The one real mistake we can make in life is to not learn from missteps and challenges that come our way.
In fact, it is in the missteps and challenges where we learn the fullest and become better persons. I believe that with all my experience and training, I am best in helping people know themselves, and understand and learn from their vulnerabilities. And, for me, there’s no better field to be at than community counseling.I had a middle-class upbringing, with both parents in civil service careers.
My mother was a schoolteacher while my father was a county supervisor. This imbibed in me the ideals of hard work and civic duty. I believed that we should all give back to our communities, whenever we get the chance.Early in my life, I was already working to support myself and others.
From high school to college, I took on part-time jobs like grocery store clerk and office assistant in the university’s athletic department. I volunteered for home building and renovation projects, and participated in charity events like fundraisings.I worked as psychotherapist in a few community clinics after college. On my free time, I volunteered at the local high school and worked as guidance counselor.
I found several successes through this period, working with troubled individuals, and these strengthened my conviction that I am in the right field.I have begun work as drug and alcohol counselor at a local counseling center. I teach people to begin rebuilding their lives by owning up to mistakes and starting over. The hardest part in this work is instilling in people that there is nothing to be ashamed about, and that they should not let frustrations overpower their commitment to change.
With my involvements, I have come to realize how our legal and social care system needs to change as well. Drug offenders are imprisoned and then released without rehabilitation alternatives. Recidivism is high among these individuals and thus, creates bigger social and criminal problems. The conservative attitude of punishing offenders turns a blind eye to real emotional and psychological problems that can be addressed and can help curb drug abuse.
As counselor, one of my goals is to seek legislative reform for drug-related criminal offenses.I want to pursue graduate studies as the next step to becoming an active clinician and candidate for doctoral work. My focus will remain in community counseling as there is still so much work to do, particularly in economically depressed areas. I feel that the lack of support and proper education in these areas.
My long-term goal is to become an educator, and train people to become counselors. I expect that things won’t come easy – there may be no financial rewards ahead and this type of work can tax even the toughest hearts. Yet, I envision the health and success of my community. I look forward to further educating myself and improving my capacity to help.
There is no greater duty for me than to be an advocate for my patients.