“Growth is constant”, it is said and is experienced by everyone.
At any given point, what we perceive about something, seems like the truth to us. But as knowledge dawns, we come across the truth. That is where the emotional journey begins. So to make you and myself feel a little better, we cannot label ourselves as wrong; ignorant would be the right word. But we have to keep growing with knowledge.
So here I begin a knowledge talk, picking up a few perceptions about psychology and perceptions among the people working in this field.
1. Therapy is only for so-called “crazy people”?
‘Just about any ordinary person can slip into madness’, believes APA president Philip G. Zimbardo.
The childhood of any individual is given importance for overall development. This also includes the way the child interacts with its environment. Looking at the cases involving counselling, most of them can be attributed to a disruption in the foundation, which is looking at what is in one’s control and what is not.
What does self-image mean to us? There are aspects to one’s life in which we don’t have control, but we might not have been taught about it earlier or observed. So when we consciously/unconsciously consider them as part of our self-image and try to exercise control over them, one can slip to ‘madness’.
Whenever we find ourselves with a thought/behaviour of harming oneself or someone else, we get to meet a therapist who will help us through.
2. We know a lot more about the mind than you do-practitioner?
In any kind of therapy, it is desirable to consider what the patient is saying as truth and then question it.
Science is a subject in which there is something new to learn each time. One cannot see the mind, and tools are used to comprehend it for that which cannot be seen. It can always be tricky when there is a mindful conversation because it can be comprehended subjectively only along with the standard protocols that the practitioner has studied. But what about that which cannot be comprehended? Evolution also plays a major role when it comes to scientific studies of the human mind. As we evolve, so does it mean that our mind does. So there is always something new to learn about the mind.
3. So, can you tell me what is going on in my mind right now?
People working in psychology, here comes the statement that we often hear, which makes us feel good for the moment but when we have to put that into reality. It does not happen because that is definitely not the truth.
‘So you can read my mind, right?’.
We wish we could.
There exist various definitions of Psychology if we look for it. Still, the recognized ones define it as the subject backed up by scientific studies. So the mind and its various aspects are studied using various scientific tools. In turn, scientific tools are derived and tested through this observation to become a tool for further studies.
There are esoteric subjects that dwell in such areas, but that is not part of the science of psychology.
4. Amateur practitioner
Today is the time when the old systems are collapsing. We can find a sense of freedom in every field. Every person is given an opportunity for expression, which was not seen at one point. But a tool becomes useful only when one knows how to use it. In every field of education, expression without an implied sense of responsibility is on the rise. This can be harmful when the field deals with sensitive issues. Today, anyone takes upon themselves to offer their service to guide someone, which can be very harmful at times, costing someone’s life. It is a time when everything seems possible, and response to each of these is overlooked, which can be a serious issue when practising in Psychology.
5. People practising psychology have magical potions to treat us?
If that was true!
In any therapy, the practitioner is not completely responsible for treating the patient. It is a mutual responsibility. It is teamwork and takes time and patience. Taking the idea of affirmations, with hope and faith, every day, one affirms something and waits for magic to take over. Now that magic is definitely there in therapy and facing things that one might not like. But knowing that a therapist is with you makes the journey much easier. Just like affirmations done every day leads to changes, so it is about therapy. It takes time to work through the mind and is subjective, unique to each one.
6. Empathy for the patients, a much-ignored prospect.
As a therapist, it becomes very important to check where one is standing regarding one’s state of mind. Each day, we would be interacting with multiple people who need us to stand by their side. The most important of them is ‘empathy’, knowing and understanding that anyone can fall down in today’s rat race. By offering help, one can often find themselves self-absorbed and see the patient as a lower being. We usually forget that we are lucky to be among the chosen few to help people. As a result, we raise humanity to extend circles of healing.