you've been keeping up with the blog since I've started (and if you've made any changes to your life, for the better since then) this may be something for you.  

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I'm not sure if I have mentioned this before but for the last few weeks, at least since I finished BioChem, I've been studying a subject known as 'Counselling Skills' . It is a basic Counselling course, giving a practitioner a good idea of the skill set that one should need to provide proper support to clients. It really is quite interesting. Not exactly the hardest subject I've taken on so far, but definitely the most intense. It really makes the student (or at least this is what I'm finding from the content) question and inspect who they are and why they are taking on this profession.

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Counselling is, from what I've read and how I understand it, a profession that aims to help people gain perspective on issues in their lives. A counsellor, or as my prescribed text describes them as a "helper", is not there to provide answers to a client. A helper, is there to guide a client through their thought process. Help the client discover what is troubling them, be it relationships, work, financial trouble.. etc. The role of the helper is to give the client someone to talk to, in a safe and open environment, that is free of judgement or prejudice.  

Now, of course what I'm talking about here is something for a professional. We all are not able, nor would I recommend us all to try counselling. It's a very emotionally taxing experience (I've been told even highly experienced counsellors can find it tough). What I do think though, is that we should look at a fundamental idea that a counsellor or any practitioner should use. 

A very simple technique known as 'Active Listening'. Also known as empathic listening, is a way for the listener/ audience to engage with the speaker and create a closer connection with them. It improves our comprehension ability and our ability to understand information. Active listening, allows for the audience to better feel the speakers emotion.

Engaging a person using active listening, at first may be difficult but with practice it can become much easier. The simplest way to begin active listening, is to paraphrase what someone has said to you. Don't just repeat what has been said, understand it. 

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Say for example, a friend or family member simply saying something like, "I'm very tired today."  An active response would be, "Why are you so tired today?" (yes, i know a very, very simple example) active listening shows the speaker that you have given them your complete attention. For more pressing matters, this can make a great difference and change the outcome of a conversation. You may even find that you learn something from the other persons experiences.

 This is something that if everyone attempted, or even succeeded in, there would be some dramatic change in our overall environment. And I'm sure that couldn't be a bad thing. We would have a far better understanding not only of ourselves but others around us also.

Counselling is something that I think we all should book ourselves into, at least once in our lives. Even just to get the experience of it. We all at some time, have low points and not every time can the ones around us be the support we need. I think overall there is a negative stigma to the idea of counselling and people really should reevaluate their opinion of it. It never hurts to have someone to talk to and help find answers to your problems.

 

Michael LaidlerComment