Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Bearing witness to the process...

Nine days from now I will begin counselling as a practicum student. When people ask me if I'm excited about this, I tell them that the truth is that I'm terrified. How can I, a young women with only twenty-six years of life experience under her belt, possible have anything to offer in the way of help to those who come desperately seeking it. It makes me wish that I was starting in the high schools rather than the counselling center, at least with teenagers I have more life experience than them.

I'm trying to remind myself that many great speakers and performers continue to get anxious before going on stage, even when they've done it a million times, some would say that the anxiety is what gives them their edge and keeps them from getting complacent. Maybe it is the same thing with counselling, maybe no matter how much experience I have I will continue to get anxious before walking into a counselling session, maybe that is what will keep me from thinking I have the answers and ensure that I continue to honour the journey of the individual's life I am about to have the privilege of bearing witness to. 

Another thing that I am afraid of is my ability to carry the weight of the stories I hear. People don't usually show up at counselling because things in their life are going well, and I have a tendency to carry people's pain a little bit too close. While I am confident that I am sustained by a great God who bears my burdens (Psalm 68:19 - Praise be to the Lord, to God our Saviour, who daily bears our burdens), I too often neglect to take the time to lay them down for Him to carry. If you are reading this and are someone who prays, I would appreciate a prayer for me, that I would allow God to carry the burdens that threaten to weigh me down.

This entering into other's life stories, exposure to different experiences and understandings of the world,  I'm sure is going to bring into question many ideas and beliefs I have come to hold, which is kind of why I am here. Hopefully getting into this blog again will give me a place to process these things, and hopefully others will join in on the conversation :)

I'll leave you with a quote I came across in one of my readings from my fall classes... which is really more a reminder for myself than anything else:
"Maturing as a person both inside and outside the consultation room, ultimately you will find that what you have to offer is not a technique, not a theory, but who you are." - Kramer

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