Well, I’ve done it. I have reached the end of my counselling course. Endings can stir up a lot of mixed emotions and they can be quite difficult to accept and adjust to. Scratch that- endings ARE difficult and this particular one is no different!
It’s a bittersweet thing; I feel sad that it’s over, that I’m not going to have a weekly catch up with friends I’ve made along the way, sit in my self-allocated seat in our lecture room, drink the hot chocolates from the vending machine in the SU or have discussions that make me feel a part of something, that move me and unite us as a group. But I also feel happy that I won’t have to commute twice a week, that a big chunk of the work is now done and that I can look back on what I’ve achieved this year (which is a hell of a lot) with pride and admiration.
I haven’t just learnt how to be a real-life counsellor, I’ve also learnt so much about myself:
- I can cope. I have managed to juggle a lot of pressure and a huge workload whilst struggling with my OCD, something that I so often doubt I’m capable of.
- I am my own therapist.
- Challenging my beliefs and viewpoints is always a good thing. I urge you to explore and listen to other people’s perspectives, you have no idea how much it can help and even change you for the better.
- I am strong.
- I am not alone; I am part of a community.
I have been a part of an amazing group over the past year. I’ve met people who are kind, caring, understanding and frankly, bloody ace human beings. I have never felt so comfortable as I have whilst working alongside this group of people, people I know who respect and understand me. I truly believe that it is this weekly dose of support that I’m going to miss the most.
Don’t get me wrong, I’ve still got a long way to go until I am fully qualified including a teeny tiny 20,000-word dissertation and only(!) 100hrs of client work to complete… No sweat… But in all seriousness, after what I’ve proved to myself this year with my strength and determination, I believe in myself. I know I can do it. I know everyone on my course can too.
So, if any of them are reading this now or any potential future trainee counsellors are doubting their abilities:
“Remember you are braver than you believe, stronger than you feel and smarter than you think”
It’s worth mentioning here that there are so many routes into counselling and if it’s something you’ve toyed with before, I say go for it! I’d be happy to answer any questions people have if they want to find out more about how to get into it or, more specifically, about my own course. Feel free to contact me via the contact form or even just by leaving a comment.
I want to end this post with sharing a letter I wrote to myself back in September when I started the course which we opened on the last day:
I’m writing you this letter to remind you of what it was like at the beginning of the course.
You were worried about the workload. You thought it sounded too much and you realised you had not missed not having deadlines over your year out. You were worried you wouldn’t do well, that you might even fail in some places. You were worried about the presentation, what you were going to do for your dissertation and sorting placement/therapy.
Don’t forget the commute. As you’re writing this on the Tuesday of the first day of the intensive fortnight you feel a bit tired but like the commute is doable. How was the rest of the year?
You were still struggling yourself a bit. You were hoping this course would help you in more ways than just your career. Has it? Has the therapy helped?
You made the right decision doing this course. Remember to always be proud of yourself and kind to yourself. You always were too hard.