The life of a counsellor

Shobana Kiran Indal at work. Picture: SUPPLIED

Shobana Kiran Indal did not choose to become a counsellor. Instead, she said, the field of counselling chose her. She says becoming a counsellor was something that happened by accident and prompted her to study for a diploma in counselling.

“After the completion of my diploma, I started my practice and discovered that the most rewarding part of being a counsellor is knowing that you have a part in affecting the life of another human being,” she said.

“It’s by giving hope when people feel hopeless, inspiring them to be all that they are capable of being so that they can go out into the world and help others, thus I continued my education journey.”

She is the senior counsellor and team leader at Empower Pacific’s Northern Division branch based in Labasa. Ms Indal grew up with her siblings in a small neighbourhood in Bulileka, a few kilometres outside town. She been living in Naduna, Labasa for the past 14 years.

She is married with two children. On a personal note, Ms Indal, who holds a Bachelor of Counselling from the Australian Institute of Professional Counsellors (AIPC), says her mother has always been her inspiration.

“She always gives me the directive to face something and gives me the spirit to look ahead and always be optimistic in trying to realise my dreams,” she said.

“She always tells me to give my utmost best at work. She is my angel. My family is my spirit and I’m blessed with the best and most supportive life partner.”

Ms Indal says as far as juggling things between her work and family life is concerned, having family dynamics is important. Elaborating on her profession as a counsellor, she said, “Those ‘aha’ moments are incredible and I speak from both a client and counsellor’s perspective here.”

“It’s a moment when as a client you feel as though, quite literally, someone has just turned the lights on in a dark room.

“As a counsellor, it’s a privilege to help a client obtain a new perspective in such a profound manner.

“Those revelations open our eyes to so many things, whether it be our thoughts or behaviour or that of others who impact our lives.”

Ms Indal believes that humanitarian workers are always recognised by people for their courage and passion to serve. She has many fond memories of working for Empower Pacific for the past 14 years.

She remembers braving through floodwaters to serve the community, who appreciated her and her team’s service with smiles, and tears of happiness.

Other memories include:

  • reuniting children with parents and witnessing the profound impact on the lives of individuals, families and communities.
  • training volunteers for disaster preparedness and then witnessing them pass that knowledge to the communities.
  • conducting professional development sessions for medical professionals to motivate and empower them.

Apart from being a qualified therapeutic counsellor, Ms Indal is also an entrepreneur.

“Life to me means friends and family whom you can trust and who trust you. I’m pretty much on the happy side of life but like all adults, I do have my days off’.

“That means I do have some sad days or depressed days. But I have my immediate family and colleagues who look out for me when I’m having a bad day.”

Empower Pacific is a Non-Government Organisation that focuses on providing counselling and social services to vulnerable people in society.

People who need counselling or information on the services provided by Empower Pacific can call our 24/7 toll free helpline 5626 and talk to a counsellor.

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