First Impressions of Townhall II

Well last Sunday, several Xenos members and I began our training at Townhall II. We are being trained throughout the summer for volunteer work on their crisis helpline. Our training is going to consist of lectures on various topics of crisis, lectures on responding to crises, role plays as callers and listeners, and several sessions of taking contract calls. We are going to receive a total of 80 hours of training which sounds like a lot, but I think we’ll need all the hours we can get in order to help those in crisis. The past three sessions have been very interesting, and the skills we’re learning are quite valuable!

I have learned a great deal already: the importance of listening, validation of feelings, and how to help others to make their own decisions in dealing with their issues. These skills are valuable even when dealing with relationships! It was even interesting reading a handout we received on empathy. It said the greatest display of empathy was sacrificial love! It almost felt like reading one of Paul’s Epistles!

I was really struck by the fact that giving advice was a negative thing in dealing with people in crisis. How would giving advice be a bad thing? I thought at first. I learned that giving advice could only make matters worse, for myself and the person in crisis! Why? Well, there are two possible outcomes. The advice could work, but where does that leave the person? They have become dependent on me for future solutions, they don’t need to solve their own problems when I could do it for them. That sure would make things harder for them to learn how to deal with their own issues, and it would put more pressure on me for them to start to depend on me for solving all their issues! What about the other outcome? The advice fails, so now they’re angry and more frustrated with their issues! Whose to blame for their failure? Well it’s me! If the the advice fails, the person doesn’t have to take responsibility for their actions and only grows worse in their issue! Not to mention, they’ll cease to trust the crisis helpline! This is a crucial skill I hope to take away. It helps gives others the opportunity to start making their own decisions, and it helps them start maturing as a person. If you can’t make your own decisions, how are you going live your life? You have to rely on and take from others! This skill will be a helpful aspect in helping others grow spiritually and mature! Hopefully, it’ll help me to mature spiritually too!

Well, we still got several weeks to go, but I’m very much excited to help out those in real need. I can’t wait to see how I can use these skills in helping me relate and love others more deeply and significantly as well! Praise God!

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