Have you ever come across a doctor who never falls ill? Who doesn’t need medication or even sometimes a consultation from another doctor? I hardly find this to be a realistic thought. The human being is a very complex creature; there can never be an exact science when it comes to the matters of the mind.
The mind, body, and everything outside of it is so curiously linked together that finding a certain cause and effect relationship would be a dream come true! Having established the strange form of the human mind and body let us first accept that a counselor, too, is a human.
The general expectation that people have from mental health professionals is that they would themselves be in a much better place than the other. This seems to be a fair expectation since it’s their field of expertise. But you see, the thing to keep in mind is the how of their work, not the what. If you understand how a counselor works, you would know that it does not work on pills or magic mantras. The work of a counselor is to “facilitate” the already present psychological mechanisms of their client. Consider this: to change the tire in a car, one needs the help of some mechanism to first lift the car up. Without it, the car would be relatively liftable but with 50 times more the effort. A human is way way more complex than a car. Ze needs a little “push” to get going. One must also keep in mind that we are talking strictly about counselors here. We are not talking about those psychological states where medication and more than just a push is necessary. A counselor’s life is just as anyone else’s. A counselor’s mind absorbs the negative and the positive around themselves much like anyone else. And while there are definitely ways in which they can manage their inner selves more efficiently than those who are not mental health professionals, they too have a threshold and often need the support of other people, sometimes even professional, to remind them of their inner potential! Personally speaking, I happen to be acquainted and aware of a few counselors who are in the field because of their psychological struggles! These are people who wish to help people like them and I feel their personal experience gives them an advantage, a vantage point, to better understand what their client is experiencing.
So, the short version of this endless rant would be, yes. Yes, counselors do need counseling.
To keep up with others, they need to first keep up with their own selves. In fact, the more they care and nurture their inner selves, the more professionally efficient they’d be!
Ms. Alisha Phillips is a qualified counselor, and CBT practitioner. she is also a co-founder of the happiness guide initiative under sangamwasi. she sees herself as an explorer who is on the constant lookout for inspiration. one of the things that inspire her, is the power of human mind! she is an ardent follower of the cognitive behavioural approach & of positive psychology, and wishes to do her tiny part in building a better world through them. she is also an aspiring writer and is a social entrepreneur by profession.