Photo Note: This grainy cell phone shot was taken (not by the driver!) on the Henry Hudson Parkway while visiting family in New York City over break.
Well, here I am — my last semester of grad school. When people hear that, many say “You’re almost done, it must feel so good!” It is nice to be on the home stretch, but there is still so much to be done between now and graduation. Between writing my thesis, applying for certification, finishing my coursework, and looking for a job, I definitely have a lot of tasks to juggle. Though overwhelming at times, it does feel good to look back and see how much I have grown as a student, counselor, and person. I have come a long way and the end is finally in sight!
This semester I am taking Problem Identification and Intervention in Counseling II, Internship in School Counseling, Addictions Counseling and Prevention, and Crisis Counseling and Disaster Mental Health. I really enjoyed my first week of classes, especially Addictions Counseling. As a class, we talked about some of the reasons people use alcohol and drugs. It was a very open and frank discussion that led to some important realizations. Although some people begin using alcohol and drugs for recreation, many come to depend on these substances to relieve the stress and pain of everyday life. Usually, a person decides to consume alcohol or use drugs because he or she wants to feel good. It is paradoxical that what begins as an innocent desire to feel acceptance and relief can turn into something so destructive.
People who seek rehabilitation because addiction has taken over their lives are not bad people. As counselors, it is our job to treat them as human beings, not addicts. As we learned in class, substance abuse does not discriminate based on age, race, gender, or socio-economic status. Anyone can feel the effects of alcohol and drug dependency, and our job is to help them get their lives back under control.