What I have learnt in the Master of Social Sciences in Counseling
Since I have graduated from Bachelor of Social Work in 2001, I worked as a case work social worker to handle the youth. Having spent five years working with the youth at-risk, I started my study on the Master of Social Sciences in Counseling in City University of Hong Kong. The course provided opportunities for me to deepen and broaden the knowledge and skills to an advanced level. And the practicum inspired me so much. It not only provided a chance for me to integrate and apply counseling theories and skills in real setting in-depth, it also promoted my knowledge, attitude and skills to be a well-trained counselor. It promoted my self-confidence and awareness on counseling work. Social service environment faces a great change in the new century, not only in quantity, but also quality. It is important to provide a better service to the public. I am grateful that my postgraduate study has given me a more solid theoretical foundation and promoted my personal qualities and professional skills as a counsellor. These are the key elements for facing the new challenging era.
There is a poem in the lecture notes that impresses me much: “We hear but we do not listen, we listen but we do not comprehend, we comprehend but we do not understand, we understand but we do not see it that way.” Counseling is an art of conversation, comprising listening and telling. But does the counselor really listen to the client, or only hear the voice? Therefore, a “Not Knowing” attitude is really important (Anderson, 1995) which provides a space with the client to express and a worker to listen. From tradition to post-modernism, there are many different therapies. Counseling is, therefore, a lifelong learning process. I am glad that this course have given me an opportunity to have a deep reflection. What I want to conclude is that counseling is not focusing on solving a client’s problem, but to co-construct the reality with the client.
Peggy Sin (Master of Social Science in Counselling, City University of Hong Kong)