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.