When a counsellor feels inadequate
Surprisingly, this happens a lot.
Is there more at play here?
Do we, as school counsellors, feel that we are older, wiser and therefore better equipped to know the meaning behind the words we hear?
As an INFJ personality type, I pride myself on my almost psychic ability to smell out when there is more to a story than meets the eye.
Every so often though, I get side swiped!
So, how do we deal with it?
I, for one, am not good at dealing with these feelings. In general, I always feel that I could, or should have done more. I often switch from my extroverted feeling function and wallow in my shadow personality function of the logical thinker.
I try and think about what could have led to the current situation. I will torture myself by reading into conversations, looks, body language, etc until I piece together how the revelations were drip fed to me and create the whole “logical” story. The story I missed!
It’s a grim part of my personality and one which I try and work on as I’m aware that whilst I’m worrying about what I could, should, would have said, I’m not giving my attention to the person who now needs it.
There is no answer for people like us who do these jobs because we care about others, except a wise example that my clinical supervisor once gave me.
“Difficulties we face in our personalities are often caused by the over-active use of a skill we have”
Let me use my situation as an example…
I have a skill and that skill is the ability to genuinely care for others and to support them to be the best version of themselves that they can be. This makes me happy.
Sometimes, I over-do this skill by thinking that I must be the answer to everyone’s problems all the time. Obviously, I can’t because that would be physically impossible. This makes me unhappy.
So, if we imagine an upwards curve, when we are in our happy place, the curve is in an upward motion.
When the curve starts to tip, the tipping point; it begins a downward trajectory.
Think of this like an upturned smile or a down turned sad face.
So after I have wallowed in self-pity for a while, I begin to examine my curve and concentrate on its upwards-turned smile.
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