The Counsellor in a Reflective Mood – Thoughts on the CCPA Conference

Posted by: Dawn Schell on June 15, 2012 1:39 pm

It was Sunday morning of the conference, and I was in  Roberta Neault’s session on “Counsellors’ Career Journeys”. Roberta said [hoping I’m recalling accurately], “I encourage you all to set aside time on Monday to reflect on what you learned at this conference”. After all that was the theme – Reflecting on self and practice. And the past few days had given me much to reflect on through those who spoke in both the concurrent and plenary sessions and those I met and talked with inbetween sessions – new inspiring ideas, fresh perspectives, challenges, affirmations, salutary reminders to be purposeful in my work and intriguing possibilities to explore.

I resolved to do exactly what Roberta suggested.  Set aside time on Monday to reflect on the conference. And I did.  I sat down, reviewed my notes from all the sessions and gathered up my swirling thoughts.  This conference was unique in my experience in that I feel it spoke to my mind, heart and spirit.  Thank you again to the CCPA and the organizing committee.

Here’s some of what stood out to me.

I was reminded of the enthusiasm, energy and excitement those who are new to the profession bring.  Counselling in Canada has a bright future indeed if the students I met at the conference are any indication.

Marc Gervais, Jeffrey Kottler and Judith Jordan  (whose plenary sessions dovetailed so well) emphasized – The work we do is about compassion, it’s about caring, it’s about connection, it’s about love [pulling all three together].  Love?  Jeffrey Kottler said it’s not a word we use in conjunction with counselling. 

Phrases that stood out to me from those talks:

“Trust in the relational process of helping others” 

“Who I am as a person is as important as what I do”

“We are hardwired for connection”

“Listening and empathy heal isolation and disconnection”

Jeffrey Kottler’s session on “Changing People’s Lives While Transforming Your Own” – exploring ways in which our clients can be our most valuable teachers was profoundly moving for me.   His story about his own journey and his work with Nepali girls and his statement that ‘sometimes our service chooses us’ struck a deep chord.

As with other rich learning experiences it will take a while to fully process all that I have learned.  I will continue to reflect on and apply what I have learned in my practice, in my research and in my own career journey and service.

Dawn Schell, MA, CCC, CCDP is an affiliate of Worldwide Therapy Online Inc.  http://www.therapyonline.ca




*The views expressed by our authors are personal opinions and do not necessarily reflect the views of the CCPA

0 comments on “The Counsellor in a Reflective Mood – Thoughts on the CCPA Conference”

  1. Linda Thompson says:

    Connection, grounding & formation on the www!!! Beam us up Scotty. I used to say this and laugh along with clients ( to ease the distress), in the 1980’s while we travelled down some tough, scary roads they were travelling to survive.

    I remain in awe, post-conference and as Dan said to me – ‘On Fire’ – yes, I remain so excited about all the people I was suppose to meet and did, all I heard & the distant whispers of groundbreaking initiatives occuring with counsellors across Canada.

    This is the 1st Blog Site I am uttering my words on which was my goal at the conference – to step out, to bravely connect with other counsellors across Canada on a Blog site. I did it today and this still seems/feels surreal in light of my counselling legacy.

    The counselling road I travelled was not often travelled and for so long I walked alone with the people I served. So, now that I have taken these big steps and leaps (Blog Site/Cybercounselling), am working with Dan to officially launch and get me out there, I am content in the knowing that what you give is what you get or what goes around comes around and so much came around to me, at this my first CCPA Conference, that my heart is overflowing and I am content.

    This underground trauma counsellor came to, was in and came out of this conference simply blessed on many levels just being in the presence of you all and being able to participate in this golden years opportunity for me.

    It will be my sustained privilege to continue to serve across Canada. Thank you all for being way out there for me way over here and as I am not very techno savy (big leaning curve now), and wanted to know – is Blog an acronym for something and does anyone know the meanings behind the b-l-o-g letters put together. I like to know the meaning of words (depth psychology – levels of conversation), so as I have just etched myself (my words) on this Blog Site – Counselling Connect, will these first words I have uttered and shared remain an imprint on this site for some time, all time? Who refreshes, aires, cleans out – manages/takes care of this our counsellor words connector Blog site?

    My inquiring mind wants to know exactly what I am getting into as this is foreign land for me as the trauma will travel counsellor based on Canadian soil is about to be launched into the airwaves of the www – Counsellor Connect – who knew!!!!

    Forty six years ago at the launch of my career in the helping professionals, I was trying to survive all the Freudians practicing out there and surrounded me.

    This is a big step and move for me to take and complete today. I did it and I thank you all for being in this precious space with me as you read these words in your now! Regards Linda Thompson

  2. Roberta Neault says:

    I’m glad I inspired reflection, Dawn, and, more important, that you took action! I agree, it was an amazing conference!

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