Can you please tell us about yourself?
My name is Barbara B. Campbell. I recently got married and before my name was Barbara Birungi. I graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Business Management in 2013 at Nkumba University in Uganda. I am currently working as an administrative assistant for the Abundant Leadership Institute with Wellspring Foundation for Education Rwanda. I love traveling and exploring new cultures, reading insightful books, listening to great music and watching sunsets and sunrises.
Did you take Lighthouse’s Counselling training? If so, what was your motivation for joining the class?
Yes, I was part Cohort 5 in 2017. I heard about the class from some friends who were going through it at the time. Then I had an opportunity to hear it from Kelly herself when she announced the next cohort during the church news at CLA. But during that time, I was pursuing my Master’s degree in Project Management at Jomo Kenya University. My motivation to join the class came from the desire I had to pursue counselling at some point in my life. I was going through a dark and challenging time in my life. I needed to feel some sort of purpose from what I was pursuing at the time. Joining this class was such an easy decision to make and it turned out to be the best decision I have ever made.
Has your perception of counselling changed from before to after the course? If yes, please share.
Yes, indeed. I think that my mindset, in how I think about counselling, and my heart, in how I relate to counselling, have been transformed. I have learnt that counselling is a lifelong transformation of the heart, mind and body. But before I couldn’t make sense of it like this. Through this training, I was able to fully grasp what counselling is – in the simplest, most authentic way. I am now excited about life like never before.
How has taking the class impacted your life?
Being part of the class has given me a sense of awareness about myself, how I think, feel and relate with myself and those around me. It has empowered me to embrace life and its pains in a new way. It has confirmed and brought me closer to my life purpose – which is walking with people in their pain. It has given me a chance to go back to school and pursue my studies in counselling and psychology and this has been the joy of my life.
What is it about counselling that interests you?
At one point in my life, I was assisted and supported by a wonderful counselor that walked with me through my darkest of times and it really helped me to get up and enjoy life a fresh and it’s because of this experience that changed my life and gave me the desire to do the same for others starting with myself. I have a strong desire to assist and walk alongside other people to find solutions to their problems in order to live the kind of life that they want. And that is extremely rewarding for me.
Tell me about your experience interning with Lighthouse? Do you have plans to pursue a degree in counselling?
My experience at Lighthouse has been a blessing. Kelly has been extremely supportive and very helpful to me. I was given an opportunity to attend the on-going counselling training for the last three months with such great and capable counselors. Learning from Kelly’s style of counselling, expertise and example has helped me a lot in terms of how I would conduct counselling to clients. I have also been privileged to offer counselling to some clients that I am still currently seeing. I have been able to relate and interact with counselors in the organization and also attend some events and meetings. It’s been a great experience. I am currently pursuing my Masters in Counselling & Psychology at Mount Kenya University Nairobi. I am proud to say that the counselling class of 2017 inspired my journey to pursue this degree!
What would you tell a potential counselling student who is on the fence about attending?
I would tell that student to- GO FOR IT! It’s never too late to pursue something that brings joy to you. I will also tell him or her to allow herself this opportunity to learn something that will bring healing, transformation of the heart and mind and new knowledge that impacts the world. If we want to be part of the impact that counseling brings into this world, we have to be the change that we want to see in the world and it starts by us joining this training.
How do you unwind and care for yourself after a counselling session?
After a counselling session, I like to take some deep breaths first before I do anything else and these deep breaths bring my body down to lesser level of physical and mental stress. I physically feel in control as my heart rate and muscle tension lowers. I like to follow that with a glass of warm water just help me relax my mind. Then when I get home, I like to do things that make me happy- play with my dog, listen to relaxing music to allow my mind to refocus on something else or journal in my gratitude book.