Guest blog post from Tracy Stewart, a current student on our Diploma in Relationship Counselling. Tracy will be blogging for us once every few months, giving us a valuable insight in to the demanding yet rewarding work that goes in to becoming a Relationship Counsellor.
Feeling trapped in an unsatisfying existence? Wasting precious time doing things you really don’t want to be doing? All work, no play? Is that ‘good enough’ relationship really working for you? Find yourself blaming others for your unhappiness, anxiety, stressful existence? Always pleasing others? Being afraid to express your uniqueness by sticking with the norm?
Counselling can bring us to acceptance of situations by providing a deeper understanding of ourselves, revealing our own true identity and what we may or may not accept in our own lives to embrace a much more fulfilling existence.
Making the decision to embark on a journey into counselling I would describe was a ‘life changing one’. A journey into a deeper understanding of our ever changing society and more importantly a journey into finding out who I was and what my purpose was/is in the world today. Before my journey into the world of counselling began, I had the ‘normal’ life but continuously felt that missing link. That missing link began to unfold when I began to follow my heart down a road I would describe as ‘one less travelled’.
A road that can lead to crossroads, which way do we turn?, taking that risk where another great opportunity may be awaiting. A journey that sometimes we dare to embark on alone, getting to know our true selves, a place of solitude, time to listen to that inner voice that has at times been drowned out amongst all the voices shouting out their ought’s and shoulds. Conditioned in infantile in others beliefs, in a constantly changing society suddenly our old belief system may no longer work for us bringing with it feelings of anxiety, stress and depression. Counselling can give us the right support to use these feelings (big or small) as a process of transformation.
We are all VIP’S in this world each holding the ability to reach our full potential (no one is more superior to another). It is our choice and our choice only to make that process of change happen. The Unconscious Mind, a place which can hold our destiny, that part of life that can only appear in our dreams. Counselling can hold that powerful key to enter into that mind. A mind that denies us from being our true selves and from living that life we have always yearned.
My own stigma and misperceptions in counselling began to subside as I entered into this powerful process of change, a change which can even lead those leopards to changing their spots! We can almost compare it to that of the movie, The Wizard of Oz. In the beginning it starts with a black and white scene, becomes stormy then bursts into colour. Travelling along an unknown road full of risks and dangers seeking brains, hearts and courage (knowledge, love and strength) and finally a desire to ‘coming home’. Coming home to the true self. That person you have perhaps always dreamt of becoming. Can we really have that amazing relationship with ourselves and others without actually knowing our own true individuality?
Whilst we are encouraged not to look behind us, understanding our past can actually help us understand what is going on for us in the present. Taking that journey backwards, from present to past via counselling, can put us on the right path in creating that life we truly desire.
Counselling training soon began to awaken my passion for self-development. My book collection vastly grew easing my concerns and beliefs on this challenging journey. Painful as it could sometimes become I wanted more! I felt I was laying the foundations to engage myself in a wonderful learning experience. While engaging in my own personal therapy through counselling training, it was here the seed was planted. That passion, that missing connection. It was here I asked – was it possible to share this wonderful experience with others?
Initial counselling training skills was only my first step on the ladder. This laid the foundations for further study pushing me on to diploma level at Relationships Scotland training as a Relationship Counsellor. Every step was becoming another part of the jigsaw to the life that I had always imagined.
Studying at Relationship Scotland went beyond all normal learning parameters. It has been, and continues to be, life-altering! It is challenging and hard graft all the way! I have been challenged to examine myself – to unpeel layer upon layer to reveal who I am, to shed labels, to shed prejudices, to look at myself and others differently. It wasn’t easy breaking through these layers but I began to feel I was getting closer to my authentic self although some self-revelations were painful! The structure at Relationship Scotland I can only describe as ‘fantastic’ and it sure began to work its wonders on me. Not easy to explore who I am – facing myself and exposing myself to others has been hard. I have definitely been challenged and my growth has exceeded my expectations; I have grown much closer to understanding, knowing and really loving myself. The support of the tutor team at Relationship Scotland has been invaluable – I have felt fully held throughout this course and felt safe knowing there was always someone willing to listen when things got tough.
Although now becoming committed to qualifying as a Relationship Counsellor, I was primarily focused on my personal growth and found that the experiential learning was invaluable. I have been stretched in ways that I could not have imagined. I feel privileged to have the opportunity to study at Relationship Scotland.
Relationship Scotland tutors are truly committed to turning out counsellors who reflect the diversity of the world in which we live. I look back in awe at where I was when I began in comparison to where I am now. Change is not always easy, and change is not always fun; I have come up against things which are difficult. Counselling training is life-changing, a time of growth and self-development, a learning and investment, which stays with us forever.
As living, developing, changing individuals our choices will naturally have to change in accordance with our ever changing needs. Personal and professional benefits, greater understanding of self and others, improved communication skills, enhanced confidence, coping effectively with real life problems and great self-awareness, have I ever regretted my decision to train as a Counsellor..
Counselling today is becoming better understood and more widely accepted by the general public, but as with other points of natural development it is always important to remember that the point of change can often come at the point of crisis.
Why would I not want to be a Counsellor?