Last month I began a Masters of Counselling program via weekend intensives. The first subject is "Foundations of Counselling". I am thoroughly enjoying the course but it is also, emotionally, very confronting. As part of the learning process we take part in triads. These are standard counselling practical groups where there are 3 students; one is the counsellor, one the counsellee and the other is the observor who reflects back upon completion of the counselling session.
At the outset of the course we are told that, if we are a counsellee, we can choose a fictitious scenario but, apart from the fact that this is difficult to maintain, it is also more natural to share from our own journey. What has interested me is that firstly there are a number of people on the course who come from quite traumatic backgrounds. I guess this shouldn't be too much of a surprise because the best therapists are those who can truly empathise. I have been very heartened to engage with others who have suffered abuse and have overcome this setback in their childhood.
I think what has encouraged me the most is the strength of the human spirit to overcome. Over the past 3 intensives I have heard some painful stories and, yet, at the same time I have seen people who have families, jobs, a faith in God and who are persevering in regaining control of their lives. As someone who is training under a Christian framework I am not discounting the role of God in the process of healing but I do want to emphasise the resilience in the human spirit.
As I have reflected I have realised that it is easy for me to live my life as a victim of my childhood but there is the opportunity for me to rise above this. I have been encouraged that having been married for 11 years; raising 3 boys and studying at Masters level despite coming through a serious mental breakdown in a considerable achievement. I don't say this to boast but simply to encourage those who may need to see the possibilities that we all have to rise above our circumstances in some way.