Have you ever had a week where it rained practically the entire week? No sun shone, just clouds and rain? Sometimes the rain poured, but mostly it was a constant drizzle with no respite.
Ours is a difficult profession….and sometimes feels like one of those weeks. Our clients’ stories are often difficult to hear…and to project empathy. Our clients, of course, have had a much more difficult time because they have lived the story. But to hear story after story, empathizing all the while, is taxing.
Don’t get me wrong, most counselors that I know love what they do, including myself. They feel deeply, empathize greatly, and have true compassion for their clients. Students that I teach want to get out in the world and help others…not because they think they’ll make lots of money.
Being a counselor is like living in a world where it is frequently raining. Bright light and sunshine are seldom seen; it is usually cloudy. We need to hold an umbrella for our client to shelter them from the rain and difficulty. Other times, we need to provide them with an umbrella and show them how to use it. Sometimes, clients just stand in the rain.
As counselors, we get splashed from time-to-time. Perhaps the bottoms of our trousers get wet, regardless of whether we are holding the umbrella or standing under a shelter. It is important to have the proper rain gear. Your training is your big umbrella, your galoshes, or your rain suit.
Just remember to come in out of the rain for a little while on a regular basis, despite how good your rain gear is. Spend some time in the sunshine.