Italy%205.jpgTruth be told, I enrolled in the Dispute Resolution and Religion class for the wrong reasons – to spend a fun week in Florence and receive three credits.

Italy%201.jpgThe fun part of the trip was more than satisfying; I made wonderful friends, explored beautiful Tuscany, and ate amazing food on a daily (hourly) basis.

To my surprise, however, I gained an invaluable set of skills and knowledge for my future career as a counselor from this course. I gained an in-depth understanding of the family systems theory, learned extensively about various aspects of conflict, and got to practice some of the basic counseling skills (empathetic listening, paraphrasing, reflection of content, etc.) in a group setting.

Italy%203.jpgMoreover, I got the opportunity to step outside of what is comfortable and familiar, to sample a whole new field I knew nothing about, and to discover interests and potential I didn’t know I had.

Perhaps most importantly, I gained an understanding of my own conflict style and how it came to be. My husband is eternally grateful for this.