I’ve been thinking a lot about counseling. And by thinking, I mean imagining myself sitting in a brown leather chair opposite a person who vulnerably empties themselves of their worries and cares. I listen, and at the end I grasp for some piece of wisdom to throw in their direction and hope that it sticks. So I’ve done that. Imagining. I’ve also done some google searches, clicking on rabbit trails, but only going a hop or two down them…not far enough to lose my original search page. And then I’ve talked to several people here who’ve entered the counseling sphere in some significant way.
-side note. As I’m writing this, a spider’s making his way across the floor in my direction. So pardon me if I seem distracted….ooh, he’s fast.-
These are all good steps, necessary ones, in testing out this possible career path. I’ve happ’d upon the idea of getting my masters in counseling in a circuitous way. But to sum up, I love people and their stories. And I want to help them as they live out their stories. Often I feel I don’t have the necessary tools to help, but I do believe I have the heart. I yearn for one-on-one settings…I prefer them over large gatherings. Back in college, among the normal activities harassing the pages of my personal planner such as “theater meeting, study group, go grocery shopping, chapel, and classes” were “hangout with [insert your name here]”. Coffee dates, lunch dates, walk dates, you name it. It was an essential then, and I still love it now. I long for it and look for it. I want to love people through my listening and my words.
I finished reading Inside Out by Dr. Larry Crabb a couple days ago. It’s repetitious, yet eye-opening. He calls us out as a culture that is paralyzed by pain. Our attempts to minimize pain are futile though. We’ll never experience a complete quenching of our “thirst” this side of heaven. So why avoid it? He believes that once we accept the disappointment, we can take the necessary steps to draw nearer to God:
“Repentance leads us into an experience of our disappointment and aloneness that crushes us with a pain that cannot be relieved. But when we trust God in our helplessness enough to move toward other people simply because that is God’s will for us, then the reality of His compassion slowly begins to enter our soul. As we walk a path that seems to lead toward death, a sense of life quietly grows within us” (199).
Several of you are counselors/pursuing degrees in the subject. I would love to hear your thoughts in response to these questions that are bobbling round at the moment:
- What are the positives/negatives of a counseling program at a seminary?
- What are the positive/negatives of a counseling program at a secular institution?
- Would being a “Christian” counselor be more limiting? More freeing?
- Which type of counseling to pursue? Guidance counseling versus family/marriage counseling versus social work?
Only three more weeks of L’Abri. Of this “Shelter.” It’s my hope that I’ll be reading as many books and asking as many questions back home as I do here. Remind me, okay? Thanks friends.
Some recent pics:
Gio came to visit for a few days!
An informal lunch at Bellevue. Heya Will!
Yummy pasta dish.
Relaxing before the meal.
A Wheaton/Regent couple came to visit and hold lectures for a week. Little Rowan just loved the camera.