I recently had a conversation with a friend of mine regarding his out of control gambling habits as well as the level of debt he is quickly finding himself in. My friend hasn’t approached anyone else about this issue and thought because of my current study that I could help. I explained to my friend that I am not qualified to deal with issues such as these as I am not counsellor yet and only a student but would hear what he had to say as a friend. I listened to what he had to say with empathy and understanding while he told me his problems.
After he had explained his situation to me I assessed what was going on and uncovered that he is suffering from depression, loneliness, helplessness and has thoughts of suicide. I told my friend that I think that he should talk to a counsellor about his problems and he told me that he didn’t want to and wanted me to tell him what he should do. Knowing that he wouldn’t seek professional help worried me greatly and I was finding myself trying to find solutions. Reflecting
Upon reflection of my conversation with my friend I realized numerous things I shouldn’t have done such as: Find solutions for his problems Give advice as to what actions he should take Telling him the consequences of his actions Going through the Possibilities of his future without professional help Pushing my own point of view across The things I thought I do right in this situation were: Advice professional help Give support Showing empathy and understanding Explore possibilities Conceptualising
After my friend had told me that he would not seek professional help and I knew there was no way I could persuade him to I started to give advice which felt like a lecture. After sometime I saw that he was losing interest in the discussion which made me feel helpless in helping him and was not the way I wanted the conversation to go. Planning In the future as a counsellor faced with this situation I think it would be much different given the client has already taken the first step in seeking help.
In addition to dealing with this similar situation as a counsellor I feel I would be better equipped being fully qualified as a professional counsellor in a counselling environment, felling more confident in my ability’s in using a variety of skills and techniques. Given the same situation again with my current level of counselling I feel that I would still be understanding and caring but maybe less pushy in trying to help when all other options fail. I think what brought out this pushing of my own point of view across was my friend talking of suicide then refusing help so it felt like a matter of life and death to me.
Courtney from Study Moose
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