Widnes Vikings Co-Captain, Chris Houston, is developing new skills and planning for life after League, by studying for a counselling course at Riverside College.
Chris is sharing his excerpts from his study diary with our website. Catch up on week three of his studies...
It's been a fascinating and challenging time at College. In my last blog, I told you that we explored questioning techniques. In week three, we are learning why we use them.
Knowing how to use exploratory questions helps Councillors understand the state of minds of their clients. I think being able to unlock the ‘unconscious mind’ is a essential part of being a councillor.
So often, personal problems can be traced back to an event earlier in life, People unknowingly put up ‘walls’, as a defence mechanisms to mask our true feelings. We can use different behaviours - from humour to anger - as ways to mask our problems.
In the last class, we discussed examples of defence mechanisms, and times we have seen them or used them. I've reflected on different people I've known in my past, whose behaviour reflected challenges and difficult events they faced. I wish that I'd had these skills earlier, so I could have better supported them.
The course has become more challenging this week, as we go a little deeper into the theory behind counselling. I am enjoying the course and am looking forward to taking on a practice session with the other students soon.
As I've said previously, this experience will both help me in the future and also in the here and now, as a player. For example, becoming more reflective and observant will help me in Widnes Vikings' Leadership Group - I want to be a sounding board for our players and to support good communication.
I believe in exercising both the body and the mind, so it's great to be able to do this on the pitch for the Vikings and in the classroom at Riverside College.