I promised that I would come back to a bit more reflection of the significance of my graduation and completion of my Marriage and Family Counseling Degree. It's been 5 years since I started this journey. While I thought it would look very different at the end of this road, I am astonished and humbled by the enormous changes that have occurred in my life in that same time. Some of them a direct cause of my classes and clinical experiences, some completely unrelated to my counseling training, but none the less very connected to my learning and growing process.
You see you cant become a good counselor unless you are willing to take a deep hard look at your own "stuff." If you aren't willing to face your pain and secrets, how can you ask another to trust you with the same leap? In 5 years I have gone from a Master's student, Doctoral Candidate, to a drop out, to back to a Masters student. I became a mom. I discovered my inner artist. I grew brave in love, in heart, and in voice. I learned how to confront people with things they dont want to see in themselves, and how to walk them through the darkest moments of their lives.
I have cried with my clients, laughed, played, and held their hands as we took steps together towards the people they were meant to be. What I didnt realize was at the same time, I was taking those same steps towards the person I was meant to be. Art has been my therapy throughout this whole process and I have explored with my clients all the ways that it can release their soul's joy as well.
While it may be sometime before I take my first job as a clinician, the growth I experienced and the lessons taken away have become invaluable to me. I am forever grateful to every mother, child, father, grandparent, spouse, friend, that trusted me to hold their secrets and believed in me to always be honest and pure in intentions for their lives. I will never forget their stories, their pain, and their joys. Thank you.
"Window to My Soul" 2010 Art Journal Cover by Harmony