The fields of professional helping are challenging. If you have a sense of mission and purpose, this exercise may help you organize your thinking in a new way and help you get through some rough spots. We have put together a few key discernment questions to encourage you to think about yourself as a counselor or therapist. Feel free to use any of the questions from the chapter if you feel that some are more relevant to your own life.
The following are example questions, strategies, or statements that may facilitate here-and-now body experience discovery. These tend to focus on the here and now and intuition.
· Relax, explore your body, and find a positive feeling of strength that might serve as an anchor for your search. Allow yourself to build on that feeling and see where it goes.
· Now think about your future in counseling or therapy. Sit quietly and allow an image to build in your mind (visual, auditory, kinesthetic).
· What is your gut feeling? What are your instincts? Get in touch with your body.
· Review: What does this say about your future in counseling or therapy?
Write a summary of what occurred for you in response to these or other here-and-now body experience questions.
Within the concrete style, consider the following questions relating to stories, specifics, and action.
· Can you tell a story from your past or present (or even your dreamed future) about helping others?
· Can you name the feelings you have in relation to this story?
· What have you done in the past or are you doing presently that feels especially satisfying and close to your mission?
· What are some blocks and impediments to your mission? What holds you back?
· Review: When can you take action? What plans need to be made?
Write a summary of what occurred for you in response to these or other concrete questions.
For self-reflective exploration, the following may be helpful. These questions focus on self-reflection.
· Let’s go back to that original image and/or the story that goes with it. As you reflect on that experience or story, what occurs for you? (Or use any of the information gleaned from earlier here-and-now body experience or concrete questioning.)
· Looking back on your life, what have been some of the major satisfactions? Dissatisfactions?
· What have been the peak moments and experiences of your life?
· Review: What occurs to you now as you reflect more broadly on your future with counseling and therapy? What do you see as your mission/goals in this field?
Write a summary of what occurred for you in response to these or other self-reflective questions.
The following are question to place yourself in larger systems and relationships—the self-in-relation.
· Place your here-and-now body experience, concrete, and formal experiences in broader context. How have various systems (family, friends, community, culture, spirituality, and significant others) related to these experiences? Think of yourself as a self-in-relation, a person-in-community.
· What influence does your multicultural background have to your sense of direction, goal, or mission (ethnicity/race, spirituality, gender, sexual orientation, etc.)?
· Review: What does this add to your overall sense of direction and ideas for the future?
Write a summary of what occurred for you in response to these or other contextual questions
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