Emotional Vulnerability in School Counseling

When does a counselor become emotionally vulnerable? Should a counselor be vulnerable? The dictionary’s definition to being vulnerable is being “susceptible to physical or emotional attack or harm : we were in a vulnerable position”. I’m thinking that there is a two sided view. From one viewpoint, if one is to be empathic, caring, and sympathetic, one needs to be vulnerable. Attempting to walk in another’s shoes, or at least sense what it is like, means one is putting one’s emotions at risk. From another viewpoint, as anyone assertively attempts to help, intervene, question, or move a person toward problem solving, one can be seen as on the offensive. Attempting to view others from God’s point of view will mean being on the offensive. Passivity is not a part of God’s agenda, unless it means waiting, being patient on Him.

But perhaps there is another vulnerability. As a counselor takes on the burdens of others, one can be vulnerable to imploding. Without appropriate support, continuing strength building from others, or without stable growing relationships apart from counseling relationships, a counselor is at risk of attack emotionally.

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