Continuing Counseling Education

As I near the end of my studies here at Loyola, I find myself in wonderment of the road that led me to the Certicate of Advanced Study in the first place.  I can’t say that 30 years ago when I was in high school, my life’s dream was to grow up and become a counselor even though I did have an interest in psychology.  My parents’ expectations and cultural background (I’m Asian Indian) led me to the plan of becoming a medical doctor.  I sensed a desire in me to be able to help people in some capacity.  The direction that my life’s journey ended up taking has led me to believe that my calling to help people would not be fulfilled by becoming a medical doctor…God had a different plan.

After marriage, I pursued a masters degree in clinical psychology.  Once my oldest child entered kindergarten and both kids started becoming involved in many extra-curricular activities, the need to stay home became evident so that I was readily available for my children.  Twelve years literally flew by!  In that time, I wrote a column for the county paper and worked as a teacher in our Catholic school.  I appreciated the experience these jobs gave me, but still felt that I had not found my niche. 

I would browse the internet for careers or educational opportunities.  The programs at Loyola for post masters students caught my attention because I learned I needed certain classes in order to become licensed as a counselor in Maryland and their program would allow me to fill in those holes.  I was not in a place where I could commit the time to study until my oldest was in tenth grade.  A week after deciding that it was time to make some changes in my life, I learned my 40-year-old brother had Stage IV cancer.  Losing my brother changed who I was in many ways and made me question many things about life.  It was then that I became even more attracted to Loyola’s Pastoral Counseling Program.  The idea of integrating spirituality and psychology made sense and I could see the value in it when it comes to counseling. 

This blog is a chance to share some of the amazing experiences I have had while at Loyola and the opportunities it has led me to.  I am looking forward to sharing this journey with you.

4 thoughts on “Continuing Counseling Education

  1. Elizabeth — I am glad you took the loss of your brother and channeled that grief towards becoming a “doctor of souls.” Loyola is lucky to have you.

  2. Biji! It has been so awesome to get to know you and hear your story over the past few years! Keep writing and learning! You are amazing! :)

  3. Biji, I am so glad I met you in Theological Anthropology and sometimes run into you at the Shrine of St. Anthony. I think you are courageous to take a loss and turn it into a life course change. I too had a similar situation. I lost my dear father in 2009 which changed who I am and allowed me to leave Florida where I was caring for him to move here to Maryland to study.

  4. Biji, I have been considering the PC program at Loyola and while all of the testimonies about the program have been encouraging and inspiring, yours (the last) really spoke to me. I identify with what you shared but most importantly, your reason for doing what you do was birthed out of something that’s life altering; losing someone dear to you. My desire is to do nothing else but help others heal from and move past life’s difficulties. Thank you for sharing.

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