What Leads us to Change from the Counselor's Perspective

October 2, 2017

           Character shapes personality and it is a visible aspect of our uniqueness. As a counselor I approach work and life with a genuine concern about people. I recognize and appreciate the potential in everyone, and want to help individuals become aware of their potential. In the school setting my approach varies according to the student’s needs. Nonetheless, the essence of my approach is solution-focused; tied to a short-term goal and time specific.

            A need for balance, answers and support bring students to the counseling office on a daily basis. Situations vary according to emotional wellbeing, cultural backgrounds, traditions, gender, spirituality and worldviews, but the essence of their needs are consistent in that they all are seeking a balanced life. In addition, the environment that envelops an individual also impacts the welfare of students. Research evidence shows that when you are ill physically and mentally, it is highly linked to our surroundings, diet and habits. Daily stressors that affect the brain’s thought processes may alter beliefs, which affect our responses to how we perceive and deal with problems. Consequently, stress causes emotions to fluctuate and hinders our perception of pain, joy and pleasure thus impacting our physical wellbeing, cognitive abilities and judgment to resolve conflict and promote change. In my experience as a counselor I have discovered that individuals realize that change needs to take place in their lives when they have a genuine conviction of the need for a different lifestyle. Not only that, they must act to create change regardless of the circumstances.

            Human beings are gifted with free will, freedom of choice and the capability of making change happen. On the other hand, socioeconomic status and resource allocation also play a crucial role in wellness. Spiritual, mental and physical healing gives us a sense of wholeness and sets us free of self-imposed limitations. As a counselor my job is to come alongside the student and empower them to become who they want to be, without taking away from them the blessing of making the discoveries on their own. Empowerment has to come from within the individual. The counselor serves as a tributary that leads them to broader, deeper flowing self-discoveries. 

MARIA SANTOS

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