I just returned from attending three days counselling conference in Bali. Among the various talks and workshops, two things particularly stood up:
The sacred call of counsellors as minister of reconciliation.
The sacred trust that our clients entrust to us.
The speaker mentioned three types of reconciliation, and one of them is reconciliation with the self. In my work with trauma survivors, I meet clients who feel guilty for their trauma. The sense of guilt leads to self-blame and self-resentment. I work with my clients to recover from a sense of guilt and self-blame. It often takes sometimes for them to move from a place of self-loathing towards the area of self -compassion, but it is one of the essential aspects of their recovery journey.
It is not easy for the trauma survivors who have been emotionally abused by the loved ones to trust people, especially strangers. Therefore, I consider it a privilege when my clients entrusted me to facilitate their recovery journey. It is, indeed, a sacred trust.
I don't see myself as deserving to be trusted by my client just because I am a professional. But instead, it is a trust that I need to earn to assure my clients that it is safe to be vulnerable with me. The sacred secret they shared with me is to be received and process delicately, to start my clients' recovery journey with lasting positive impact.
Friends sometimes commented, "It must be hard listening to problem every day". Strangely, I don't find it hard, I find it enlightening. The learning is two way. My client learns from me, and I learn from them too. And it is always a joy when I see them move from a place of helplessness to the position of being hopeful again. From the place of brokenness to being a restored piece, and restored peace.