I started my first class of counselling today. I was very nervous and excited at the same time. I was nervous because I had not been in formal education for the past ten years and excited because I was going to do something for myself after 3 years of sitting at home and focus on something other than domestic issues. I arrived to my first class late and that made me more apprehensive. Looking around I noticed that there were people from different age and background. I started the class by telling others about myself and listened to them. I felt like I was in a group therapy, in a way it actually was because we were using our listening skills, which I believe is essential part of counselling. As it happened at the end of the task I was less nervous than I was at the beginning. Our next task was to find a partner and talk about ourselves to each other. We talked about our lives and it was up to us how much to tell our partner and to share it with the rest of the group.
Again here, our listening skills were tested. This task also acted as ice breaker where the atmosphere of the class become more relaxed as we listened to each individual’s life and their achievements as well as their aspirations. I realised that most of the people who attended the course were there because of their life experiences propelled them to this course and that they felt they have something to give back as counsellor, or that they may learn some counselling skills to help them with their own lives. As for myself, since studying counselling as part of my degree course 10 years ago, I have wanted to become a counsellor. I always was motivated to help others.
My only inability is and has been my lack of confidence. This is not because I don’t have the ability to listen and help others, but just that I am not a confident speaker and my communication skills needs to be enhanced and by doing this course I am hoping to overcome both and be prepared for further qualifications in counselling. During the class in groups we also discussed, what we want from rest of the group and what is required of me. There were some points, such as, Respect, Confidentially, Honesty, Being non- judgmental, etc, that we all agreed on.
We ended the class by “checking out”, where we said how we felt and what we learned, like me, the rest of group was also more relaxed and were looking forward to the rest of the course. I see this course as learning route, where by the end of it I have learned some counselling skills, hopefully I will also overcome my own issues, which might have an impact on my role as a helper.