I grew up in a small town and at 15, had a Saturday receptionist job for a Psychiatrist. The job was straightforward – greet patients and answer the occasional phone call. I was a bit shy back then, but I loved that job and it inspired me to become a psychologist.
At age 15, I was curious about the people who came to see the psychiatrist. Wasn’t it just ‘crazy’ people who sought mental help? To my surprise, seated in the waiting room were normal, everyday people, so why were they seeing a psychiatrist? I wondered what was going on in their lives that wasn’t obvious? Some would tell me ‘why’ they were there.
Like the wise-cracking gentleman who told me he had felt suicidal. The school boy who explained he was on medication for anxiety. The pretty lady who shared her struggles with an eating disorder. I admired their bravery in seeking treatment. Before I qualified as a psychologist I wasn’t bound by any professional ethics, but I appreciated how important confidentiality is. People have a right to their everyday lives while facing adversity.
Thirty-plus years later, I remain intrigued and humbled by the people who I meet in and out of the therapy room.
A profound lesson I’ve learned as a psychologist, is that everyone’s life is full of secrets and adversity. It doesn’t matter how much you earn, where you live, what job you do. If you are alive, then it is inevitable that you will face difficulties. Some have far more adversity than seems fair – whether they are stuck in the wrong job, wrong marriage or feel a deep shame resurfacing from childhood abuse. Problems we face can leave us with emotional raw spots and a sense of paralysis, not knowing how to navigate beyond it to a better life.
When we feel overwhelmed by the problems we face, remember the impermanence of everything and that good times come and go and bad times come and go. Within the safe environment of my therapy room I’ve witnessed many people given the right tools, bravely face their adversities by seeing their challenges as opportunities for self-growth. Gaining a professional perspective by someone who can point you in the right direction can make all the difference – that’s where a clinical psychologist comes in.
Working with a clinical psychologist can help you navigate through the challenges of life, heal emotional injuries and learn to forge meaning from adversity. Yes, life has its challenges, but nothing worthwhile ever comes easy. Life is too short to settle for anything less than your #bestlife.