I received a question on my new fun question box on the side!! I don't know how to tell who asked it though, so I can't link up.
"What made you decide you wanted to go into psych/counseling?"
Honestly, I graduated my undergrad in Public Relations. I really LIKED PR. It was fun, it makes sense... but I wasn't passionate. I graduated and found a position that lasted 5 months. I KNEW I needed to go back to school to get a more specialized degree, but had NO idea what I wanted to do. I love helping people and I love kids... For whatever reasons, I had NEVER considered counseling as a career. I was praying and praying about what on earth I was supposed to do. I was watching 7th Heaven (of all shows... I really couldn't stand that show) and there was a school counselor on the show. I literally paused it and yelled to ben, "I'm going to be a COUNSELOR!"
I had no idea what that meant or how it would work, but we prayed and it has obviously worked out. While I've been in school I still really lacked confidence. I didn't really know what counseling was when I got started (everything I thought it was was very wrong) and I never thought I'd be a qualified counselor outside of the school setting. I especially NEVER wanted to counsel adults. But as the semesters went by and mostly last semester, I gained my footing. I saw myself becoming the counselor that I never thought I could be. (Don't get me wrong, I still need a TON of training and will always benefit from supervision and learning more about this field.) I finally felt confident enough that I could counsel adults or children with any issues. My passion will always be with children because I feel like they are in such a criticial period of their lives. By helping them become a successful child with healthy relationships, a healthy view of themselves and be able to learn, they can be a successful adult!
The reason I want to be in a school setting now is because I think school counselors are a first line of defense. Without a good school counselor, all the trauma, tragedy and problems kids go through can be overlooked and they'll fall through the cracks. A child cannot learn if they are in a state of crisis. It is my job to help them get out of survival mode and develop coping skills and life skills so they can gain an education.
I have seen and heard of the repercussions of sending a child in crisis back to class or not having time to get to them, and I don't want to be that counselor.
Some school systems view school counselors as teachers who are good at paperwork and added a degree, but others view school counselors as mental health professionals (whether or not they taught first) who work in a school setting. THIS is the counselor I want to be.
I'm not dead set on a school system either. If I cannot be a therapeutic counselor in a school setting, then I will certainly look in agency/community settings. That is the reason that I am pursuing my licensure along with getting my school certificate.
There are a lot of hard feelings towards school counselors who do not have teaching certificates. On one hand I do see where they are coming, that you won't get into the field with educational experience, but also have any of you ever gotten a job where you didn't learn 80% of everything you needed to know on the job?? And on the other hand, there are school systems that need mental health well over anything else.
Anyways, that was a really long answer to how I decided I wanted to become a counselor, but I know now that it is who I am. I LOVE counseling. I'm really ready to be there and have a job helping kids already!