Tag Archives: counselor


It is not uncommon when faced with what appears to be an insurmountable change of circumstance to feel overwhelmed or helpless. This can be a sudden change in career, the unforeseen end of a relationship, death of a loved one, or some other traumatic event that has left you feeling alone, sad or unworthy of happiness.

People seek counseling who suffer from depression or a deep sense of feeling blue are unable to get a grip on the everyday activities or have the inability to find any reasonable sense of joy in life.

One may discover that they are feeding their lack of self esteem with bad food, drugs, alcohol, excessive sleep or may be struggling with addictions either on a short-term or long-term basis.

licensed-professional-counselor-peer-counselor-lay-counselor-life-coach-consultant-choices-challenges-changesAnother reason to seek counseling would be to the realization that you are not the person that you want to be or living the life that you had previously envisioned for yourself.

Counseling can help one to get a grip on their current state of affairs and map a course to recovery or increase happiness, higher personal performance or satisfaction.

Those seeking to deal with life’s challenges, choices or changes will see out a professional counselor, peer counselor, life coach or consultant to get them from here to there.

Becoming a counselor

There are two reasons to become a counselor or coach. The first is that it is a sensible business model and opportunities abound for counselors to help people deal with their life’s issues.

The other is that you already are – and have always been – a counselor or people helper. It’s who you are, these attributes are an integral part of your DNA and counseling is a key component in your life’s calling.

If you came to this planet with the purpose to help others, you achieve a high degree of satisfaction from helping others overcome life’s obstacles.

You may also have experienced particular life circumstances with a high degree of success and are driven to help others who may be facing obstacles similar to the ones that you had to navigate.

Professional counseling

Professional counselors are state-licensed mental health counselors trained in traditional psychotherapy treatment models that in most cases require an advanced training program or masters degree. In most cases licensed professional counselors serve an apprenticeship and pass a state exam prior to licensure.

The men and women who are led to seek out processional counseling as a career are highly academic and approach counseling from a clinical perspective.

Restrictions abound as licensed professional counselors are controlled by numerous state and federal laws that constrict the performance of their duties with the intent of offering a level of protection to both the practitioner and the patient.

Professional organizations have been created to offer membership to practitioners who ascribe to a certain menu or codes and/or ethics in the performance of their duties as a licensed professional counselor.

Peer counseling

Peer counseling is simply one person with or without formal training helping another person out. This can look like a number of different people-helping activities; like counseling, coaching, consulting, mentoring or acting as an accountability partner.

A peer counselor is a person of similar social status who is knowledgeable in a particular area and from whom another person can learn from the experience of the peer counselor.

Some states have certification process for peer counselors, some do not. Check local and state codes. If you are certified by the state you would be considered a “Certified Peer Counselor,” in contrast to just a peer counselor.

In a peer counseling relationship, the peer counselor has the utmost empathy with the ability to say, “I know how you feel because I’ve been there myself.” It is the unique and specialized experience that qualifies the peer with the ability to be or particular value to other people facing the same challenges.

If you participate as a peer counselor, be careful about referring to yourself as a counselor as the title of counselor is often protected and regulated by the state.

Peer counselors work with their peers, adults and youth, and the parents of children to subsidize ongoing mental health services.

Religious or Spiritual Abuse Recovery

Religious or Spiritual Abuse Recovery

Olympia Life Coach offers hope for victims of religious or spiritual abuse. It is not uncommon for someone who has suffered at the hands of a religious organization, leader, spiritual mentor or counselor to recoil from the event in a negative way.

Recovery-from-religious-or-spiritual-abuseOf course this type of abuse can take many forms… The abuse could be psychological or emotional in nature or physiological including everything from physical abuse to (thankfully more rare) sexual indiscretions. Primary psychological assaults include the loss of individuality or self-worth in an attempt to promote single-mindedness and ease of group management, loss of personal rights, intimidation and dominance.

Spiritual and religious organizations’ leadership rosters are often infiltrated by sociopathic or psychopathic individuals who are driven to exercise control over others whom they see as lesser or subservient. In the event that you have had the unfortunate encounter with such an overbearing individual; you must know that he or she may not be an adequate representation of the group or organization that he or she represents.

What happens if you ask questions or question authority? In a spiritually abusive environment one may experience ridicule for asking questions and you may sense an increasingly hostile response with threats of excommunication or threats of eternal consequences.

An extremely exclusive organization may promote isolation from outsiders, cutting ties to non-believers promoting an “Us vs. Them,” attitude. Other signs you might be subjected to potential spiritual abuse may include multiple markers indicating levels of spirituality (and/or entitlement), penalties for non-compliance and financial exploitation.

You may have been the victim of religious or spiritual abuse if:

  1. Risk-of-spiritual-exploitationA religious organization or spiritual leader
    1. Defrauds via deception
    2. Manipulates
    3. Exercises forms of mind control
    4. Emotionally exploits
    5. Psychologically abuses
  2. A spiritually-based group that
    1. Has a dual reality (insiders vs. outsiders)
    2. Secret rites or insider’s only, “truths”
    3. Critically denounces outsiders
    4. Expresses dire consequences for non-members
    5. Enforces compliance
  3. An organization that
    1. Denounces criticism
    2. Maintains a false public image
    3. Requires donation of one’s personal belongings
    4. Claims to have ultimate “enlightenment”
    5. Practices an elitist perspective

Protecting one’s self from dangerous, compromising or litigious circumstances is completely normal and necessary for self preservation, yet our defensive response is in the form of overcompensation. It’s not uncommon for a victim of this kind of abuse to turn their backs totally on all things of a spiritual nature.

Believing in a higher power can be one of the most empowering forces in your life; to completely reject the entire concept based on a single episodic experience, could have a devastating effect one’s overall quality of life.

Regardless of the excessive intensity of your experience, you can be among the many survivors of religious or spiritual abuse, with your faith firmly intact. Although you may have isolated yourself from all things spiritual in order to put a stop to the abuse, you can reclaim your spirituality in a positive and life-affirming way.

Whether you are struggling with these issues from occurrences of this kind of abuse in the past, or if you are concerned about victimization that may be taking place in the present, there is hope for you to realize a continued spiritual life, free from bondage or pain as a result of the person(s), group or organization who may have, or may be exploiting you, either indirectly or maliciously.

Unresolved spiritual abuse can have continued negative impact on one’s life harboring resentment, lack of trust, difficulty in inter-personal relationships; blocking personal achievement, abundance, happiness and preventing you from achieving your highest and best.

Olympia Life Coach will help you heal from your abusive past so that you can go on with your life no longer being a victim. Take charge of your life, and don’t let this experience from experiencing all the best things this life has to offer by phoning (206) 395-4870 to start your healing process today.

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