I originally began training as a counsellor with the goal of helping at least one person to feel like someone actually cared about them. I had known what it felt like to live in a world with millions of people yet feel like nobody cared and it hurt to think of others feeling the same way: so my counselling journey began.
When I first started seeing clients, I was anxious and extremely conscious of all the dos and don’ts of my training. I felt that this was a barrier to my ability to work with clients whilst being myself. As I gained experience and my confidence grew, I was able to be my true self with clients and as a result I found that I could hold their pain and understand their world. I sensed and felt their emotions and was able to convey them sensitively, increasing the trust and building our therapeutic relationship. Clients may spend an hour or so with me, but I consider them, wonder about them and feel concern for them outside of the sessions. We share the counselling experience and as much as I become a part of your story, you do mine. I learn from each client and appreciate their influence in my life, and I am grateful to each individual that I have the privilege of working with. My experiences with clients inform my practice and allow me to transfer new learning into other counselling relationships, each individual is therefore hugely influential in people’s lives who they have not even met. I care about my clients, connecting with them on a deep psychological, emotional and visceral level does not disappear when sessions finish, therefore I carry a piece of them with me.
The financial aspect is my least favourite part, I find it difficult to charge and be paid for the work. I often contemplate how clients perceive my being paid, does it enable them to value the process more or does it make them question my caring and empathy? I did not come into this job to make money, my aim was to support others at a point in their life when they needed it most. My wage is a practical element that I must consider as I need to make a living. I also volunteer as a counsellor in a charity for people who would otherwise be unable to access therapy. I sometimes feel like I want to give more to my clients, I want to take away their discomfort. However, the highlight for me is the satisfaction that I get being witness to and being part of my clients’ journeys. Their incredible ability to find solutions to their difficulties is such a beautiful thing to be a part of. I truly care for each of my clients, feel proud of them, feel hurt with them, become in awe of them, value and appreciate them in all that they are and are yet to become. I am fascinated by the whole counselling experience and when I sit before my clients the last thing on my mind is my wage!
I cannot imagine a job being better than the one I have; I will spend my life supporting people to become the best version of themselves, to overcome what appears impossible, to feel, believe, accept and change in order to live a more fulfilling life. To think my goal was to help one person feel less lonely and now I am over 300 client hours into this amazing profession. My goal is to continue to do this job for the rest of my days, teach others what I have learnt and continue to strive to ensure mental health and wellbeing are primary objectives for all. Because I genuinely care and it is the best job in the world!