I get compliments a lot. Most people genuinely admire and look at my job positively. One of them used to say, “your job is one of the most useful professions because it makes you know how to handle things.” Others would say, “being a counselor is great because you can help people deal with stressful life situations.” Another one is “counseling is so helpful that it does not require a person to undergo such tiring process only to recover.”
For me, I like the idea that people love and appreciate the job that I do. Since the main goal of counseling is to help those with issues in life, I can say that their compliments absolutely mean a thing. But for some strange reasons, the more I deal with people’s emotional and mental agony, the more I start to hate my job. At first, I thought maybe I was just confused. But, I recently realized that maybe being a counselor is not for me.
Counseling In The Eyes Of Others
Before I even begin to like my profession, I know how complicated mental health is. I try my best to understand the world of conflict, stress, and other medical illnesses that I do not know about at first. Frankly, though I know I have learned a lot, I have never been exposed to most mental health conditions out there. Thus, I would not clearly understand them since I do not have the first-hand experience with them. Therefore, I know there are a lot of uncertainties this profession has.
The world of counseling is not easy. I want to agree with patients and other people who often tell me that it is just a “talk-session” job; it is not just about that. Yes, people see it as an unpressured career that only requires a couple of minutes or an hour to do. They think that it is all about listening and staring at the patient and providing them with suggestions. No! counseling is far more than just trying to help someone feel better. It takes care of people’s changes and helps them find answers to their life problems.
Holding Onto The Damage
Counseling is deeply meaningful work. Though it often receives criticism and judgment, its main goal is to help people navigate and overcome some of their most difficult life experiences. It is very helpful, especially to those who need to take good care of themselves emotionally and mentally. But for us counselors, the job does not end there. We are somehow obliged to monitor our patients’ overall well-being. We are professionals that should always put our clients first at any cost. Unfortunately, the problem with that is nobody seems to look at us as someone who also needs counseling.
People assume that we know what to do when the problem hits us because we are counselors. Most of us professionals hold onto the damage because we don’t want other people to think that we are unfit for our job. We don’t want to hear people saying that ‘we are only good at suggesting things, but we can’t apply those to ourselves. For us, it sounded like an insult though there is also a significant truth to that.
Another addition to the hurtful experience is that people expect too much from us. Most of them think that their emotional and mental health should immediately reach maximum potential when counseling. These people do not like it when the counseling process takes too long. At some point, they often feel irritated when some of the suggestions we provided are not working to their advantage. It isn’t very clear, though.
To think that these people must try their best to overcome their life issues, it is as if they are implying that it is our fault that some of our advised helpful tips aren’t working. In some unfortunate cases, patients even blame us for the continued devastation and overall exhaustion they endure. As if we are not allowed to have any shortcomings. People do not see that we get trampled on with a lot of negative energy as we spend most of our days understanding and feeling other people’s difficult experiences.
Some of the words I have written in this article are surely not what all my colleagues would agree with. I am sharing this based on personal experience. Yes, I may have hated some things about my job, but it does not mean I want to quit it. I love helping people, and if counseling is the only way I can reach out to those who need help, I will never trade this profession. For me, it is a privilege that I have to be thankful for because I get to be a part of someone else’s life journey in finding growth and my own meaning.