Crazies of Counseling
Much of yesterday was spent in discourse. That is my therapy. It has been my method of “coping” for the last 12 years at least, and has served me well. In no way would I suggest that I am “mentally well” but “of sound mind” might be a descriptor I would readily accept. There should be a certain calm, cool and collection that is exhibited by someone who has a handle on the world around them; at least isn’t that what you would expect from someone who was entering the field of “counseling?”
But let’s bet frank: who really has it all together??
I am currently working towards a doctorate in Professional counseling. And yes, the stereotype is true; people who are in the counseling program are usually there for a reason. This left me feeling a little out of place during my first residential course where I was able to engage in real-time versus virtual-time with my colleagues, ‘er, I mean, classmates. “Out of place” because I am not crazy? Haha…noooo…I am as crazy as they come. “Out of place” because I appeared to possess the ability to inwardly stifle my craziness when necessary; counseling class, to me, should be one of those times.
Within the first couple days of this class, I witnessed two “criers”, a couple “feelers,” and at least half a dozen “issues,” the least of which weren’t my own.
Who doesn’t have “issues?” If you have lived long enough to decode the written word, you have had someone pull your hair, make fun of your last name, steal your lunch…so now you’ve cut your hair short, you have every appropriate comeback for the surname sucker-punch, and you can afford to eat out; but those past experiences still lurk in the corners of your mind, and at times may cause you to draw your subway sandwich in a little closer…
We all suffer from some vestige of our past, but how is it that those whose remnants are so colorfully interwoven into the very fabric of their being, end up the individuals that sit down one day, google search “psychology,” locate a fitting institution, and hit “apply?”
I can still remember walking out of my residential class each night at 4pm, muttering to myself, “if I have to hear ‘I feel’ one more time…” and yet, that is the war path I am on. The next three years of my life will be defined by “I feel,” and it will not be the last time I sit in a room of individuals who would do well to get how they “feel” under control before they try and work on what anyone else is feeling.
Evidently, counseling class, at the Master’s level, is more for the student’s mental well-being than it is for educating individuals on assessing, evaluating, and assisting the mental health of others.
So I lift my starbucks cup to all those who had their lunches stolen, their pig-tails pulled, and their surnames ridiculed but managed to rise above; cheers!