Tuesday, February 10, 2009

In the Belly of the Beast

I just signed up to get trained as a Trauma Counsellor through Trauma Intervention Programs of Portland Oregon. For my MDiv we are being asked to do practicums. I think that means get real and be practical. Its the doing rather than the thinking part of my program.

I tend to get lost in the thinking. I tend to enjoy the thinking. Many of my Marylhurst cohort (the folks I am travelling through the program with) are getting a slightly different degree called Applied Theology. I love the name of that degree and wish my own degree had such a nuts and bolts name. There is something nutty about acquiring a degree called Master of Divinity when one has so many doubts about said Divinity.

However, Trauma Counselling is a nuts and bolts skill of the Minister and I am oddly looking forward to it. Partly because I felt my intuition kick into gear when I read about it in the newspaper. 'I could probably do that' is what I thought. I confess I have been wondering about the pastoral side of ministry. Can I deal with other peoples problems? I feel I have the compassion gene; I am pretty sure I don't have the sympathy gene.

There is a part of me that probably needs a little roughing up, that needs examination, that needs a regular dose of humility, that does not like garden variety people problems. I try not to complain a lot myself, and there must be something in me that just shouts that to the world. People tell me nothing!!! They think I am going to disapprove! I don't think I do that, but sometimes I probably look puzzled, like huh, why are you telling me this. What can I say, I blame my mother. Why not, she doesn't have a computer. But I got to say, I don't think anyone tells her anything either.

I don't think I am going to need sympathy for Trauma Counselling. I think I am going to need empathy. It's scary and I hope I am strong enough for it. It feels a little like going into the belly of the beast. Or rather, like signing up to walk through the valley of the shadow of death.


excavator said...

Have you got any updates on this?

OnlyConnect said...

I had a post that was about the training, which was pretty intense. I was in the middle of the training and then they had a little discussion of confidentiality and the internet. Oops, that night I remove the post.

I have been doing Trauma intervention and its been quite an experience, but I haven't written about it since then. Good writing is specific, that is a problem for a lot of experiences. Its easy to just let it flow on the internet and I can't do that.

I am looking to be a minister, therefore I need to develop strong boundaries.