I was terrified of becoming a counselor.
Which is ironic, since that’s the graduate degree I’ve pursued since 2010.
But when my pre-practicum counseling course came, I had to face my fear of the counselor’s chair.
Well, sure, it was a “pretend” counselor’s chair. The role plays that we did in class weren’t with actual clients yet. But I did have to sit there, with professor and classmates looking on, and try my best to be a counselor.
I was scared my best wasn’t good enough.
I made it through the introductory lectures fine, but when the night for role play came, I was curled up in my bed, in the dark, escaping through tearful sleep. I finally withdrew from the class.
I signed up for the same pre-practicum course again this summer.
I fought hard. I saw a counselor myself and worked through fears of criticism. I examined my irrational expectations of perfection. I practiced short role plays with my counselor (boy, was that a switch). And when I was afraid, my counselor asked me to remember why I wanted to do this.
I want to help people.
Mentally, I prepared and prepared. I could do this. I would not be perfect, but my little “failures” would grow and strengthen me as a counselor. I would learn. It was part of it. I would embrace it.
I wanted to be a counselor.
On June 24th, I made it through my first role play.
I still have more role plays to come. I still have my first session as a counselor with an actual client. Do I have a few lingering fears? A few tingling nerves? Yes. But come on. I want to get to that other side.
People have “role plays” to face. Maybe I can help some of them find their June 24th.
What “role play” do you face? When will your June 24th be?