- What forged your interests in the counseling field? What are some influences on your movement in the field? Why are you interested in this field?
- When you think of the field, do you conceptualize a specialization—an area, populations, or environments you might work in?
- What are some of the key transferable skills that you see from your other work, life experiences, or life roles that can help support your work in the field?
- What kind of work do you hope or expect to be doing after completing your Capella program?
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Counselors help their clients identify goals and to give potential solutions to emotional problems, improve communication and coping skills, to strengthen self-esteem by promoting behavior change and mental health (American Counseling Association, 2019). Psychology deals with the diagnosing and testing for various disorders and what steps to put in place to help, while social work deals with case management to help the client receive the different services that he or she needs. Counselors help clients in identifying goals to promote solutions to their problems and help them get through tough times. It is more focused on the client rather than figuring out what is wrong with them or finding the services they need and by listening and giving advice (Mellin, Hunt, & Nichols, 2011). At one point or another, I have looked into each one of these fields. Working as an S.R.O. (School Resource Officer), allowed me to talk to children and help them to find solutions to their problems. S.R.O.’s work on a three-tier model. As a law enforcement agency, it is necessary to enforce laws. Second, the educator tier, teaching law-related classes, such as D.A.R.E. (Drug Abuse Resistance Education). Lastly, the counseling tier and, it is the favorite part of the job. Moreover, we can talk to the children and build a positive relationship with them. By making a positive difference in these children’s lives has made me feel good about what I did. However, it is tiring when I am on the law enforcement side of the equation comes out, which includes breaking up families due to arrests or the children are not being cared for properly. I am interested in this field because I want to work with children and the best perks about my current job is talking and listening to them. Moreover, I have learned that this is a rewarding career path. The elementary school I work in is a rural and lower income area. I feel that I would like to stay in this kind of environment because it is where I am most needed. Also, I have worked with older children during summer camps that the sheriff department puts on every summer. I find that if you can reach children at a younger age, it is easier to get them on the right path by offering alternate solutions. Moreover, once children get to a certain age where they are looking for somewhere to belong, gangs snatch them up and the mindset of the child changes, and it is much harder to reach them. We, as counselors, want to get children on the right path from an early age and offer different solutions such as to go to after-school programs, sports team, clubs or camps that they can join. In Travis Hirschi (2001) book, Causes of Delinquency, he says if a student feels more capable of doing well in school, the student will find school more tolerable and more useful for his future. Therefore, if we can reach students and help them do well in school and can curve the rate of delinquency. Catching these students at an early age, creating good study habits, and believing in them will go a long way. Growing up, I went to a small private school, which did not have a school counselor, and my first interactions with a school counselor is when I was in high school. She helped me figure out what I needed to go to college and gave me options. Now, I work closely with two school counselors both have different approaches to this career. One tends to call out the student in front of everyone. I do not agree with this method because it is crucial for students to hear, listened to, and is an excellent way to build strong relationships. I believe having an open-door policy when it comes to helping the students with their problems. The other school counselor, on the other hand, has a different approach to school counseling, she listens to the children but holds them accountable for their actions. It is harder for her to build relationships because she splits her time between two schools. The students are not her friends, but she respects them and does what is best for them. As I am walking the hallways, I encounter students walking around asking to come to hang out with me and make sure they are all right or if this is the only way they know how to ask for help. Most of the time, they are just trying to get out of work. I am not the kind of guy who sits in his office waiting for things to come to me. I am proactive and try to find the problems hidden under the surface. It is easy for students to open up to me when the situation is not about them fearing about getting in trouble. I have built many positive relationships with the students at my school by just listening to them and giving them high fives. With this degree, I will plan to work as a school counselor in an elementary school setting. I know there are unpleasantries that this position holds, but those do not outweigh the positives that come from this profession. As I get into school counseling, I will be able to help students and families alike and seeing them grow and prosper and able to help them on their way to a successful life as a contributing member to society. There will be times when I have to make tough decisions, but these problems will not discourage me from this profession. Every child deserves a chance to grow. I want to help children, and I can do it with this degree.