Since qualifying nearly two years ago, I've done a lot of work - despite being relatively new to the profession. I loved working at Place2Be and helping the children was so rewarding, although there were moments when it was challenging because the children would ask questions about my disability, which I didn't always feel comfortable with.
I learnt to see it as a positive thing in the end as children are naturally inquisitive and were asking questions to get to know me more. I also learnt to acknowledge and put aside any awkward feelings that came when people asked about my disability.
Following on from my work with Place2Be, I've started work with Childline as a volunteer counsellor which I've been nervous about. I'm interested to see how the dynamic of my counselling work changes over time as I'll be supporting young people on the phone and through online chat. I think my attitude towards my disability, and the perceived prejudice of it, will be different as they won't be able to see me. I'm wondering if this experience will help me look at my disability in a more positive light once again,
I'm supporting young people online and by telephone which allows me and the young person to keep part of our identity anonymous. It makes me feel like it's more of a level playing field, because we're not seeing each other in person and therefore aren't able to make judgements about each other before and during a call.
In terms of training, I feel like the pandemic has created opportunities for people to work in a different way. It's been more inclusive with the content being online because members can access tools at any time without worrying about the travel logistics and maybe hotel costs that they had to pay before the pandemic.
That being said, I do value the power of face-to-face training events, in terms of meeting and making new connections in the counselling profession. You're able to engage with people more easily. However, it would be good if events and opportunities continued to be available in different formats going forward because it's opened up a lot of new possibilities for me, for which I'm really grateful.
Views expressed in this article are the views of the writer and not necessarily the views of BACP. Publication does not imply endorsement of the writer’s views. Reasonable care has been taken to avoid errors but no liability will be accepted for any errors that may occur.