AIPC Graduate Mari-Shell Scott shares her story…

“Throughout my childhood, I have experienced brokenness of many kinds. Having lived in a third world country for 12 years, this taught me survival, especially at an emotional level. Though not easy, I decided to use these unfortunate experiences for positive things to empower others. My level of compassion and empathy for those who experienced the same brokenness and pain is revealed through my determination to help and empower them. This is evidenced through my involvement in Welfare focused organisations such as Teen Challenge, Youth Alive and my local church.

Through these experiences, I have had the opportunity to help those struggling with depression, suicidal tendencies, relationships and family related issues by using available resources. I found myself in a position where I felt that this could be an avenue that I could pursue further. Though I had other qualifications, I thought formal training in Counselling would be beneficial and took it to a professional level.

Having a full-time job, fulfilling my family obligations, involvement in the Church community and making sense of what life throws at you and after 41/2 years, with great relief and a sense of achievement, I am proud to say I graduated in November 26 2006! I heard a statement once, which rings very true for me: — “Its’ not about how you start, as long as you finish, and when you finish — finish well”. At times I found it hard to stay focused, motivated?and had thoughts of quitting.? Thank you to AIPC Support Staff, Zahava — thanks for the one-on-one tutorials and Rob Carrigan for giving me all the encouragement and support when I was just about to give up.

With one hand I receive my Diploma with excitement, pride, joy, and dreams realised, but on the other hand I reach out to those who may need guidance and direction sharing with them life skills and keys to freedom. With better knowledge, passion and experience it is a great privilege to be given the opportunity to speak into people’s lives, something that I don’t ever want to take for granted. May I encourage each and everyone of you who finds studying a drudgery to keep the momentum going the way I did. I kept myself accountable and I had a study partner, and just kept setting myself a goal. Don’t forget the dream, the purpose as to why you started studying counselling.

Whether it is just out of interest or just to gain knowledge and skills remember, that these are never wasted. It is also important to reward yourself when you finish a unit. I am determined to further my qualifications in the areas of Family and Relationship Counselling. To put what I have learnt into practice, I am looking forward to working in my local church, the community, with local GP’s, and setting up my own private practice called — A Positive Solution Counselling (A Change from the inside out).

In closing, I hope that a snippet of my story has inspired you. Remember to ‘live your dream — believe in yourself and just do it!’.”