Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Sessions on May 24 and Assisi Trip

We had the pleasure of listening to Eugenio Bacchini, a counselor in Italy.  He explained that as a counselor he focuses on improvement and empowerment.  Counseling in Italy is more similar to life coaching than what we are trained to do as counselors in the U.S.  He was the first representative nominated from Italy for the European Union counseling association.  Most of the clients he sees have anxiety over the current economic conditions.

After speaking about counseling, he spoke on some common differences among Americans and Italians (he is married to a woman from Boston).  He cleared up something I had been wondering: it is common for Italians to stare.  I have had many instances where I wonder why someone is so intently looking at me.  He talked about alcohol as well and reiterated the common practice to pour a few drops into water glasses of children in order to get the accustomed to the taste.  He said in Italy you do not have to show that you drink a lot in order to be a man.  If Italians get drunk, it is usually a mistake and not on purpose.  His quote on weapons, “in Italy weapons are for police officers and gangsters; the state has to protect me not myself.”

After Eugenio a woman named Amy Klien presented.  She was very entertaining!  She is an ex-Patriot and came over here in her college days.  Now she works as the Assistant Director of Health and Wellness at Syracuse University in Italy.  The word counselor was once in her title, but this changed because of the litigation climate in the U.S.  She helps students and employees.

Dr. Tyson (my advisor at UAB) presented in the afternoon.  He had us dialogue on whether or not counseling programs should require personal counseling for students.  I was unaware that UAB's policy was fairly new and came about because of his experiences in Italy.  In Italy students are required to complete 50 hours of personal counseling, but at UAB we are required to complete 8.  I personally agree with the decision, but it was interesting to hear different sides. 

Like I mentioned earlier, Assisi was such a wonderful experience!  Sierra and I climbed the rocca. We were in the highest tower when Sierra noticed a couple kissing down below.  Before we knew it the man pulled out a ring and placed it on the woman’s finger.  Before we really thought about it, we yelled out congratulations!  To get out of the rocca, we had to walk through a tunnel and reflected on how creepy that probably was because the couple probably thought they were alone (oops!!) But then we passed them and she showed us her ring and they said thank you! It was such a sweet event to witness!!

Here are some pictures from the trip!  The amazing view photographs are from various towers in the rocca! 

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