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Belief in Oneself

It has appeared strange to me that after almost a decade of talking about, reading about, studying and gearing my whole life towards my chosen career in counselling that I have often found myself in the situation of doubting my own abilities within my training. It has been somewhat of a challenge to be faced with thoughts going around and round in my head alluding to the fact that I should not be in the position I am – trainee counsellor.

Throughout a substantial part of my first year of counselling training I battled with both these thoughts and myself when placed in certain situations. Being quite an anxious person, or certainly so I’m noticing the more I’m learning of myself I have often felt “well if I feel anxious now, then how will I be able to be an effective counsellor?”

I was of course told at the start of my counselling training that it will be somewhat of an “emotional rollercoaster” as you learn a lot about yourself and tap deep into your core values and what makes you, you.

Great I thought, emotional rollercoaster here we come! I’m ready! Not only am I ready I’m eager to learn more about myself and who doesn’t want to take the time to enhance their own personal development? What I wasn’t expecting was to find that despite years of working towards counselling training, readying myself for the career that has been on my mind since the ripe old age of eighteen that in fact what you learn about yourself you may not necessarily like.

This has sat quite heavily with me as I’ve pondered over my traits and what it is that makes me, me. No one likes to admit their short falls, or even venture further into parts of ourselves that we would rather just weren’t there.

But as of recently during a couple of sessions within my counselling training we have been learning about different parts of ourselves. I found myself very interested in this and wish to further my knowledge of my own inner parts.  A recent study by Bockler et al (2017) has helped my interest grow and settled my fears of discovering the more negative aspects of myself, that most of us would rather sweep under the carpet. It’s called Know Thy Selves: Learning to understand oneself Increases the Ability to Understand Others– which suggests that the more we study our own inner parts, the better equipped we are to empathise with others. This seemed like a somewhat obvious thing to say…considering a considerable amount of counselling training consists of learning about oneself and where we place ourselves in the world and our views that go with it. The thing that really grabbed my attention however, came from the fact that research suggests the more we learn of our own inner parts – especially our negative parts not only improves our own mental wellbeing but correlates with therapeutic success and our ability to empathically understand others.

Need I say anymore…I am on a quest to find all of my inner parts and one by one line them up and introduce myself properly. It’s about time we were acquainted and more so each little part need to learn to communicate with one another, for a fuller picture of Ben.

I started this blog with the title – Belief in oneself. Because as the weeks have past, well and truly into my second year of training and beginning to see clients for the first time I have started to gain more and more confidence within my-self and the reasons why I want to become a counsellor. Of course, I know it is going to be a tale of ups and downs, positivity coupled with uncertainty, doubts in myself and a lot of hard work. But through finding the right balance within the rest of my life, having faith that despite what parts of myself are revealed will only strengthen me and the work I’m doing, I feel I can rest easy and enjoy the ride. Having never been a big fan of roller coasters per se, I seem to be enjoying this one so far.

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