Counselling, what’s it like? Interview with Aysha

Our volunteer counsellors Aysha and Nicole both became fully qualified counsellors at the start of the year, completing their Diploma in Integrative Counselling, and we’re sad to say they will soon be leaving us! We want to thank them both so much for their time, dedication and expertise and we have asked them a few questions about their work to mark the occasion. Onwards and upwards!

How long have you been volunteering as a SATEDA counsellor for?

Around 1 year.

What has volunteering for SATEDA taught you? (in general, about domestic abuse, about your profession, about yourself, etc).

Learning to build relationships with my clients by a simple but important technique, listening and empathising. I’ve grown as an individual by learning with my clients. It has also taught me to be self-aware of what’s mine and what the client brings in to the session.

How would you describe the role counselling plays in the healing journey for women who have experienced domestic abuse?

As an integrative counsellor I was able to tailor accordingly to my clients’ process to heal and grow from their experiences. Most of my clients had a broken self-esteem, were traumatised or had shattered trust. Counselling sessions aim to help them discover skills and improve coping strategies to better respond to reminders and emotions associated with the traumatic event. Some of these skills include anxiety management and relaxation/mindfulness strategies. Self-compassion, reflection, growing resilience and journaling are different processes of healing I have seen in my clients. 

What challenges have you faced in this role?

Occasionally, there are clients who are not willing to open up due to fear of being judged, or because it’s too painful to talk about. It’s then that I have to challenge myself to not give up on them by gently reminding the ethic of counselling to them and myself.

What have you been most proud of in this role?

To see a client grow is a proud moment for the counsellor. One of my clients in her last session said “I was existing before, now I will live my life”.

What’s next, now that you are fully qualified?

To find a job, no more courses in the pandemic.  

Three things you’re grateful for?

Supervision, support from SATEDA (Carey, Mary, Gavin) and my family.