It's been almost a year since I began lecturing. What a transition from more than 2 decades of counseling in private practice. Although I still see clients from MY Confidential, my role as a lecturer has taught me many things, to say the least.
As I ponder upon the many personalities I have encountered throughout my private practice, I can't help but notice the similarities in the struggles people bravely face in the process of improving their lives and their selves among my clients as well as those among my students.
Teaching psychology is not easy. Learning psychology, as a student, is a lot harder especially when every lesson makes you look at yourself and your life in different lights. I still remember my own battles with each step I took during my own education. How I resisted to let go of my comfort zone. How I resisted to let go of my filters which were distorted by my own personal traumas and issues. How I was always conscious of my own shortcomings and weaknesses; and how I truly believed that everyone could see my faults as clearly as I saw myself. I was defensive. I was eager to fix myself but at the same time, I was a resistent client. As I began working in private practice and now as a lecturer, I can't deny seeing my own resistance in clients I counseled and students I taught. Their struggles and mine are the same. Fear.
I describe myself as a counseling psychologist who lectures. Somehow, doing this came naturally to me. My approach in counseling have mostly been didactic in nature. Teaching clients to see their selves differently. Educating clients by showing them more effective ways of improving their coping skills. That is what I do. Therefore, I am comfortable in accepting this description of myself as most apt.
So, this is how it feels like to be an educator. There is pure joy when students appreciate what you do for them. There is pure joy in seeing them bloom into potentially superb counselors. There is pure joy in believing that I have a role in them becoming mental health professionals who would go out there and make a difference in the world. Pure joy.