The Importance of Learning Counseling Principles Essay
The start of this adventure in becoming a Speech-Language Pathology Assistant creates a feeling of excitement within me. SLPA to me stands for hope as a person who took speech classes. I believe that this type of work goes beyond just education, but also helping oneself become confident in their speech. Communication is such a necessity in our lives, which is why it is of significance to help children and adults dealing with the disorder. In this reflection, I will explain what led me into the SLPA field, the importance of communication, and why counseling principles and skills are necessary to learn.
Beginning of My Journey
When I first entered college, I went with the intention of becoming an elementary school teacher. I decided it wasn’t what I wanted to pursue, but still wanted a career where I can work with children. I discovered near the end of last year that Oklahoma City Community College had an SLPA program, which caught my attention. Growing up, I had taken speech language classes. When I look back, I have fond memories of the speech therapists that would work with me and loved how comfortable and supportive they made me feel in our lessons. That is the beginning as to why I entered this program. The kindness and understanding they showed me is how I would love to make a student feel in helping them succeed.
While applying to the program, I was uncertain if this career was part of the plan God had for me. Yes, the idea of becoming a speech-language pathologist assistant and working with children was wonderful, but I was unsure if that was the way God had wanted me to go. After applying, I prayed and hoped for the best. When I had received the news shortly that I wasn’t accepted and put on the waitlist, it discouraged me. Not knowing what I wanted to pursue for my future left me crushed and disappointed with myself. The next morning, I said a prayer to God in which I told him I didn’t know what I wanted to become. I didn’t know what he wanted me to do. Even though I don’t know or understand the plans for my future, I know he did and does.
After I had said more, I arose and wiped my tears. Shortly after, I checked the emails from my phone. Scrolling through my emails, I noticed one starting with the words, “Congratulations!” Clicking the email, I realized I was accepted into the program. I looked up with a sign of thankfulness. As I continue this journey of becoming an SLPA, I hope this is still part of his plan for my life. I’m thankful for this opportunity given to me by those involved in this program. To be a part of helping those become confident in their speech ability would be absolutely great.
The Importance of Communication
Communication is so important to one’s way of living. It is a way that we can express our thoughts and feelings to each other. It would be devastating to not be able to communicate as I believe we are made to do with people, not stay isolated from them from lack of speaking. I could not imagine a world where I couldn’t communicate with those I love and those I meet. Not only is communication needed, it is impossible to not do so. The wonderful thing about communication is that it doesn’t need to only be verbal. There are so many ways to communicate. According to Fogle (2017), verbal communication is not the only way we could communicate but also nonverbal communication, which I believe to be just as important. Facial expressions are a way of nonverbal communication because even in our facial expressions, we show a sense of what we feel or think.
Learning counseling principles and skills is important in becoming an SLP or SLPA because we are not only there to educate and help those dealing with speech but also to support. “SLPs counsel by providing education, guidance, and support” (Fogle, 2017, p. 466). In a client’s lesson, it should also be a place when needed where they can feel comfortable to communicate or express their challenges, emotions, feelings, etc. regarding their communication disorder and such. Learning these certain skills and techniques of counseling in this profession will help the clinician know how to handle certain situations with the client in providing them to the best of their ability the guidance needed. As we continue to learn these skills of counseling for speech language pathology, I believe it will help us gain a better understanding of our future clients.
In summation, language problems that go untreated, especially in one’s early years, can continue through their high school years and adulthood. Speech language helps kids in so many ways, helps with their social skills and overall, teaches them to be all that they can be using their words properly. Learning the disorders and delays of communication will help give us insight into how we can be able to help treat that specific disorder in the future. In learning the skills and principles of counseling in this line of work, we will come to understand how important it is to offer that type of help to a client. We can help not just the client but also their family involved concerning their struggle with communication delay. Learning this information and much more about communication will help the student, such as myself, be successful in becoming a Speech-Language Pathology Assistant.