I know that a counselor must not be seen as an authority figure, but rather as a resource that can be tapped like a well; old fashioned water pumps need to have water put into them before they can dispense water, and counseling must be approached in this manner. A student (or parent or teacher or coworker) must feel comfortable with their counselor as a peer as well as a guide in order to develop trust and get the most out of the relationship.
These values have been deeply instilled in me through both positive and negative experiences in my life. As a child in the often overly repressive British school system, I was not offered many constructivist learning opportunities by anyone in the school or community. I wanted to believe that my appointed mentors did in fact have my best interests in mind, but it seemed that all of my concerns fell silently upon closed ears. I never felt heard, or even seen, by my authorities, and I could not imagine how they could offer valid advice if they did not even know who I was or what my situation was. I felt that things should be different, and fortunately around the time I made the decision that I wanted to be involved in education as a career, I was introduced to someone who also felt this way. A young and innovative university student working towards her Ph.
D. was doing research for her dissertation on Theories of Education. She taught me many things about the give and take relationship in a constructivist learning environment, and while I do not necessarily apply a strictly constructivist approach to my relationship with students, I believe that the lessons I learned from her will always be the basis of my approach to counseling. Today I am focusing on incorporating Rogerian techniques to my craft, seeking to help people overcome narrowly defined ideas about what is success. The counselor is not a healer or teacher, but rather a facilitator of healing and of learning that must listen and understand those in need..