Every family and group of friends has their own unofficial counsellor. Someone who is amazingly good at listening, offering fantastic advice, and making everyone around them feel comfortable and able to talk about whatever is on their minds. As it turns out, people like that can use their skills to change lives.
Most professional counsellors would say that in some ways, they had been counselling others all their lives, even before formal training. Some people are just drawn to it.
And why not? Selflessness feels good. Helping people cope with life is incredibly rewarding and many people who choose this career have always known it was their calling.
Here’s the reality: Even though many people have the right intention and desire to help others, they lack the training to do it effectively and ethically. This can put the people they’re trying to help in harm’s way. But that doesn’t mean the right skills can’t be learned.
Say hello to Stenberg College’s Counselling Therapist Diploma. But first, let’s talk about the power of listening.
Literally everyone in the world has had at least one awful day. (At least.) Sometimes life just sucks. Bad days (or months, or years) are inevitable, but no one said you have to go through it alone.
Counsellors provide an invaluable service to their clients by listening to their problems and dilemmas. Instead of giving advice on how to change or fix things, counsellors let their clients simply be themselves. In a therapist’s office, all judgments are out the door and clients are in a neutral environment to talk about anything and everything on their mind. The goal is to find healthy solutions that work for them.
We talked about the role of a counsellor with Dr. Faizal Sahukhan, who has been working in this field for over 20 years. In fact, he’s one of few counsellors in Canada specializing in sex therapy and multicultural romance.
“I believe clients have the answers they seek. They’re just in this emotionally-compromised place where they can’t see that. My job as the counsellor is to ensure they feel heard, understood and empathized within a safe environment. That safety leads to clarity, and that clarity is what the clients need to make the right decisions for themselves,” says Dr. Faizal Sahukhan.
As an experienced professional, Dr. Sahukhan wears many hats and sincerely loves every aspect of his work. In addition to being an instructor of Stenberg’s Counselling Therapist Diploma program, he’s the author of the advice column, Dear Dr. Faizal, published bi-weekly in Star Metro Vancouver.
We asked Dr. Sahukhan what success as a counsellor meant to him. “There are stages of success. It’s just a matter of growing with your practice. As your practice grows, you grow as well. In this sense, when you invest in your environment, you’re investing in yourself and in your clients. This can be a lucrative career.”
He says that the greatest reward as a counsellor is “when you witness the ‘aha’ moments. This happens when there’s a breakthrough and it completely changes the client’s life for the better. And that’s something that motivates me to help more.”
So, let’s go back to the ‘unofficial’ counsellor in your life. The right program can help them fine-tune their skills so they can help others get their ‘aha’ moments. Stenberg’s professionally-recognized Counselling Therapist Diploma program will train them to be the best versions of themselves and give them a toolkit filled with strategies and tactics to help their clients.
In just under two years, students learn about therapeutic modalities, neuroscience, practicing self-care, and so much more. They also have the opportunity to apply their learning through role-playing exercises and an integrated counselling practicum to help real people in real-life situations.
Don’t hold back, share this article with your ‘unofficial’ counsellors so they can do the work they were meant to be doing. Visit Stenberg College to find out more about the Counselling Therapist Diploma program.