Conceptualization of the Counseling Field
Unit 2 Assignment 1
For the greater portion of my adolescence and my whole adulthood, I have dreamed of being a counselor. After a terrible childhood, I wanted to find something that I could do that would benefit the world. Knowing my strengths, I knew that listening and being there for someone in their time of need was something that I always excelled at. I decided that counseling might be for me. So, I took a course in high school to see if psychology was something I wanted to pursue.
The basics is always something that is hard to consume at first. There are so many psychologists who created new methods and theories. There are also so many principles and ideologies that are similar, but different. However, I was enthralled by all of it. I absorbed the information and wanted more. Yes, it can be confusing, but it is way more fascinating than I could have ever imagined. I decided there that I would want to continue my education in psychology in college.
In college, I learned that there were more than just different theories of psychology, but different practices as well. There is psychology for learning, marriage and families, drug rehabilitation, different age groups, research, businesses, and so much more. There were so many different avenues to pursue that it became hard to choose. So, I took several different introductory courses to help narrow down what I wanted to study. It wasnt until after my internship class that I came to the conclusion that I wanted to be a Marriage and Family Counselor.
My internship was with Purdues Marriage and Family Counseling Center. At first it was simple tasks, like running errands for my supervisor, but eventually I got to participate in more activities. They had group meetings every week, in which they would go over different theories and discuss if any of the counselors in training were having any issues with clients. They would discuss different methods to try with those clients. Another rare opportunity I got to experience is that of actually watching different sessions. During those sessions, I had to take notes on what I thought was vital to the session, as well as what I observed the counselors doing. I also had to take a guess at what theory they were following. I really enjoyed this experience. The note taking process may have seemed tedious, but in the end it helped very much in understanding how to apply different theories and practices.
With knowing what area of counseling I want to get into, I have to begin to think about specializations. However, before I had never really thought about it. Knowing that I want to work with families, it is a touch of a specialization, however I never really thought about environments or populations I wanted to work in. I think that I would like to work with families in the rural areas. I feel that the metropolis areas have a high number of therapists and counselors available, however in the more rural area, not as many. Based on the article by Wilson, Knezevic, Kibugi, Peterson, and Polacek, there is a shortage in rural environments for mental health care professionals. They concluded that due to this shortage, mental health care providers are able to retain a position there for much longer than the average counselor in the city. CITATION Wil18 l 1033 (Wilson, Knezevic, Kibugi, Peterson, & Polacek, 2018)My work experience has been only in retail and customer service. However, that doesnt mean I do not have transferrable skills. Customer service is highly involved with listening to customers and problem solving. You never know what a customer needs or wants from an experience before you talk to them. When I worked for a grocery store, I worked in the deli department. Sometimes during taking orders, customers would relate personal issues that they were experiencing in their lives. I learned that some times people just needed to feel heard. Even when someone was upset, sometimes you just have to let them express themselves and they will feel better. Learning when is the time to talk and when is the time to listen can be a very important skill.
In my personal life, I have faced many difficult issues and experiences many different things. We all have a story. We all have a past. Learning that you are not the only one with a story can be difficult, because it is hard to relate to others the way we relate to ourselves. This lesson takes everyone a while to learn, sometimes it takes longer for others. Our personal experiences and interactions with others are the only way to learn this lesson. Misunderstanding with other people have led me to learn that others perceptions do not always line up with mine. I had to learn to reevaluate what I was saying and translate it in a different way for those who werent understanding what I was trying to communicate.
I am very excited to be starting my next chapter in my life. With Capella, I plan to get my Masters Degree in Marriage and Family counseling. I realize that there will be a lot of hard work involved, which I am ready for. It took a long time to get to the mental stability and a good place in my life to be ready for this. I believe now that I am there and ready for the challenges that will face me in my education and career goals. Saying that, and reading into the course guide, there are many things I am hoping to gain from this experience.
First, this is not a traditional classroom. I do not have to be in classroom at a certain time on certain days. I have the flexibility and control to take my education into my own hands. I do not need to feel like I am sacrificing any one aspect of my life because I want to continue my education. To me that is both freeing and exciting. Secondly, the types of course are geared toward specifically what I want to study. In high school and in college, I had to follow there basic roadmap. You had core classes in which everyone had to take. While I understand the reasoning behind it, some of those classes were not really a benefit to me personally. Here, at Capella, all my courses are pertaining to Marriage and Family Counseling. I will be taking courses that will benefit me, and strengthen my knowledge for a career field I actually want to be in. There are so many, that is both exhilarating and nerve wracking. I know this is something that I will have to make sure I devote my time to, but I feel that the curriculum is going to make sure I perfect as many skills and knowledge areas as I can before I graduate.
Thirdly, the support I am going to gain from this program is something that I cannot compare to other schools I have looked. I looked into many different programs before choosing Capella. I chose Capella specifically because of the practicum courses we are required to take. Some people might look at them as a nuisance, but to me that is added support to what we are learning. Many online colleges just have you do the online work and internships. But what happens when you have a question about how something is applied? Capella and its practicum courses can help guide you in proper application of different processes. That I am looking forward to. I want to be knowledgeable about what I am doing before I have to actually start my real internship where I am seeing real clients. To me, that support is everything. CITATION Cap l 1033 (Capella University, n.d.)The final thing that I look forward to is the fact that I will be put into contact with many different sources in the Marriage and Family Counseling field. By having so many different professors teaching subjects that they are very familiar with in a field that I want to be in; that gives me the chance to really understand the field and prospective problems I might have. I get this rare opportunity to trouble shoot the field before I even have had any trouble. By being taught by people with different backgrounds and specializations, it gives me the chance to figure out what method is really right for me.
BIBLIOGRAPHY Capella University. (n.d.). Marriage and Family Counseling/Therapy. Retrieved from Capella University:
Wilson, T., Knezevic, B., Kibugi, B., Peterson, P., & Polacek, E. (2018). Experiences and Retention Among Rural Mental Health Counselors. Journal of Mental Health Counseling, 40(3), 240-248.