Stimulation through deep meaningful conversations and study
Written by listed counsellor/psychotherapist: Rebecca Sherwood
5th June, 2014
I started my counseling course five years ago and found I had to unlock painful memories and thoughts to gain the self-awareness and insights about the world. Although it was hard at the time I'm glad I went through this process because it allows me to empathise with the various people I meet in my life. I am better able to accurately respond to their concerns and anxiety due to the personal development I experienced on the course.
I believe everybody should go through personal development at some point in their life; setting personal targets through introspection and developing themselves as human beings. This involves getting to know yourself by evaluating and pondering about how to make the most out of personal growth; being able to make adjustments to your behavior and thought patterns where appropriate. Through my counseling and personal development I experienced these things and found that they had a large impact on my personal transformation from beginning to end. Through determination and perseverance I am where I want to be, though I will always be working towards new challenges, both personal and professional.
From being the only wheelchair user on my course, at first I put barriers up to protect myself from the judgment of my peers, keeping within my comfort zone by doing so. During the two and a half year counseling period I went through I was able to reflect more effectively and express myself through lots of different mediums such as journal writing, speaking out loud in sessions, creative thinking and skills practice feedback. I found that week by week I was achieving goals and was more able to show who I was. I found my voice and strengthened myself mentally and through the development of my self-awareness these barriers were gradually brought down. Now I'm finished with my course I think of my wheelchair as a comfy seat, not a barrier.
For me to be stimulated fully, I discovered that I need to engage with more abstract and intellectual topics such as ethics, existentialism and psychology, instead of the more mundane ones that many spend their time on. That is not to say that mundane topics have no purpose; small talk serves its own purpose but it is through abstract thinking that we can understand the mundane and connect all the dots in life as it were. For example, in counseling when building a relationship with the client, the small talk and mundane topics allow me to gain the knowledge needed to help the client. I believe that everyone can have their own way of being and their own mentality; it's up to them how they go about their life, but I can still observe and wonder if it's the right way.
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