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A place to be yourself

I am done, well and truly done, with my work for the year. Four months at my placement site down. Almost 100 client hours logged. Months of weekly group and individual supervision attended. A whole lot of angst and many early mornings tolerated. And in the process, not only have I grown as a counselor-to-be and as a person, but I have also created a warm, safe space for students at my school.

Some clients say coming to see me is the best part of their week (awwww). A few ask to see me multiple times in a week (wish it were possible). Others say I am the only human being who listens to them (we work on widening the circle). Apparently, my office is “famous” for being the place where kids make stress balls out of balloons filled with moon sand, a squishy, fine sand that can be easily molded. My kids sing songs, make creatures out of clay, and draw pictures with themes ranging from dark to light. Are any of these things therapeutic? I have no idea, but we do talk about feelings as we push the sand into balloons. We discuss the themes in their artwork. I listen to them sing and applaud when the songs are over.

I am still filled with self-doubt, of course, and know there is room for improvement. A lot of room. There is so much I do not know, so many skills I have not yet mastered. However, if I am doing anything for my clients, it is providing that safe space, listening without judgment, and being present. How many of us get that?

I feel lucky to have this job, but luck should not get all the credit. It was my past intermingled with the desire to help others, it was life experience plus hard work, it was my essence meeting with realities of the world. Still, I am profoundly grateful for my placement and the opportunity I get to provide these kids with a welcoming space in which they can be themselves.

So, yeah. I am pretty damn lucky.

And what a difference a couple of days make.
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