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Jennifer Lingbaoan

MA, Practicum Student

What is your favourite thing about working closely with people every day?

Bearing witness to the way a person lights up as they speak about someone or something they care about deeply, or when I describe all of the milestones I have seen them accomplish, are hands down a few of my favourite things about working closely with people. I think that sometimes, counselling can be mistaken as a space where one can only discuss heavy and difficult topics. However, I believe that we are also there to hold space for the things that give folks joy, a sense of purpose, and fulfillment, while celebrating what our clients have been able to do both in and out of sessions.

What is a personal challenge that you have overcome in your own life?

Several years ago, I had gotten into a pretty bad car accident that left me in a constant state of hyperarousal, panic attacks, and experiencing intense anxiety around being in any kind of vehicle. I was always terrified and absolutely exhausted in the days following the accident. With the encouragement of family and friends, I was able to reach out to a counsellor and attended counselling for the first time. Although it was nerve-wracking to reach out and challenging to work through these issues, I would not have had it any other way. My counsellor (and her sweet dog!) helped me process what had happened, how it affected me, and provided me with tools to not only work with my anxiety but to rebuild my confidence as a driver again.

What have you learned from your work?

People are resilient beings and regardless of how well (or not) certain approaches serve them, they have found ways to cope and get to where they are today – even before they met with a counsellor! I believe that our role as counsellors is to explore the ways in which folks can foster their resilience by sharpening their current tools and adding to their toolbox.