I bring to my work as a counsellor a rich life experience. Before training as a counsellor, I worked as a teacher of English as a foreign language – teaching mainly adults in Asia and Europe. Living and working in different countries had a profound impact on me, it gave me a broad experience of different cultures, and opened me to how it feels to be and feel different from the norm.
I have also worked for the Scottish Ambulance Service for a number of years, including five years in the control room answering 999 calls. I sometimes thought that I had heard everything – normally just before I took a call describing another unbelievable situation! In this role, I certainly heard people at their most vulnerable. It also means I have first hand experience of working in a high pressure environment. I also have an understanding of some medical and traumatic emergencies, both how they impact us now, and how they impact us over time
Having said all that, I know that we all experience things differently. Both you and I could be in the same situation, and it could affect us both in completely different ways. In my work as a counsellor, I bring my experiences into the room because they have made me who I am now, but I do not bring any assumptions about how your experiences have affected you.