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Posts Tagged ‘counselor trainee’

It’s true that my coworker, Katie, actually informed me that April is National Counseling Awareness Month and she is a reporter, not a counselor. I’m the one in a counseling program who’s about to graduate with my M.Ed. Thanks for informing me Katie.

I have very much enjoyed my journey through graduate school thus far and do look forward to my future as a counselor. It has been difficult, but life-changing. I think one of the most life-changing things has been taking what I’m learning and not only helping clients, but helping myself. I can see the purpose of counseling now more than ever before and it has assisted me in my own personal journey.

I do have qualms with the use of the title “counselor” when speaking of individuals who do not have a masters degree in the subject. You’re not a financial counselor, legal counselor, or anything else with the term counselor unless you have completed the rigorous work of graduate school, focusing on COUNSELING. Furthermore, the term “counseling” has been so generically used that it takes some of the pride out of the title. I prefer the word “therapy” over “counseling,” but still… I will be a counselor.

So what exactly IS counseling? Well, it’s many things and takes many forms. The ultimate goal, however, is for we as counselors to assist in empowering clients to be able to sustain their life and concerns that may arise in the future without our direct help. We want to provide tools for you to use when the time comes and we’re no longer your counselor. You, and all clients, must be willing to do the work because if we are working harder than you, we are not doing our jobs.

Counseling IS NOT a place for a counseling professional to tell you what to do, solve your problems for you, become your best friend or be someone on which you are dependent. No, no, no. We certainly want to help, but we’re not the givers of answers. Instead, we’re listeners who care enough to come along side you for a time, help you process, and watch as you change you. What a rewarding experience.

Everyone needs help at times. Each of us experience moments when we may not be able to see through the rain and we want someone to listen to us. You don’t have to be experiencing a crisis or be diagnosed with a mental illness to need the assistance of a counselor and I encourage you to seek one out if you find yourself losing precious time in life to concerns that can be changed.

Tomorrow, National Counseling Awareness Month will end, but we, the counselor trainees and licensed professional counselors, will not stop doing what we do. You are worth the effort and we look forward to serving you in the future.

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I will and apparently Facebook will as well.

Today, the social network will announce it’s new anti-bullying tools in the White House conference for bullying prevention and I am pleased with this news. An article can be found here.

Bullying has been around as long as humans have existed. It’s not a new phenomenon. However, the awareness that is now being raised surrounding bullying is something that should have been done decades ago.

As a counselor trainee, I have learned many things about the effects of bullying. My sister, Candice, is an intermediate school counselor at one of our local schools and I’m certain she can attest to the bullying that takes place in the schools on a daily basis. My professor, Dr. Butch Losey, has done much work regarding the issue and his most recent book, “Bullying, Suicide and Homicide,” will be available in April. He has shared stories with us about how bullying has led children, teens and even adults to end their own lives. He’s also shared stories of how he himself was bullied as an adolescent. His knowledge is endless and his work has included the development of assessment scales, implementation of school-based anti-bullying programs and more.

But this isn’t to re-write Dr. Losey’s resume. Instead, I want to speak to the heart of the matter: Those who bully are those who are unhappy with themselves or their lives, think the waters must part for them because they have narcissistic personality traits, and/or they are seeking some sort of attention from people around them — after all, negative attention is better than no attention.

When we project our own personal issues onto others by way of bullying, rarely do we stop to consider the long-term consequences of what we may say or do. Humans are humans. We are ALL the same at the core and we all deserve equal opportunity. Your love life is not more important than mine. Your job is not more important than mine. Your opinions are not more important than mine. Your life as a whole is not more important than mine.

Trying to inadvertently solve problems through bullying, violence or another inhumane act only creates more problems. It certainly changes others’ perceptions of the person doing the acts. I’m just trying to get us to see that bullying doesn’t need to happen. Yes, it will continue in the schools because childhood and adolescence are times of uncertainty, peer-pressure and figuring out our place in the world.

I ask you, what if we strip away all of the unnecessary material things in life, take away the ability to see (literally) and just accepted everyone for who they are? What do you think would happen then?

According to the Facebook article on Mashable, the social network takes down content that violates its policies. Individuals have the right and ability to report instances of cyberbullying, as well as content posted that is offensive, demeaning, sexual, etc. The article says Facebook users will now have the ability to privately message the person who posted the inappropriate content and can have an authority figure included in the reporting process.

Furthermore, the article states that Facebook will bring educational tools such as videos and materials to be downloaded.

Let us all join in the cause and do our part.

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