Sylvan’s Thoughts on Counseling and SWC
What is it that makes Southwestern so special, stimulating and inspiring? What makes New Mexico the land of enchantment? How did each one of us end up here? I have been asking myself these questions since landing here just a few months ago. To begin to tap into these questions and answers, I started interviewing new students at SWC. Through this process, I learned more about the unique and enriching student body and culture at SWC. Below are excerpts from my interview with Sylvan, a coffee-drinking, considerate and enthusiastic counseling student. To hear the whole interview, click on his name.
Me: What are your initial impressions of Southwestern College?
Sylvan: The teachers, for one, are very passionate about what they do. You can tell that they are not burnt out and that they are excited to be here. Almost all of the teachers work in the field…the material, it runs really deep. It is not just a journey of knowledge…it’s an internal, personal journey. It is starting to open me up in ways that I did not think would happen in the first month of school.
Me: Do you care to share any of the ways you feel you are opening up or transforming?
Sylvan: Yeah, sure. So far, it really helps me look at my own childhood and development and the things I have been attached to. It helps me look at my own mindfulness and the language I use, how I view the world and why I want to do counseling.
Me: Why did you choose to study counseling, what does it mean to you?
Sylvan: I have this belief that through adversity in life, we are given our greatest gifts… I had grown up in a family with a lot of mental illness and I feel that through therapy and through studying psychology…I was given a gift to be able to help others through their adversity and to help them through a similar transformation (from what I went through) with healing. After getting a Bachelors of Science in Psychology…I wanted a holistic view, not just a mind machine model… I wanted holistic training to develop the gift I was given through my own experiences. I feel that it is not only a way to have meaning in my life and a job that I am passionate about, but it’s also a way that I can give back to the community and create something special with the adversity I went through. The reason I chose Southwestern College is because it feels more like a home of wisdom…
Me: At this point, I know it is early on and it might shift, but do you have some ideas about populations of people you may want to work with?
Sylvan: Working with adolescents and young adults is what I am passionate about.
Me: From your studies, what are you ruminating most on right now?
Sylvan: The idea of having a strong foundation of boundaries within yourself…you can plunge into the abyss with the patient, yet you can still be very grounded, very safe and present.
Me: Is there anything else you’d like to say?
Sylvan: It is a calling (counseling, Southwestern College). This is a really special place. You’ll get an education here like no other. I highly recommend you come out here and visit the campus and experience it for yourself.
* For the full story, including other students perspectives, click here
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