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Somewhere Over the Rainbow

Are you considering embarking on a change of career? Perhaps you are thinking about training to become a counsellor or psychotherapist. Alan Rooney, one of our Advanced Year 1 students shares with you some of his journey and how he is discovering his ‘crock of gold’ at the end of his rainbow…

In traditions that I studied for a while, there was the concept of setting out on a journey to seek knowledge and that your learning begins as soon as you take that first step over your threshold.

You might have experienced this yourself. Sitting on that bus/train/aircraft, even when hanging around the airport and watching strangers, you notice a lot of things that had not occurred to you before. I think that part of it is, that once I place my feet over the step to begin the trip, I am leaving familiar routine and familiar life behind for a while, and this opens up new vistas and allows the mind to meditate and to ponder that which is hidden behind the haze of familiarity. Cobwebs are blown away, myopia is cleared. You can see, and think, more clearly.

Going back to those old traditions…. the story is told of the seeker of knowledge who is encouraged by their wise, esteemed teacher to travel, to seek knowledge out there in the world.  And so the seeker of knowledge, searching for the meaning of life and what the purpose of their life is, sets out seeking the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.

That journey of discovery can last for weeks, months, perhaps even years. Full of ups and downs. Always seeking that pot of gold. Some travellers catch glimpses of it, usually in other people they meet. Some travellers “dip out” and cannot seem to find the slightest glimpse of that for which they so hoped. Eventually they return home, feeling that the wisdom and advice of the teacher was a bit of a letdown and that the journey was wasted. Then, a strange thing happens. As I take that step over the threshold, back in to my home, I discover that I am different. That I have changed. And that I’ve brought some of that crock of gold back with me to share with others.

Truth is, it was there all the time.

Within me, within you. It just needed to be unlocked. The journey, no matter how successful it was, or how disappointing it seemed to be, was necessary to find that which you sought. You sometimes have to take that step over the threshold and out in to the unknown, in order to discover the treasures buried within you. You have to take that chance and to not hold back.

I feel that this ancient tradition helps to explain the journey that we all are on as therapeutic students. Taking that chance, the risk, of embarking on studies. It may cost you something, it may not be easy at times, and you may have doubts about the journey that you have decided to undergo – or even to question the sage advice of the wise teacher, for encouraging you to step out in to the void.

Maybe, you are not (yet) a student on a psychotherapy course. But you feel the wanderlust somewhere within your bones, the desire of the quest to seek knowledge and to seek yourself. The truth that really is within.

I cannot claim to be an enlightened, wise, old teacher – although I will hold my hands up to the “old” part. But the traditions of yore do contain a great deal of truth and wisdom within them. So bravely take that first step to starting a course, beginning your placement in the therapy room, or setting up your own practice. Whatever it is you need and want to do. Uncover the crock of gold within and then go and share it with others who need our help to unlock their very own treasures.


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