Absolutely not, I have no professional counselling qualifications at all and no intention of acquiring any. In some ways advice giving is the very antithesis of counselling. A good counsellor seeks to help an individual to form their own conclusions. Giving advice is much more about offering solutions. Its important to know your own limitations both as a witch and as a person and I can tell you honestly that I have too much ego to make an effective counsellor. I’m also too fond of the quick fix solution whereas a lot of people who go into therapy don’t need answers thrown at them, they need time, patience and gentle guidance. I’m not the best person to ask for that!
I am however in the unique position of being able to offer advice based purely on my own perspective. As a teacher, coach, counsellor, priest, therapist, whatever… there are very strict rules of conduct. I’d never get away with some of my politically incorrect solutions. I deal much more in cutting through the red tape of convention and coming up with solutions that actually work, even if they are occasionally a bit frowned upon socially. I can (and frequently do…) say the things that other people are forced to shy away from. If I ever committed to a formal body I would have to give up a lot of my common sense practicality and I don’t want to do that. I might consider mentoring from a craft perspective but it would be totally unreasonable for me to take on someone with emotional or mental problems as I would be preventing them from seeking the help of people who can offer more than I can.
Incidentally, I have a great respect for mental health therapists, many of my close friends have benefited from therapy at one time or another and I’m always happy to direct anyone who comes to me toward the medical profession if warranted. Like I say, you’ve got to know your own strengths and weaknesses and this just isn’t a field that I think I would be a success in.
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