Tuesday, 10 June 2014

My journey as a new psychologist

~Designing Life
New school new teachers but I was unable to make any new friends, after one year I too an initiative to make two friends, the time of being alone started my journey of understanding self. My self- talks, my emotions, my feelings, gave birth to my own world and also the curiosity of knowing does this happen with all or am I mad?? Introspection of self gave birth to understanding self better, one of my friend introduced psychology as a subject to me, I went against my family to take Arts as I wanted to take up psychology as my major subject. The more I understood self… the more I was able to understand others.  I become conscious about being a good listener. During My final year internship in a rehab center I realized how attached I can get with my patients.  The involvement with the patients’ issues and emotions were very high. I was connecting and empathizing with my clients and that was good but I was attached too, which was dangerous. I still remember when my patient was getting discharged he came to me and said “I will go out and complete my education and be a doctor, then you will send your patients to me” I smiled and agreed to him I was so proud of him that in a month he had shown tremendous improvement. When he left I ran to my cabin and could not control my tears. I dint understand why was I crying as I should have been happy that he was responsible and fine but I understood that I was attached to him, I could not accept that he was going and I will not be able to see him or talk to him again. The lists of Counseling Ethics were flashing in front of my eyes… After that I was being strict with myself, next client I was not at all attached. I felt as if I was being insensitive. What was it that I did not understand??? I could not find an answer to it.
I was blessed with amazing senior counselors who scared the shit out of me during internship and made me comprehend that I just need to be the way I am, as when my senior counselor saw me being nervous during the session, especially when I had to sit in silence. She just asked me to be "self” as I was being stringent I wanted the sessions to be or rather go in a certain order which was not happening. She asked me to know my subject well and just be in the session, no preparation all will happen and go in the flow as it has to go. It took some time for me to digest that as I was dealing with life of people and I just have to take it easy how is that possible??? But soon I understood what she was saying.
All I needed was to know my job well, I needed to know that I have to listen carefully and not think. I just had to be with my patients and trust me “just be” with lots of love and acceptance the important thing was also to know the subject well and also to know my therapies and theories well. That was it and from then till date I am just being with this beautiful experience and in this journey I learnt to disconnect as that is the only way to connect well quoted by my seniors “to connect you need to disconnect”  and by this learning today I am able to design life’s in a healthier way.
In my experience people who know they need to go to the psychologist don’t take the first step as they feel that others will tag them as mad, weak, stupid etc. in India people who come to psychologist need courage their family support as well as the will to come out of the issues. And the issues can be anything, emotional disturbance, family fights, relationship issues, sexual issues, trauma, depression, or sometime you just need an ear to listen to you, someone who can keep our secrets. As a psychologist helps you get a broader perspective of life and also realistic solutions, making you independent so that you can make a better decision in your life. To summarize happy, joyous and peaceful life is designed by a psychologist.
It is easy when you give time to your therapist or a psychologist you show trust along with patients and I guarantee you, a positive change, a better life. You need to be very careful in selecting your psychologist or a therapist. It is important to understand the difference between a psychiatrist and a psychologist they both complement each other. I understand that the process is time consuming but one needs to understand that it will take time for change to occur and also to learn new things. I believe we all are learners in life, if we are open for learning and are willing to accept the change than the designing of beautiful life can happen effortlessly.
“It is better to design life than to compromise with it.”
~Rachana Awatramani
MA, Counseling Psychologist