Part of the curriculum for School, and Community and Mental Health Counseling students entails being a part of a small counseling group scheduled during the Group Counseling course. It allows for us to be on the other end of the clinical field so that we’re clients and members of the groups that we’re learning how to facilitate.

Well last night was our final class meeting and final small group session (since presentations bring our semester to a close). We spent the class and final session reflecting on the working stage of our groups and what we got out of the experience regarding professional AND personal growth.

Now, I certainly can’t speak for the the other group that I wasn’t a part of, nor can I speak on behalf of the other members in my group, but personally it took me until probably last week to see the more defined aims and  growth that had been taking place in my group. Normally that would have made me uneasy from the start, but when I reflected on it – I realize I wasn’t bothered by the ambiguity of the direction solely because of how cohesive our group had become and the genuineness of feedback whenever a group member chose to self-disclose.

We had become a group of colleagues with very intimate relationships based on the details we chose to share with the other members and our facilitator. We had also become friends outside of class and those relationships translated into the life of the group. And though we all have classes together, saying goodbye to the group life specifically and elaborating on how much of an upset to our weekly schedule it was going to be to NOT have these scheduled meetings to use as a kind of “accountability check” resulted in us realizing that we’ll have to work out our own self-disclosure and support system following the final session in the weeks and months ahead.

So to close the session, we filled out a quick evaluation for Ms. Murawski, our wonderful facilitator, received adorable personalized cards, then tracked down a random student in the hallway and asked him to take a picture of our group. We’re proud of what we accomplished and not afraid to show our membership. This experience was incredibly beneficial to my life as a counselor-in-training and on a personal level – I wouldn’t trade it for the world.

(*This picture was posted with permission from all featured.)

With hope,