It was not easy getting my nose back in college texts, studying for tests, and writing many long graduate-level papers. I would much rather write posts on this blog! However, I am so glad I followed through. I learned so much, especially during my year as an intern. Here are some of my lessons:
- You know that saying, "People don't care how much you know until they know how much you care."? Well, that is true! Successful therapeutic relationships are built on rapport between client and counselor.
- Counseling is NOT giving advice! It's more about coming along side someone and encouraging them in their journey to their own revelation.
- It is important to listen and ponder what you hear before responding. Reflective listening is the best. People appreciate when you listen and reflect back showing you care about them and what they just said. Too many people spend the time the other one speaks to think about what they want to say instead of truly listening.
- Stop and think about what you are thinking about. (You are probably doing that right now!)
- Self-care for the helper is a needed priority. You will not be help to anyone if you are burned out.
- Let go of stereotypes! If you don't, you might miss out on a rather fulfilling relationship.
- Prayer is imperative! Even if the client is not open to prayer, silent prayers can still happen. I've had many instances in a session when I did not know what to do. God answered my silent prayers and guided as only He can do! Sometimes those prayers answered were about giving me guidance, and sometimes they were about softening the client's heart to be able to receive.