Why be a therapist?
I thought for my #SummerBloggin post I would talk about why I became a therapist 😊
It's not something Ive always dreamed of doing; it wasn't a burning desire just waiting for me to be ready for the training. It wasn't because a bazillion people told me I was a good listener or that I should be one and it wasn't really, initially, because of my recovery from abuse journey making me want to help people (but I'll come back to this last one).
Things I have wanted to be when I grow up: doctor (to the point of checking out grad entry), banker (for about 5 seconds), paramedic, nurse, social worker, youth worker (started my degree with this role in mind back in 2006), lawyer (for the entirety of my time at college, this was the plan) and, finally, a police officer.
In fact, I still want to be a Special Constable! That feels like a lifelong dream job ever since I first applied at 19. If I ever get into the force, I cannot even describe the awesome feeling that would be 😍😱😍
So, why did I settle on being a therapist from all these options?
Well, it actually did begin during my recovery from rape and sexual abuse. Initially that is also why I wanted to be a lawyer; barrister actually. I'd been through the legal system as a victim of rape and I wanted to be the compassionate barrister. I wanted to make changes to the legal system. Somewhere along the arduous task of trying to seek mental health help via NHS, I started to get really blooming frustrated that trauma was essentially ignored. There were many frustrating things about how they dealt with the side effects of trauma and I wanted to create change for the people following me into the system. I wanted to be a campaigner and, at the time, couldn't imagine being a therapist listening to people's distress every day! Then, one day I decided perhaps I could make more changes from the inside of the system. Maybe people would listen more if I had a few letters after my name. They wouldn't dismiss me as being too emotional about it because I'm a survivor or service user.
Even so, when I signed up to do the training I was still skeptical. It wasn't counselling that had healed me. It has been a peer support group and a self help book. This skepticism didn't really reduce when I saw how many people felt counsellors should be somewhat stoic. But I loved the course and every dissent against human counsellors urged me forward.
So it's really no small irony that I actually have specialised in trauma counselling and routinely listen to people's distress. But, what I didn't know then is that I also have the huge privilege of seeing people rebuilding themselves after huge trauma. There is very little more rewarding that the first time a client truly believes they have self worth or the first time they realise they have choices.