Counselling whilst introverted

I’ve been seeing clients for 18 months now. I have over 200 hours of client work and that’s great. I enjoy it a lot. But I do notice that I spend a lot of time ‘making’ myself go- or dreading going. I sat down and picked it apart a bit and I came to it being an introvert. 
I find it hard to meet people- in a group, unless I know people well and have enough in common with them, I’m usually quite quiet when it comes to making conversation- work, I can do. The introvert in me is why I find conversing in sign language (a language I am learning) so hard – I am not a natural ‘joiner’ (unlike one of my partners who thrives on that kind of thing) and would much rather not be talking, but one cannot learn a language without practising – and one cannot practice outside of a classroom unless one has conversations with others- often people unknown. I would rather not do that – so the language-learning is hard. 
Back to counselling, I think what happens is that in my head the thought goes ‘now I have to go do five hours of talking with people’ and that’s *hard*. And it’s been this way since the start- I spent a significant amount of time wondering if I hated counselling, before realising that if I stopped thinking about it like ‘five hours of having to make conversation’ and instead thought about it like it was- ‘five hours of working as a counsellor’, then actually, it wasn’t so hard. Once I remembered that as a counsellor I’m not there ‘to make conversation’, I didn’t struggle as much. 
That’s not to say it’s not still hard to get out of the door sometimes, but that may be more to do with the fact that I also quite like being at home. 🙂

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One thought on “Counselling whilst introverted

  1. Daniel says:

    In existential counselling we sometimes consider the anxiety of the unknown. Each moment we come across is unknown and unexpected. A counselling session is a collection of unknown moments and unknown events. I have noticed myself a slight reluctance before going into a session with a client. If I scan myself deeply it is indeed this anxiety. This is a totally normal way to feel – unless is becomes overwhelming. In fact once you become aware of it, it becomes part of the counselling process. It helps me to remember not to judge a new experience based on the content of the previous session. Each is individual and unknown.
    Anything that helps you become more aware of your self assists us become more in tune with out clients.

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