I was recently accepted by a local University to complete my BA in Psychology, with the hope of getting a Masters in Counseling. My goal is to become a Licensed Professional Counselor in the State of Colorado.
The question of why I think I have any business being a counselor with my history of mental illness could come up. Brene Brown gave a great talk about empathy, in which she describes empathy as climbing into a hole with someone who is stuck in said hole, instead of standing outside of the hole looking in. So my response would be, who better to climb into the hole than someone who has been in the hole themselves?
There has been an increase in recognition of mental illness among first responders. Many firefighters, police officers, EMS workers, and military veterans take their own life every day. I have spent the last several years trying to figure out how I can make an impact, not just with first responders, but everyone. This has caused me to think about taking the route of counseling, and I finally am taking the steps.
I know this is not going to be an easy road, but I think it will be worth it. And since my hope is to be a full-time firefighter and part-time (at a minimum) counselor, I don’t think that is going to be smooth sailing either. But this is something I believe in. So let’s see how this goes…