The Weekender

As the end of the week approaches I am inundated with feelings of inspiration, determination and gratitude. Although many begin their weekends with the chant “thank goodness it’s Friday” while anxiously anticipating their break away from work, and while I once shared this same perspective, I now find myself connected to my career at a deeper level than ever before. Through my personal and professional experiences being a counselor, I have developed a new lens through which I see the world.

The connection that I have with my counseling career has been fueled by an inherent passion for helping people and by an empathetic understanding of people enduring suffering. Being a counselor has enabled me to see life from the unique perspectives of a diverse population of people facing great adversity.

Since the start of my career as a counselor I have carried out a weekend ritual of self-reflection of the week’s events. I ask myself, “What am I thankful for this week? What did I do best? What could I have done better?” Through self-reflection I am able to maintain an awareness and mindfulness of my own feelings and beliefs and consider ways in which I can incorporate my life experiences into my counselor identity.

Counselors empower people to find solutions and answers, yet those most needing solutions often have walls and barriers guarding and blocking them from getting the help they need.  Through my experiences with clients, I have seen these walls and barriers present in many forms. Shame, pride, fear, oppression; these emotions and barriers that are keeping people from getting access to effective solutions and, consequently, from living a fulfilling life have pushed me as a counselor to reflect on what might be creating these walls and how we can break them down.  One factor is that a stigma still exists with mental health.  Additionally, there seems to be an intimidation factor surrounding mental health professionals. Where does this intimidation stem from and how can we as counselors address it? One place to start might be for counselors to step outside of the counseling office and make efforts to combat systemic barriers through community outreach and education. Demystifying counseling and humanizing counselors by sharing more about the counseling process and our own personal counselor identity can be empowering and inviting.

I hope those who visit our website will read The Weekender and that it will cast a glimpse of a counselor’s world, both in and out of the counseling office.

Katie Fetzer, LPC, NCC, PhD Student.

The Weekender

The Weekender

Counselors empower people to find solutions and answers, yet those most needing solutions often have walls guarding them from getting the help they need. Pride, shame, fear; these emotions that are keeping people from reaching out for solutions and, consequently, from living a fulfilling life have pushed me as a counselor to reflect on what might be creating these walls and how we can break them down. One place to start might be by demystifying counseling and humanizing counselors by sharing more about the counseling process and our own personal counselor identity. I hope those who visit our website will read The Weekender and that it will cast a glimpse of a counselor’s world, both in and out of the counseling office.