I am sorry I have failed to write posts for both Thursday and Friday. Thursday evening I did a variety of things such as getting my nails done, going out to have a meal at a restaurant and also going to the cinema to see He’s Just Not That Into You (which will be the topic for one of my blog posts next week). Friday, I was travelling back from London to Canterbury and on Saturday, I started my first day’s training with the Samaritans.
All in all, my first training day went well. There were only two girls there of my age (not that I am ageist or anything). One of these girls left during the lunch break and never came back for the second half. I’m guessing she wasn’t committed to being a Samaritan. It is quite a tough job being one. To become a Samaritan you must learn to be non-judgemental, compassionate, kind and a great listener. You can’t give any advice either. We all have our prejudices but we have to learn to curb them when on duty.
The day was filled with ice breakers, exercises and roleplays. Roleplays being the most nerve-wracking, having a Samaritan pretend to be the caller and you having to act as the Samaritan. We were told so many things in our first day of training; we couldn’t be judgemental, we couldn’t give advice, there were certain questions that we couldn’t use and we had to phrase questions in a particular way, we couldn’t sound too optimistic either. It seemed impossible to actually carry out a phonecall even if it was a fake one!
I am hoping that as we work through the sessions everything will become more familiar to us. I hope that I will start to pick things up and the skills mentioned above will occur more naturally. I am also looking forward to getting to know the other trainees on my course a little better too. I think that meeting new people is definitely a positive thing.
Some may be asking why I want to become a Samaritan. In order for me to apply for postgraduate studies in Counselling Psychology, I must have some kind of experience working in a counselling role. One of the suggestions was telephone counselling such as the Samaritans. It is a stepping stone in my career and it will provide me a wealth of experience.
I must be going now. A dear friend of mine is making her special curry for me and I cannot be late for that! I will be posting another entry this evening, so stay tuned.