September 16, 2011

My first one-on-one!

Hello all!

I already have over 50 hours at my high school internship site. I think, well I know, that I am going to have way more hours than I need but I want to finish out the semester here!!Two days ago was the first time that I actually was able to do some individual counseling. I have been observing here and there since I started but this time I actually had a girl in my office! And I was the one counseling her.

We mostly were just talking about college. She knows she wants to go out of state but she really isn't sure where she wants to go or what she wants to do. I made a point of telling her that I think its a step in the right direction that she knows what state she wants to go to. She seemed slightly overwhelmed with all the choices she was going to have to make so I tried to be mindful of that and make sure that I let her know to take a few breaths, that she had plenty of time to make these decisions. They don't need to be made right this second. She told me that she is the type of person to lose things easily. She was really concerned about making the "right" choice. What if she went to one school but changed her mind on her major and then the school she was at didn't have the new choice? I felt then that I needed to give her a tool to use. I told her she should try to make a list of all the different majors she thinks she might be interested in, then when she is looking at her different school choices, she can mark off whether each school has some, all, or none of those choices. This way she can be sure that she is picking a place where she is not just stuck in one track. She smiled and said that she hadn't thought of doing that and that it was a really good idea.

After she left my office, I felt really good about how things had gone. I realized though while I was counseling her that I was still in my head a lot during the session. I kept thinking about if I was saying the right thing, if I was talking too much, thinking a lot about what I should say next. I think that this is just because of inexperience. I know that with time, that will hopefully fade out and I can be completely in the moment. I hope that this student didn't realize that this is what I was thinking. That is the last thing that I want. But she seemed satisfied with our conversation. I hope she was.

I hope that in the coming weeks I will be able to do more counseling with her as well as other students. I need a lot more practice before I would call myself fully competent. That is what internship is all about though right?!

Happy Friday!


1 comment:

  1. It sounds as though you were TOTALLY competent as a sounding board, which is what we are all about . . . connecting, affirming, reassuring listeners . . . . I use these four questions as standards, which allows me listen better:

    1. What can you do to change (better) the situation?
    2. How will you know when you've done that?
    3. What will the change look and feel like?
    4. What would life without the change look like.

    In her case, it sounds like she wasn't necessarily changing much except her forward motion, which is a good conversation to have with someone like you. Keep up the good work!

    ps. You can also ask: Are you who you want to be? Are you all that you can be? What needs to change to be able to answer an affirmation "You betcha!"