Being a Human(istic) Counselling Psychologist
I hope that you are doing as best as you possibly can, given these trying times. Thank you for taking the time to get to know me through my website.
If you have read about me, then you already know all about my diverse background. More of that in just a bit.
I am hoping to initially connect with you here (until if and when you decide to connect in person) where I will share my professional (and personal) insights and reflections through my experiences working with my clients. So please keep a lookout for these thoughts!
I was thinking about a suitable first ‘conversation’ topic, so to speak, and it made sense to start at the very beginning. What forms the core of my professional self? And in a lot of ways, the answer to that question also answers the question of what the core of my personal self is. I believe that any helping professional probably does their most optimal work when their personal and professional selves are congruent. That certainly rings true for me.
So, back to the question then, about my professional core. I suppose the answer was always obvious but it really became crystallized for me when I recall something I say very often, to all the undergraduates I teach. That the Rogerian approach (also known as Carl Rogers’ Person-Centred theory) is not just a theory but really the heart of counselling. The Rogerian theory is part of the humanistic approach in psychology, which celebrates the uniqueness of every person and seeks to understand the person as a whole being. There are three core conditions of the Rogerian approach – (1) the counsellor’s congruence with the client, (2) unconditional positive regard for the client, and (3) empathy towards the client. All these conditions are what I hope to consistently embody as a professional.
So here is where we revisit my diverse background. Anytime I tell someone my counselling psychologist journey, I am humbled, not so much by my accomplishments in terms of the diverse education I received, but by the myriad opportunities that I was fortunate to experience. Over the years, several clients have told me how intimidated they felt when considering seeing a counsellor because they feared being judged by someone who “seemed so perfect”.
I often reflect on why I wanted to become a counselling psychologist. It is not because I am perfect (far from it). And we are all works in progress and that is something to be embraced because knowing we always have another chance to grow, and evolve until our final breath, is something I feel immensely grateful for. I became a counselling psychologist because when I faced my darkest moments, I acknowledged them and learned how to heal from these setbacks. In other words, I want to be a helping professional precisely because I am as human as my clients and I aspire to help others heal and more importantly, make them feel that they are never alone in their time of need.
Along the way, I met individuals who demonstrated empathy and unconditional acceptance of who I was so that I could grow to become the person I am today. I feel that it is my calling to pay this forward, to help others the way I was helped.
It takes great courage to admit that we need help and to seek the help we need from a total stranger. If that is how you chanced upon my website, thank you for taking the time to consider me as your guide on your life’s journey at this point.