Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Counseling is an Art

When I was running a travel business, I hand-collected information about different suppliers and put together notebooks and lists of names and numbers. That material was always within easy reach, so when someone called to book a trip to Alaska, I had all of the information right there. It made my job a whole lot more manageable, made me look like I really knew what I was doing, and saved them time because they didn’t have to make a bunch of different calls looking for the same info. Of course, I had to update my material every year as prices and dates would change, companies would change ownership or go out of business, and new companies would be added. But what I’m getting at is I know how rewarding it can be to have scrapbooked your own collection of specialized information that is highly relevant to your industry. In this class we are getting a start on our Substance Abuse Counselor’s scrapbook of information.

Tonight we went over the six dimensions of assessment again and then we learned about levels of care. I am printing the information now. Encouraging us to collect and save this info, our teacher made the observation that although this is a short class, it is giving us more time to dive in and learn than we would on the job. She also said “counseling is an art” meaning the more we have a chance to use the assessment tools on the job, the easier it will be for us to work with clients and see what needs to be done to best help them.

Our teacher and other classmates have been able to enhance the class material with information gleaned from on-the-job experience. This has been pretty helpful to me, since I am new to this field.