Often in life it is important for us to reflect on what career path we will take. It helps to better define who we are as individuals, what we stand for, it allows others to know your background, why you are so passionate about it, and why you chose to follow a certain path in life. This paper will answer several of these questions as we delve into wondering when was the first time I recall an individual applying counseling skills with me, my feelings, and the outcome of the encounter, and how has that influenced my counseling perspective. We will identify what I believe is the best type of help for me when I am in a personal crisis. Describe the first time that I considered counseling as a career and what was happening in my life at that time. It will determine how that has influenced my counseling perspective. We will discover what I consider are the ideal personal attributes of a professional counselor, find out which of those traits I already possess and how do I plan to acquire those traits that I do not currently possess. We will find out what I believe promotes positive change and lastly, learn how my life experiences have prepared me to be a counselor.
My Emerging Counselor Identity
The purpose of this paper is to better understand myself as an individual, allow myself to realize my strengths and weaknesses, understand my thoughts as to what I feel a counselor should be, and also analyze whether there are other things I should work on to make me a more well rounded counselor.
I can honestly say that before the age of 10, no one in my life played any type of role as a counselor. I would say that I grew up in an environment where we were the children and things were supposed to be done a certain way because we were told to do it that way. The adults were the authority and there was no choice in how or when we wanted to do something. In talking over my parents method of child rearing with my sister, we both agree that having had someone to verbalize things to at that age would have made a big difference in both of our lives. We both struggle with the inability to fully verbalize the things that we feel. A lot of times growing up we would have these different emotions and feelings of anger and rage but not know what it was that brought us to this level and more importantly, how to handle it. Over time however, we both were able to find boyfriends who helped to bridge that gap. These boyfriends had serious shoes to fill because we would lay out every feeling and emotion that we had to them. They sometimes had to deal with our dark, vulnerable times when we experienced break downs of not being able to deal with certain moods. When I got to high school, we told our mother that we wanted her to seek us help. I recall our session that we had. I began to talk about all these things bothering me, all the negative things my father had done, all my mixed feelings began to run out. I found myself in tears. I am not sure if the counselor quite knew what to do with us. We never set up another appointment but I began to understand how much stronger I felt after I began to verbalize these things. As time went on I began to also play the other role in listening to others. I did it because I knew how great I felt after doing the same. Helping others in their time of need began to bring me a sense of joy and completion. At that point I began to steer further away from the medical doctor path and on to the mental doctor.
My summer after my first year in college, still planning to be a medical doctor, I was accepted into a medical program on the campus of Duke University Medical School. I attended this for a full six weeks preparing for all types of things such as the MCAT, hospital rotations, surgeries, etc. It was not until I was watching a toe amputation that I fainted and decided that this type of doctor was no longer for me. I immediately changed my major to psychology. At that...