My students and colleagues have teased me for years because of the many jobs I’ve held throughout my life. I was a paper boy, truck driver and locksmith. I’ve worked in the restaurant industry and even worked in coal mines while I was in college. I’ve been a painter, mechanic, writer, columnist, business consultant, teacher, clinician and supervisor. I also briefly served as a pastor, directed a television show and worked as a disk jockey, telephone operator and boat builder.
As a counselor, I’ve worked as a criminal profiler and consultant to law enforcement on violent crimes. I’ve also served as clinical adviser to judges, actors, television and movie producers, and novelists. And of course, I’m a college professor and dean.
As you can imagine, since I was in the fifth grade, I’ve never had only one job.
Over all these years, my career has seen many doors open and close. I taught part-time at Georgia State University for a decade or so. I lectured regularly at the FBI National Academy for an equal number of years. I wrote a newspaper column for over 35 years, and I worked as a profiler for the Atlanta Cold Case squad for just over a decade. Bethany Bray, a former staff writer for Counseling Today, wrote an article about my work with the Atlanta Cold Case Squad back in 2016 titled “Adding a counselor’s voice to law enforcement work.”
My work has also allowed me to travel the world. I’ve visited nearly 40 countries, landing on every continent except Antarctica. I was even invited by the president of Rwanda to train Rwandan counselors to manage the trauma of the 1994 genocide.
Each one of these experiences has now become a part of my past. I enjoyed most of these jobs, and not once have I had any regrets when each of those doors eventually closed.
I published my first article in Counseling Today in 2011. Since that time, I’ve written several feature articles, and for the last five years, I’ve written the Voice of Experience column. Through these articles, I’ve shared with you my clinical experiences — including my successes and failures — spanning the past four decades.
I cannot begin to count the number of responses I’ve received from readers over the years. They have mostly been positive, but even the criticisms have been thoughtful. Interestingly, readers often start an email with, “I read your article…,” as if I had only written one.
I was surprised to learn recently that my Voice of Experience column started in 2018. Even though it is cliché, time goes by so quickly. I’ve enjoyed sharing my thoughts with you, but like all my other experiences, the time has come to close this door as well.
I continue to serve as dean of the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences at Point University, where I’ve worked since 1985, and I still see clients at my clinical practice and serve as a supervisor. I am also carrying on my role as editor of the Georgia Journal of Professional Counseling and as a member of the Georgia Composite Board of Professional Counselors, Social Workers, and Marriage and Family Therapists.
But as retirement approaches, I am enjoying my world becoming smaller as I transition from seven or eight jobs down to three or four.
I am a die-hard American Counseling Association supporter and long-time member. I have always attended the ACA conference when it didn’t conflict with my travel schedule, and I’ve never been disappointed with its quality. I also regularly read Counseling Today cover to cover. ACA has served me well all these years.
I’m deeply grateful to Counseling Today’s previous editor, Jonathan Rollins, and the current editor, Lindsey Phillips, for allowing me to contribute to my profession through my writing. Both editors have done a fantastic job at improving my work. I’m a meticulous writer, but with each submission, they have made improvements. We are so fortunate to have such competence at the helm of one of our primary publications.
With that, my friends, I bid you farewell and wish you the very best as a new generation steps up and an older generation, of which I am a part, steps away into the background. Best wishes to you always, and thank you for reading my work.
Gregory K. Moffatt is a veteran counselor of more than 30 years and the dean of the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences at Point University. His monthly Voice of Experience column for CT Online seeks to share theory, ethics and practice lessons learned from his diverse career, as well as inspiration for today’s counseling professionals, whether they are just starting out or have been practicing for many years. His experience includes three decades of work with children, trauma and abuse, as well as a variety of other experiences, including work with schools, businesses and law enforcement. Contact him at Greg.Moffatt@point.edu.
Opinions expressed and statements made in articles appearing on CT Online should not be assumed to represent the opinions of the editors or policies of the American Counseling Association.