It’s a life-changing graduation for Inverurie woman
An Aberdeenshire woman who was inspired to become a counsellor after she began her own journey of recovery has taken another important step towards her dream career.
Emma Galashan, 47, from Inverurie, has graduated with a Postgraduate Diploma in Person-Centred Counselling seven years after she spent five months in a 12-step treatment centre to address and accept her addiction issues.
The mother of two, who is a support worker for individuals with learning disabilities hopes one day to help others in a counselling practice of her own.
“In the treatment centre I experienced first-hand the attitudes and skills of the counsellors within this environment which was life changing for myself and many others.
“This life changing experience inspired me to return to education and gain enough qualifications to apply for the COSCA skills course at the University of Aberdeen and then subsequently the Diploma.”
Emma says the decision to embark on the qualification was a daunting one.
“I was extremely nervous about starting my studies being a mature student.
“In the end, I settled in quickly, but the diploma was a massive step and really took me out of my comfort zone in so many ways. Being an experiential course, it wasn’t only about the academic learning that challenged me but also the continuing personal development that I went through to gain a greater self-awareness.
“I found this at times an extremely painful but empowering journey of discovery and has allowed me to grow not only as a person-centred counsellor but as an individual.
“I found the journey an absolute life changing experiencse and had many highs and lows throughout my time at University. I have met some incredible people along the way, including my peers and tutors who often believed in me when I had very little belief in myself. I am also very grateful for the experience I gained through my practice placement.”
Emma, is actively involved in the recovery community and when not at work at Inspire PTL she relaxes by taking part in Yoga, Mindfulness, Zumba and Pilates, and spending time with her family – husband Kevin, daughter Nadia (21) who is studying Social Work at RGU and her son Aidan (16) who is in sixth year at Inverurie Academy.
Emma says the sadness she feels to be missing out on a formal graduation is tempered by her sense of accomplishment.
“When the lockdown restrictions were imposed, I feared that this day would never come.”
Emma hopes to return to university to obtain her Masters.