Why I Became A Counsellor
The choices, careers and my life experiences all seem to have converged and brought me to the place of becoming a counsellor. Looking back, I realized that the various paths of my life have always seemed to include helping people in some way. One day the path took an unexpected, yet not surprising turn, and I was given the opportunity to do a Masters in Counselling Psychology at UBC.
To tell you the truth, for a while I actually avoided the whole idea of returning to school and changing careers. Once I made the choice, however, I knew that it was definitely the right thing to do.
My desire to support people as a counsellor stems as much from my day to day teaching experiences as a Special Education and ESL teacher in secondary school and my work with adult immigrant populations, as it does from my interest and volunteer work in human rights organizations and Emergency Social Services/Neighbourhood Emergency Personal Preparedness (ESS/NEPP).
I have worked with a wide range of at-risk students and seen how they struggle with a complex variety of personal issues or conditions and learning challenges, ranging from Autism, academic or behavioural difficulties and mental health concerns. I have come to know the questions, concerns and experiences of many local individuals while presenting ESS information sessions and earthquake personal preparedness workshops for community groups in Vancouver. I have learned much through Amnesty International about social justice and human rights. Opportunities to volunteer with ESS (Emergency Social Services) have enabled me to assist with Emergency Reception Centre training operations and Family Reunification procedures during evacuations resulting from natural disasters and other major events (e.g. The Kelowna fires; The Sept 11 event).
These areas of involvement have significantly increased my insight and awareness as to how the lives of individuals and communities can be radically affected by both local circumstances and world events. These opportunities have provided me with insight into the life context of each client; particularly refugee and immigrant populations, and others who have experienced considerable trauma, loss, displacement and relocation due to wars and civil unrest.
These opportunities have all proved invaluable in understanding how both adults and adolescents bring to their work, life or classrooms, the stressors and issues from their homes, communities and relationships. Their struggle to cope with such personal concerns as poverty, abuse, interpersonal conflict, illness, grief, loss or traumatizing events can often profoundly affect their motivation and ability to participate, learn and succeed at work, school or community settings.
My Masters studies and counselling experience have strengthened my ability to support clients of all ages, and also enhanced my consultation and collaboration with families/caregivers, or other professionals and specialists when applicable. As a life-long learner, I continue to expand my knowledge and deepen my practice through reading current materials, attending workshops and conferences and participating in discussions with colleagues. I am particularly interested in further expanding my training in mind-body therapies and the neurological perspectives of post-traumatic stress reactions.
To make changes or find solutions in life can often be difficult, especially if you have been stuck in a problem for awhile – and problems rarely seem to happen just one at a time. That’s when it is helpful to talk to a qualified, supportive counsellor about your concerns and explore your options. I believe that you have within you the strength and resources to overcome the challenges that confront you. In my role as a person-centered therapist, I have had the privilege of hearing the life stories of clients, and I have witnessed men and women access their inner strength, courage and creativity to bring changes they want to their lives. I believe you can have a life free of struggle; you can have a life with more hope, more health, and more joy. When you come to see me we can discuss the issues taht are of greatest concern to you, and together we can explore your options and develop a plan that would help you move toward the goals you want to accomplish.
Please contact me if you would like to make an appointment to begin the process of change.
I look forward to meeting you soon.
– Pamela Bromley MEd RCC CCC