Coun­selling Skills Pro­gram

Suc­cess Col­lege

The Coast - Career Minded - - SPONSOR CONTENT -

Alex MacDon­nell

I’m Ex­ec­u­tive Di­rec­tor for the Hepati­tis Out­reach So­ci­ety of Nova Sco­tia.

What was it that made you in­ter­ested in be­com­ing a coun­cil­lor?

I’ve al­ways had an in­ter­est in coun­selling, specif­i­cally ad­dic­tions coun­selling. I’m the kind of per­son who loves to lis­ten to peo­ple’s sto­ries, and that’s a big part of it. Be­fore com­ing to Suc­cess Col­lege I did an un­der­grad­u­ate in so­ci­ol­ogy and psy­chol­ogy, and that came out of a place of want­ing to un­der­stand peo­ple bet­ter. I feel like I’ve al­ways been a per­son who peo­ple feel com­fort­able talk­ing about their prob­lems to, and that def­i­nitely led me to where I am now.

What about the pro­gram at Suc­cess Col­lege drew you to it?

The Coun­selling Skills pro­gram has a solid fo­cus on the kind of coun­selling I was in­ter­ested in do­ing. In ad­di­tion to the core pro­gram, the school also of­fers a lot cer­ti­fi­ca­tions. Th­ese in­clude CPR train­ing, sui­cide in­ter­ven­tion, self-de­fense, non-vi­o­lent in­ter­ven­tion and many more. They added a di­men­sion to my train­ing that made me feel very pre­pared to en­ter a coun­selling po­si­tion.

What was your ex­pe­ri­ence with the pro­gram?

I re­ally en­joyed the work that we did there. The main in­struc­tor, James In­gram, was great. He’s very knowl­edge­able, knows the field very well and has trained in a va­ri­ety of in­dus­try cer­ti­fi­ca­tions. He will for­ever be a men­tor to me. We worked on ad­dic­tions coun­selling, learned psy­chol­ogy and stud­ied how to speak to peo­ple with men­tal health is­sues. We worked on a lot of coun­selling the­ory and how to put that into prac­tice, which gives you a lot of op­tions on how to coun­sel.

How has your ed­u­ca­tion at Suc­cess Col­lege ap­plied to your work life?

I think it pre­pared me for a coun­selling po­si­tion as much as class­work pos­si­ble could. I now work as Ex­ec­u­tive Di­rec­tor for the Hepati­tis Out­reach So­ci­ety of Nova Sco­tia. Prior to that I worked with Feed Nova Sco­tia’s cri­sis helpline. In my job now, I do a lot coun­selling with peo­ple di­ag­nosed with Hepati­tis C, which is con­nected to IV drug use. I talk to them about their dis­ease and giv­ing them some­one who will lis­ten to them. As well, I help cre­ate aware­ness about the dis­ease.

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