As It Is or As I Am – the Art of Becoming

A journey … towards … being

Last Experiental Group at BCC

Yesterday had our final class and experiential group at the Berkshire Counselling Centre. Interesting night. The class time consisted mainly of note taking and suicidal clients. Seems an immense responsibility to have a client who is suicidal. J our teacher, who is also a supervisor, talked of a counsellor she supervises, having a client who was suicidal. They’d worked together for some months, had what appeared to be a great session, then the client didn’t appear for the next session and it turned out that the day following their previous session the client had committed suicide. J talked of the guilt that a counsellor can feel – “Why did I not recognise the symptoms”, etc. She also pointed out that each client has their autonomy – they put the tablets in their own mouths, they drink the alcohol, etc. – the counsellor did not force the client to do so. Even so, it must take some time to get over the feelings that will present if a client does commit suicide. J talked of a client she had who she knew was suicidal, having made one attempt. Since she had continued seeing him for a while – one day he phoned her saying “I’m going to do it now”. J managed to talked him into going to see his GP, who J called and explained the situation. The client drove to see his GP, who arranged for the client to go into full time care. After the counselling had concluded, J, months later, saw the client in a gym, where he gave her a thumbs up, as if to say he was doing fine.

Raises thoughts and feelings of whether it is right to interfere with a client who really wants to end their life and as to whether anyone who makes such a statement and attempt is really aware of what they are doing? Perhaps someone who is suffering a debilitating illness does?

There were no shows of emotions at the ending. Indeed I felt very comfortable at the course concluding. Maybe feelings will be more open when we meet this Friday to receive our certificates. I’ve enjoyed the course but am keen to start the Diploma in September. Much reading to be done before then. Ian has expressed interest in applying for the BCUC course.

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