The choice to become a couple and family therapist is an adventuresome decision, based upon many experiences in your life. It is also a decision to work within the context of relationships.
In this discussion, you will use the experience privileging questions listed below to reflect on the experiences and relationships in your life that contribute to your desire to be a couple and family therapist. The purpose of these questions is to encourage your self-reflection; your self-awareness of these contributing factors; and your recognition of the strengths, wisdom, and inspiration you bring to this field.
These questions call forth your story, or how you see your life and experiences. The approach of being curious about an individual’s story is consistent with how couple and family therapy is accomplished. Curiosity is one of the hallmarks of the systemic interview. In this perspective, both your story and clients’ stories are acknowledged, validated, and illuminated. This perspective is in contrast to the traditional, that is normative, framework that emphasizes distinctions between healthy and not healthy categories of thinking and behavior.
Review the Carlson and Erickson article, "Honoring and Privileging Personal Experience and Knowledge," from your studies for this unit. Respond to at least five of the following questions, which have been drawn from the article. Use discernment in your responses.
Experience Privileging Questions
What experiences from your life do you think invited you into this field of counseling?
What was it that brought you into this field of couple and family therapy?
What are your sincere desires and hopes for becoming a couple and family therapist?
What personal experiences in your life nurtured these desires?
How do you think this desire, for example, to care for others, developed in your life?
What do you think these desires say about you as a person? Do you think these desires represent certain qualities or values that you hold?
How do you see these desires helping your work with others?
What do you think your friends and family would identify as qualities you have that will benefit you in your work as a therapist?
What skills or abilities of relating and helping others have you developed in your life?
Looking into the future, how would you like to see yourself as a couple and family therapist?
Carlson, T. D., & Erickson, M. J. (2001). Honoring and privileging personal experience and knowledge: Ideas for a narrative therapy approach to the training and supervision of new therapists. Contemporary Family Therapy, 23(2), 199220.
Respond to the posts of two of your peers by highlighting and validating their personal strengths. Point out the gifts they bring into the profession of couple and family therapy.
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