I will admit it – I have had several moments in my past counselling experience where I found myself giving feedback that I, myself, could probably have taken. Whether it was managing negative thinking, using healthier coping skills or just eating more mindfully, I could have “walked the walk” a bit better than I was.
Set boundaries. Set goals. Avoid toxic people. Use “I” statements. Identify your values. Understand and soothe your inner critic. All helpful psychological tools we can use to work towards greater self-awareness and personal growth.
Yet how are WE doing? Yeah, us – the “professionals” who have made personal growth our business.
As far as I’m concerned, we fall on a significantly broad continuum in this regard. Personally, I’ve met counsellors who’ve struggled with addictions, Major Depression Disorder or Bordeline Personality Disorder; presented as highly defensive, passive-aggressive, or traumatized. I’ve heard from clients about various transgressions of boundaries or negligence from their counsellors, and from counsellors about their out-of-control or toxic colleagues.
We’re human. We all make mistakes. But how can we strive to uphold our ethical code of conduct while allowing ourselves an understandable slip now and then? Where do we draw the line so we can honestly say we are doing our best to work in alignment with our values and professional expectations?
*The views expressed by our authors are personal opinions and do not necessarily reflect the views of the CCPA