By Alyssa Reyes ‘18
As a young boy, Graham Craig knew he wanted to be a superhero—he wanted to save the world. With his Green Lantern shirt always underneath his regular school clothes, Graham was ready to protect his first-grade classmates at a moment’s notice.
Eventually, he grew out of the shirt, but he found another way to make a difference: teaching. All he had to do was develop the right powers to help the citizens of the world. Craig found that the best way for him to help was to counsel those in need. As a graduate student in Holy Family University’s Counseling Psychology program with a concentration in Marriage and Family Therapy, he is developing those powers.
“I taught in Philadelphia for three years,” he said. “Then I decided to go into counseling, figuring that I could do the most good helping one person or family at a time.”
Currently, Craig interns at the Child Guidance Resource Center in Havertown, PA. He finds that his relationships with clients are the most rewarding part of the job, especially when he sees positive change.
“It doesn’t necessarily have to be change in the client,” Craig said. “Change happens throughout the course of the therapeutic relationship; to the relationship itself. You get to know each other on a more personal level and the relationship grows stronger.”
While building significant relationships with his clients, Craig is also constructing a unique relationship with his fellow classmates by incorporating his side job as an accomplished and talented professional musician.
“The guitar is a great tool in a lesson plan. I did a lesson on Harriett Tubman and used an original song to tell the story. That was fun. Music is just something that I love and it makes me want to participate in its creation.”
Craig has even performed on acclaimed stages such as WXPN’s World Café, a non-commercial, public FM radio station in Philadelphia that typically broadcasts an adult album alternative radio format. He described such an accomplishing experience as terrifying, but exhilarating.
“You have so much fun with it because you realize you have all this extra adrenaline that’s built up that you can now channel into music in really powerful ways.”
Juggling his music career and counseling career, Craig advises students who want to explore what they are truly passionate about to do so with no hesitation.
“If you really want to draw then see if you can get a gig drawing,” he said. “If you want to make music, get a gig at a pub. If you really want to do something—anything—do it.”
For students wanting to pursue a career in counseling, Craig implores that they must learn the proper skills to manage strong patient relationships that will only continue to grow over time.
“To me, one of the most important skill is the ability to actively be aware of one's self—to know one's own biases and prejudices. Face the job in a compassionate way—be compassionate.”