Training by Liberty

Liberty Talking Therapy

Some interesting stuff

Thinking about training

5th July 2020

I've been pondering this week about all things training, whether that is because I am tweaking my courses for the new academic year or because my amazing Level 4 students have just finished their taught sessions or whether I am feeling nostalgic - I am not really sure but it got me thinking anyway.

My own training was "interesting", as I have hinted at before, and tough and exhausting and it got me to thinking about what it was about that training that made me hang in; was it me or my trainers or my classmates or a combination of both? What about my personal therapist?

I realise that I was very lucky with my tutors, not because I got on with them all, some I found difficult, some I found positively horrible and some were absolute legends but because they all brought with them the opportunity for learning.  It was not always comfortable, one of my tutors called me bombastic and that cut me to the quick (and I had to look it up lol) and warned me that people wouldn't like that so I should change.  One tutor told me that I was stupid, constantly marked me down and then spent 2 years blanking me in lifts and corridors until I had to have her as a tutor again.  My classmates found me hard work, they used the word intimidating, and in process regularly told me so.  I spent what feels like a year of my life in tears because of what they said to me about me.  But do you know what, I learned.  

What I learned was that what others find intimidating I know is passion, what others found bossy I came to understand was insecurity.  

I was devastated that these people had so much power over my feelings, and ashamed that they could make me cry.  My youngest daughter was at the same learning establishment at the same time and I watched her be angry and devastated that these people could say such things to her Mum and it was then that I nearly gave up.  Why was I putting myself through this? Why was I putting her through this? what was the point? but more scarily "What if I am what they say I am? How can I be a counsellor?"

The answer of course is, I'm not.  I have spent hours unpicking who I am and still am but I do know that I am OK.  And OK is great.  I am passionate and obstinate and kind and soft and angry and sad and introverted and working on being a retired perfectionist, but all of that is ok 

But more than anything I am grateful  to every single one of the people I have met along the way, because without them I would not know who I am, I would not be OK with who I am and I would not be able to share that journey and knowledge with students and that would be devastating.

Counselling is community

5th July 2020

Today I will be attending some more excellent training, on line, with probably over 500 other counsellors from around the country, maybe even around the globe and that got me thinking about what that actually means to me.

You will often hear that counselling is a lonely business and up to a point that is quite true, in as much as working in private practice means you work alone with your clients and the confidentiality that goes along with the client work means you don't get to talk about your day like your partner/friends/family can talk about theirs - peer supervision really helps with this - but in my experience, if you put yourself out there, that is not actually the case.

I have been very privileged to have been and still am part of some really incredible groups whilst being part of this life, and this started with my training group; what an experience that was!!!

I began my training almost by accident as I found myself redundant and looking for something to do having just recovered from some ill health and I stumbled across the Access to HE (Counselling) course, a year to help me get on a degree should be simple i thought, after all I'm quite bright (ish) and have some life experience (in my early 40s) so I decided to give it a go.  My class were diverse and intense and hilarious and sad and happy and quirky and eclectic and my tutors were the same - and so began my journey of discovery and drama and tears and joy and  ....... then on to the degree!

Wow, that was a thing, what a journey??!!!  Tough was not the word and there were definitely times I thought I should give in, give up, go home, stop deluding myself and there were times my self-esteem was non-existent but as hard and as painful as it was I would not change a thing because at the end I found peace.

That peace has given me the greatest gift, the ability to be open to learn, the ability to joyously and whole-heartedly embrace the people that are in this community with me and really just be part of it. To absorb and be grateful for all the love and care and nurture that these people have given me along with all the wonder at what they do and how they are but the biggest thing they have given me is the community, the sense that I belong and have found my place; and for all of those that have been part of my journey so far and for all of those that I will meet - I thank you and am grateful for you :>

Welcome to Training By Liberty - Theory is your Armour

21st June 2020

I have worked hard and can honestly say since becoming a counsellor that the hard work has never felt less like a chore.  I sometimes work a 7 day week and have my finger on the pulse of the local counselling world (I hope).  But it is so rewarding and so amazing to be part of this world.

My counselling practice is busy and eclectic and exciting and humbling and thoughtful and considered and wonderful in equal measure. My Supervision practice is incredibly rewarding and enlightening and intriguing and nurturing and I am blessed to be able to support such wonderful therapists in the work they do.

So, what about training?  I wasn't going to do any more for a while but as my Level 4 comes to an end I realise the prospect of never doing that again makes me sad.   The Level 4, along with all my other training and workshops, is a course I am extremely proud of not least because I believe it is relevant and interesting and covers aspects of theory that are needed to support going into the world of counselling; because believe me, every piece of armour you have when  you enter that world, is a good thing.

It is interesting to me that as I write this I can see how my continued learning and development has changed me since qualifying.  I completed my degree full of "vim and vigour and pep" about how vital the relationship is to therapy, without a connection  between client and counsellor therapy does not work, I still believe that but counselling is hard, and sad and joyous and debilitating so in order to be present in that relationship I have developed armour.  Clear, permeable armour but armour it is; not for keeping the clients out but for keeping with me my belief that I am doing what's right, being the person I need to be, to allow the client to find themselves without getting in their way - and this armour is made of theory, of learning , of reflecting and continued curiosity.

So as I embark on this next step, continually learning and teaching and being, I find myself excited to be able to help others develop their armour too


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