What experience or background do you bring to your counselling that is uniquely yours?
My desire to become a counsellor began in junior high school when I was elected as a peer-counsellor by my fellow classmates. It was the first step in understanding empathetic listening, open-ended questioning, and what it took to provide valuable service to people in need. This proved to be a formative experience as it allowed me to discover my passion to connect with people and develop skills to help individuals identify and make changes to negative thought patterns and self-harming behaviors. Helping people recognize and overcome these problematic behavioral patterns was extremely rewarding and I have continued to pursue similar experiences in my education, career and volunteer work ever since.
What is your favorite thing about working closely with people every day?
I love working with people. I pride myself on being patient and empathic, and my years of providing assistance to people in social services have allowed me to develop sound judgment, sensitivity, tact and objectivity when responding to the needs of individuals impacted by trauma. Most importantly, I am highly motivated to foster positive mental health outcomes and well-being of my clients. With a deep compassion for people to reach their full potential, I remain inspired by the compelling life stories of my clients and their determination to improve their circumstances.
What is a personal challenge that you have overcome in your own life?
As an individual who is driven by a goal-oriented mindset and intense motivation to succeed, I have a natural tendency to focus on measurable achievements. As a result, I impose high expectations and outrageous amounts of pressure on myself to excel in all facets of my life, ultimately prone to underserving and wicked self-criticism. To overcome my own personal struggle, I have learned the importance of treating myself with the level of respect, compassion and kindness that I demonstrate to others.
What have you learned from your work?
Establishing a therapeutic alliance is fundamental to the counselling process as there is a solid base for which to build when a foundation of trust, respect, and acceptance exist in a counselling relationship. There can be no effective or meaningful therapy without the connection and relationship developed between the counsellor and client. The therapeutic relationship - removed from judgment and prejudice - is essential in establishing and promoting willingness for the client to share and engage in the therapeutic process.