Have you ever thought about the actual down-to-earth reality of a psychologist?
Posted by :
Shaheen Fathima Cholayil, GIIS Abu Dhabi
Ever come across instances where mental health was discredited? As an Indian, I surely have. Psychology is a domain that is highly underrated in India, they degrade their value and fail to concede their potential. We at 3G School of Psychology, cognize the true passion and capability tacitly swarming inside of a psychologist. Therefore, we provide the best learning environment for them recognizing the future that awaits them.
Apart from the underration of the job, have you ever thought about the actual down-to-earth reality of a psychologist? Sure, the impression of healing someone and providing one support assuredly sounds gratifying and heartwarming, yet, being a psychologist comes with more than just occupational hazards, it summons numerous emotional difficulties as well. Here, I’ll be listing out the major mental challenges faced by a psychologist.
This is often ignored by many and that includes the psychologists themselves! Imagine this scenario: you wake up everyday, walk to the workplace only to hear heart-wrenching stories and troubled thoughts of patients. And that too on a daily basis? It wouldn’t be a surprise to find that therapists are also vulnerable to emotional suffering. A survey by the british psychologist society found that 46% of psychologists and psychotherapists suffered from depression, and 49.5% reported that they felt they were failures.
2.Counseling unwilling patients
Okay, let’s get real. Counseling reluctant patients is a wearisome task. These patients might hesitate to fully open up due to embarrassment, shyness or stark skepticism. There have been cases in which patients refuse to accept help because their parents and guardians have pushed them into therapy. Communicating with such patients requires a huge deal of patience and that can get pretty stressful for the therapist.
3.Developing tendencies to forget self-care in order to focus on other’s needs
Being a therapist or a psychologist itself comes with a prerequisite of a selfless mind to care for others. They come across many patients with various kinds of mental afflictions and are expected to provide the best treatment. However, not reaching these expectations can cause psychologists to accustom themselves to self-degradation. This results in putting their personal needs and problems aside, and frequent burnouts.
4.Drawing a boundary line between the Psychologist and patient
Setting strict relationship limitations are important in maintaining a professional stature. Now, counselors are humans as well. They also have emotions and feel empathy. They too form opinions and judgements of their own. However, these typical attributes of being a human can act as a stumbling block. It will limit the psychologist in catching sight of the broader view and correctly assess the situation. Hence, pardon my wording, but, they are required to be a stoic rock and remain undeterred by the client's circumstances. The eminent psychologist Albert Ellis drew heavily on the ancient philosophy of Stoicism in developing Rational Emotive Behaviour Therapy (REBT).
5.Anxiety, substance use/ self harm or other compulsive behaviours to manage stress
Anxiety attacks from time to time are seen in therapists who work with traumatised patients. This affects them to such an extent that they’ll need a counselor themselves.
6.Intrusive imagery from clients’ traumatic material
A psychologist's main job is listening to their patients’ concerns. They hear all sorts of stories from their patients, from being treated unfairly to being physically and mentally abused. It's only a given that getting a load of a person’s mortifying traumas can affect the therapist as well.
7. Difficulty in reaching clients
Though therapists earn a median of $77,030 a year, reaching out to clients is extremely difficult. Getting people to therapy can be a little strenuous as most Indians refuse to get help. 150 million of the Indian population are in need of mental help, yet only 30 million reach out to professionals. This may restrict the psychologist from gaining recognition from people.
Knowing and acknowledging these challenges is a necessity to become a successful psychologist. As you’d already know, more the plus sides, more the downsides. The same goes for being a psychologist. The job is not just challenging, but also vastly gratifying. However, understanding the severity of these obstacles and tackling them is what makes a great psychologist.