Stage Three: The Evolving Counselor
As the Evolving Counselor, I help to create the conditions for people to awaken and grow. The Fixer and Rescuer have faded into the background, because I now see that there is nothing to fix in people, and rescuing someone doesn’t help them grow – it actually disempowers them.
I have done and continue to do the inner work to heal many of my painful issues and wounds, knowing this is a part of my purpose as a human and my responsibility as a counselor. My expanded self-awareness, worldview, emotional maturity, and empathic connection enables me to just be with someone – more present, loving, and compassionate, while also encouraging, supporting, and sometimes challenging a person to make new choices based on their own inner wisdom.
The Expert in me is insightful and can offer interpretations, and the Wounded Healer in me can join with my client and build a strong therapeutic relationship. I am becoming increasingly more comfortable with all of my emotions, which helps me to be comfortable and empathic with these emotions in another. I no longer get caught up in people’s stories and enmeshed with their feelings. When I do experience judgment or upset, I recognize it as my own unresolved issue (countertransference) and use it as an opportunity to heal and grow, knowing that I am more than my feelings and beliefs.
Understanding the process of human development enables me to discern the best conditions, questions, and practices for each individual at different developmental levels. I do not use a blanket approach for everyone. I have a vast array of tools, and I understand that my relationship with my client is the fundamental agent for growth and healing. Love, empathy, and acceptance allows one to open, trust, and explore new maps of reality in which to reinterpret and let go of past hurts.
I enjoy my life and the work I do. I feel uplifted after working with people all day. When I do feel out of balance and fatigued, I do the necessary inner work and self-care practices. I see the innate goodness in my clients and co-workers. I see it them, because I know it in me. I am always sharpening my skills, increasing my knowledge, and healing my issues in service to being a more effective counselor. More than anything it is my intention to be a clear mirror and a fuller model for the love and goodness within us all.