December 29, 2008

Being Of Service

Can one be of service to others while being selfish at the same time? I have spent the last 20 years hearing about and unfortunately, believing that being a counselor meant living in poverty. The reason you become a counselor, I was always told, is to be of service to others. There is always a chuckle to be had from a crowd of counselors when the idea of being paid for the services you offer is mentioned.

I am struggling with that a lot lately. I have developed a network, continued to learn and grow personally and professionally. I have continued my education far past what is required of the license. As I embark on the practicum class for my graduate degree next week I am challenging my views of service.

I would like to encourage counselors to take care of themselves (because burnout is my big soap box) but I would like to add that in taking care of ourselves we need to place value on the services we provide. Counselors are an important asset to people making changes and moving forward in their lives. Counselors go into combat on the front lines and witness trauma second hand. We deserve recognition for that and it is okay to be paid for that. It is simply a situation where we enjoy and have passion for our career and the day to day work we do.....there isn't anything unreasonable or selfish about that.

Keep on Serving.

1 comment:


You know, you are right about the way we look at service. The crazy thing is that I would do this for free...
Don't get me wrong, I like getting paid to support my family, but I swear there are times that I have thought, "I can't believe they pay me to do this".

Anyways, I do think we should be compensated more for what we do. Most people don't understand what we do. They don't understand the amount of processing we have to do after dealing with the kinds of situations every day. But I still love every minute of it.