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counsellors and ‘belonging’

Friday, January 25th, 2008 @ 9:30 am
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Posted in  Personal Process, Quotes

A main theme is my research is the whole issue of ‘up-rootedness’ and belonging or not, as a result of having the experience of living outsied one’s original culture, or even in one’s own culture, in more existential and culture-related terms. This is something i deeply experience also, this sense of not belonging anywhere, this question of what is my place in the world, where home is, where i feel comfortable etc. It is as if many cultures live within me and in each geographical area i am in, with the cultural elements, attitudes etc it brings, some different feelings are triggered, around comfort or discomfort, belonging or non-belonging. My supervisor sent me this thought below today, which is not only reassuring but also explains something that is relevant to the professional choice of becoming a counsellor. He wrote:
“We are counsellors because we don’t belong, we live on the edge and potentially can then empathise with people from other cultures. That is the resource within us that could be taped into for cross cutlural work. The other resoruce is our (child like) curiosity of the Other”

So, i see two skills being crucial in cross-cultural work, amongst many others. Those are: the capacity to exist in liminal spaces, out of comfort zones and therefore empathise with this sense of disrupted ‘at home-ness’ and the other one is having a balanched curiosity.

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