Thursday, September 3, 2009

What you love

My practicum ended on Friday, August 28th. My supervisor took me out for lunch to a wonderful Thai restaurant and we exchanged gifts and sentiments. I felt incredibly fortunate to have been paired up with her as my supervisor for the practicum. She was an amazing mentor and gave me many opportunities to challenge myself. She provided every opportunity for me to debrief with her, gain constructive feedback, develop and apply the skills that I came with, cultivate new skills, explore avenues that might be of interest to me and inspired me with her professionalism and kindness. The rest of the staff were also very supportive by letting me observe and ask questions throughout my "stay". I always felt welcomed and part of the team. One of the other counsellors shared my love of paper and we had some very special conversations that I won't soon forget. I'm going to miss going in every day and seeing everyone but have been asked to work on a newsletter by the manager which is very exciting!

I learned first-hand about the many facets of the counselling process from intake to individualized counselling; assisting and co-facilitating with stand-alone workshops on job search techniques to formal group settings (exploring careers, self-assessment and dealing with transitions); one-on-one resume critiques to administering assessments, as well as report writing and creating action plans. I discovered how much I love one-on-one counselling, particularly because it's very much about hearing people's narratives and working with them individually. Despite being an introvert, I did enjoy facilitating workshops and found that I'm capable of modulating my voice but just need more practice. I'm looking into Toastmasters or some other group that I could join to improve these skills for the fall.

The most valuable thing that happened during my ten weeks was the re-evaluation of my decision to pursue Career Counselling and how I fit in as a professional in the field. I witnessed how the counselling process is capable of transforming lives and effecting change – whether it be by increasing an individual’s confidence, allowing a person to dream and explore different career paths or finding meaning in their lives (all of which have been the case for me). In this sense, I felt that my practicum has been life-changing. For this, I’m forever grateful.

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