Counselors are such a vital part of Regent University. They give a voice to the voiceless and relationship to the lonely.
The American Counseling Association has made April “Counseling Awareness Month.” The ACA is calling the month a time to celebrate the counseling profession, showcase the important work counselors do in communities nationwide, and educate the public about the many ways in which all types of counselors empower others to live more fulfilling lives.
Since September, I have had the pleasure of working with the counselors and interns in Regent’s Counseling Services as an undergrad intern and student worker. This position has by far been the best job I have ever had. For starters, the only coffee I’m making is for myself. That’s a pretty sweet deal for an intern. Also, having a dog in the counseling office helps to get over the feeling of being psychoanalyzed every few moments. While this can be fun to joke about, the people in this office are an awe-inspiring group of counselors. Their devotion and care for clients show in their hard work and commitment to improving. They come in early and many times stay late. They are constantly learning and helping each other grow so that they can ensure the welfare of their clients.
Many times people have an unrealistic view of counselors and the counseling profession. There are too many Hollywood cliches portraying counselors of being old, emotionless, and dull; while the patient is laying on the couch spilling their deepest secrets. This is hardly an accurate picture of counseling or any other form of psychological care.
First of all, Freud is dead and no one likes him.
Secondly, counselors don’t just sit there. They fight with you. They jump in the water with you and help you learn how to swim. They are teammates, coaches, and the really obnoxious mom on the sideline that doesn’t know the meaning of the word “chill” all in one. Counselors are people who have literally dedicated their lives to making sure other people are equipped to make it through life. As we all know, life is tough.
Counselors are here for those struggling with mental illness. They are here to help those with the invisible sicknesses. They are here to help them fight. They are someone who can listen to your thoughts and let you know you’re not on your own. They are also here for the people that are so stressed they can’t see straight. For the one who just lost a loved one. For the one who wants a better relationship with their roommate or the one who just wants a relationship. They are the best listeners you will ever find. They are indiscriminate and gracious. They are motivators, mentors, and advisors.
So, I would like to say thank you to the Counseling Services staff. Thank you for all you have done for this campus. For helping the students make it through life. Thank you for your presence, kindness, willingness, healing powers and joyful presence. You are vital to this campus.
To the counselors who have made the life-changing impact for family members, friends off-campus who are struggling with mental illness, and whatever else life has thrown at them, thank you. Thank you for the lives you have helped save and repair. Thank you for the sacrifices you have made to help others thrive in a world that makes it hard to stand up some days.
Carey Judy is a contributor to The Daily Runner.