As far as counseling, I’ll be a Licensed Professional Counselor first and foremost, which opens me up to do many things. I’ll be able to be further certified in things as well. I’m very relationally-driven as a person and counselor. We had to do Mission Statements in my Professional Issues and Ethics course, so I’ll share mine with you. It will give you a sense of what I’m wanting to do:
My mission as a Licensed Professional Counselor is to help people achieve wellness in their inner lives, personal relationships, and career by helping to embrace the inner turmoil and suffering of their lives to find meaning and purpose in their pain and hurt in order to embrace it and find healing. My aim is to equip people with the social-relational skills necessary to both discover and create meaning within their relationship while discovering the tools to optimize the quality of their personal and professional relationships. It is my mission to help people achieve a higher level of functioning in their lives, to live free from fear and shame, to embrace vulnerability, and to live from a place of courage in order to achieve a more wholesome and authentic life, a life lived daringly.”
So what I’m about to write is probably gonna make some uncomfortable, it usually does most people, but I’m very interested in studying and researching shame, fear, and vulnerability as well as counseling chronic shame-based individuals and families. I believe shame is a silent epidemic in our culture. There are differences between shame and guilt. Guilt says, “I did bad,” and shame says, “I am bad.” The reason I say this is because this lady’s video and her life’s work in shame have saved my life. Going through my divorce, I had to take a deep look into my own personal Hades and the shame that binds me, so she is my hero. She has some great stuff to say on shame since she’s researched it for years:
So she created Shame Resilience Theory, more on that here: https://adaringexistence.wordpress.com/2014/12/01/shame-resilience-theory/
I wanna take that Theory, which is empirically sound and based, to help men and women, especially men since I feel masculinity in this country is really lacking and is shackled in deep shame. Yeah, it’s a hard emotion and people usually get uncomfortable when you talk about your shame and shame in general, but I feel shame must be discussed.
I want to explain why I wanna be a counselor, and to try not to be so longwinded, well, I have a B.S. in Bible and Preaching/Church Leadership. I wanted, or felt called, to be a priest one day. Now, that I’m divorced and will remarry someday Lord willing, that’s sort up in the air. In some ways, I still would like to become a priest, but in others I see how it wasn’t meant to be. So that desire to help others, to use my weakness to sit with others in their darkness that I had towards ministry also drove me into counseling. Many say we don’t chose this field it chose us. And I feel it did.
Pema Chodron, America’s first Buddhist Nun, once said:
Compassion is not a relationship between the healer and the wounded. It’s a relationship between equals. Only when we know our own darkness well can we be present with the darkness of others. Compassion becomes real when we recognize our shared humanity.”
That quote will be very visible in my office one day once I’m practicing. I feel that my shame, my insecurities, my fears, my darkness, my weaknesses not only are my own personal Hades to embrace and find Christ, but are also the very means through which He’ll use me to bring healing into the lives of others. And that is all I wish to do.