Are you thinking about starting counselling? Or are you considering counselling as a career path? Would you like to know a little bit more about how and why the counsellors at the MDABC chose this particular occupation? To get some insight into this question, we asked the Counsellors at the Counselling and Wellness Centre at MDABC,
“How did you decide to become a Professional Counsellor?”
Here are some enlightening replies from Rose Record, Sarah Barker, and Steve Ching:
I knew from a pretty young age that I wanted to go into a helping field, I think it was in my grade 8 career planning course where I first identified that counselling was something that I wanted to do as a career. My curiosity stemmed not only from my interest in psychology and mental health, but also in seeing and experiencing the profound impact that support can have on the well-being of both myself and the people closest to me in my life. However, I didn’t always work as a counsellor. In fact, I actually worked in hospitality and in business before making a career shift and finding my professional “home” in counselling. A really critical part of that journey were the years I spent volunteering on crisis lines, which demonstrated the power of being there for someone in the moment and offering non-judgmental and empathic support to help navigate the stressors and struggles that come up in life. It made me realize the passion I have for supporting others in their mental wellness journeys. And, it’s been inspiring and honoring now working in an occupation that allows the opportunity to do so, I truly couldn’t imagine doing anything else!
I grew up in a household with two parents who worked in health care (a nurse and a psychologist). As such, the helping professions have always been of natural interest to me, and as a youth I often found myself drawn to the stories and challenging experiences of the people in my life. Further, having experienced a level of anxiety and uncertainty as a child who moved often, I felt that I was particularly well-equipped to empathize with others who experienced similar emotional struggles. After I completed my psychology degree, I was torn between counselling and law. I worked part-time for a law firm and realized that I was most interested in the experiences of the clients, and this confirmed what I had already suspected- counselling was a much better fit for my personality, and gave me a much deeper sense of contribution. It did not take long for me to enroll in graduate school after that, and the longer I work as a therapist the more certain I am that this is what I am meant to be doing.
“I feel that counselling came to me as an interest and as a calling. Growing up, I had never considered counselling as a profession. It became an interest through other therapists who I’ve spent time with. I learned from them how profoundly impactful it can be to simply BE with someone, to connect deeply with others on a personal and meaningful level. I think that it’s a calling too. I feel so humbled, honored, and so alive to be able to share with others a part of their life journey. In a way, I feel that this is from beyond me – that this call is both a gift and a grace.”