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Faces of SUSS #29: Priscilla Shin

#FacesofSUSS_Priscilla Shin

The reason I entered the field of counselling was that I have always enjoyed helping others in my growing years. I had a sense that I wanted to do something in the mental health industry but I was not very clear about how or what I could do. After exploring around for options, I decided to enrol myself in the SUSS Bachelor's program for Counselling and I had no regrets about that decision! As I was going through the program, my passion for mental health became clearer and I was very motivated to help others in their mental health journey. I'm very thankful that I took this step into the helping profession and I'm blessed to be able to enjoy my work daily. 

When asked about the reasons behind starting my own practice and counselling service, as a mother of two children, I needed the flexibility and freedom to work, because I wanted to be there for the family and also meet their needs whenever possible. I also desired for a sense of ownership and I was seeking personal growth as well. I had been working in structured organisations for years, so I knew that the next part of my growth journey was to step out and start my own counselling services and help others in their mental health and wellness. 

It is known for social work and counselling to be fields that are mentally, emotionally, and physically challenging but I believe that compassion and common humanity are the two beliefs that push me through each difficult situation. I believe that we are all struggling and we have our own problems to manage, but that is what keeps us connected at the same time. We're no different than the person next to us. I believe that we all deserve compassion and hope to carry on through difficult moments regardless of perceived differences. It is a very humbling process to be a helper, and personally very rewarding to my heart when I can extend a helping hand to someone in need. 

My "ah-ha!" moment of knowing I wanted to be in Counselling came when I was in year 2 of the SUSS Bachelor's program for counselling. As I was in the part-time program, I had to complete my practicum after I ended work each day. It was such a tiring process, starting my day at 8 am and ending work at 5 pm, and yet having to continue clocking in hours of practice counselling until 9 pm. However, it was through this process that I discovered my joy for counselling, so much so that I even continued volunteering as a counsellor after completing my practicum. I realized that I would gladly provide counselling to others even if I did not get paid for it, and I could do this (counselling) all day, everyday! It's been 8 years since then, and I have zero regrets about being a counsellor!

SUSS was a huge part of my journey as a professional counsellor. I enjoyed the lessons and the structure of the classes. Although the part-time program was exhausting because we came to class after our full-time job, we all shared the same "tiredness" and it enforced a warm camaraderie in class which really helped us push through the modules. I have very fond memories of the 3 years I spent in SUSS with my batch mates when we would encourage each other to press on despite the many nights of "burning midnight oil" doing our assignments. I'm also very thankful for the lecturers who also spent their nights with us, sharing life experiences and staying back in class just to answer our questions, helping us with our cluelessness then! Especially Mr Viknesan, Mr Wilson Mack, and Mr Laurence Ho - they have really impacted my perception of counselling and strengthened my call to help others. I honestly cannot imagine if I did not enrol myself in SUSS' program, my life would have turned out quite differently! 

Priscilla Shin
Bachelor of Counselling
Class of 2014

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