بسم الله و الحمد لله والصلاة والسلام على رسول الله
This past week, I saw my first clients.
Being in the therapist’s chair felt entirely natural and comfortable for me. What was the most challenging part was remembering all of the logistics involved with the session: handing out and going through the informed consent process with the client, getting the documents signed, keeping my eye on the clock to time the session (while hoping the client didn’t notice), remembering to discuss new things that the client could try until the next session, collecting the payment and issuing a receipt and then, after the client left, refining the session notes as soon as I could before forgetting important points.
Aside from the filing and photocopying, as well of other logistical things, I can certainly say that I enjoyed my first real experiences in counselling. I had been so worried about what I would say, or how I would honour my theoretical orientation(s) to couselling, but once the session was underway, I found myself relaxing; indeed, it became more important for me to focus on building rapport with the client, and validating their experiences as much as I could.
The crazy thing, however, is that for the past week or so, I’ve had the flu. I’m still amazed that I was able to get through the sessions while feeling, to put it lightly, miserable. As I’m still getting back to health, I realized the importance of personal health when conducting therapy. The healthier I feel, the more that I can be emotionally available for the client.
I also have had a handful of supervision hours so far; I was matched with my supervisor due to our approaches to therapy. I’ve already benefited so much from her wisdom and advice. She has a really calm demeanour, and is the first person I’ve ever met who literally thinks before they speak. She isn’t afraid of silence, which has drawn my attention to certain things about myself.
Apart from the practicum placement, I have two papers due this month, an online component to complete, and a new course that I’ll be starting next month, iA, which may or may not have pre-course assignments.
I keep telling myself that one day, all of this will be very worth it. InshaAllah it will!
P.S. Call it Qadr, but my office happens to have a calendar featuring Islamic architecture from around the world. You can only imagine how I felt when I walked in the first day and saw “Allah” and “Muhammad” in Arabic staring back at me. Everywhere I go, His remembrance remains present :)!
And Allah (SWT) knows best,