At the beginning of this semester, I was hesitant to push the red “record” button on my videotape during my first session as a counselor, working with another student in my Theory and Practice I class (taught by Professor Doug Guiffrida). Not only was I counseling someone for the first real time, other people were going to watch me counseling someone. And even worse, I was going to have to watch myself. Now, at the end of the semester, I am not only comfortable sharing and watching my counseling tapes – I am excited to do more. I want to do more tapes, I want to counsel and be counseled, and I want to see how my group members progress with their clients.
Those “other people” who watched me counsel consist of three other students, members of my supervision group. Learning how to partake in a supervision group with them has been such a strength; it recognizes that we will not know all the answers, nor are we expected to know them all – but we are expected to support one another in finding them. I no longer feel like the world will end if I mess up a little bit in a session, because in the overall scheme of things I am still presumably helping someone and “messing up” is part of the process. Having the ability to address my own roadblocks and having people who are there to help me to do so makes me feel more capable.
Next semester we will be supervising one another as part of the second section of the class, without a professor or doctoral supervisor around to help us all the time. I think we’re ready, and I can’t wait to see what my group members do in their next counseling tapes with their student clients. I feel like I’m an avid fan of this “Camaraderie in Counseling” show and I can’t wait for the next episode.