As part of our series of monthly interview with the MyMind mental health professionals team, we are talking to Psychologist Karolina Jurasik.
Why did you become a Psychologist?
What attracted me to the area of Psychology was people. I was very interested in how people see things and how things are perceived differently by everyone because of individual experiences. I was told by my friends that I’d make a good Psychologist because I am a good listener and as soon as I started the course, I instantly wanted to learn more – especially about being a therapist.
Was there a lot of training involved to become a therapist?
Yes, there was and continues to be. As a therapist, you have to continuously study, learn and broaden your knowledge in the area to be really good at what you do. We always joke that you become a really good Psychologist when you’re 60, as you are gathering experience constantly throughout your life. It was a very intense five years of study and training and then I was doing volunteer work around this. I think direct experience is important as you’re working with people and you can gauge how you are reacting and improve your skills to working with this dynamic.
You speak Polish in your sessions with clients. What do you think are the benefits of this for the client?
I think it’s very important that a person feels comfortable with their therapist, and feels welcome and in good hands. Sometimes, meeting someone who speaks your own language is part of this. If English isn’t a person’s first language, people can be hesitate or scared to speak English. People sometimes find it easier to express their thoughts and feelings in own language which is obviously an important part of the healing process.
What approach/es do you practice?
I use an integrative approach in my sessions, which incorporates lots of techniques and skills in the area of Psychology. What I find very useful and it’s often want clients want to explore is CBT, or Cognitive Behavioural Therapy. It really does depend on what people want to gain from the experience. Some may want to develop life tools, others may want to understand their behaviour or emotions better and why they are experiencing them.
What do you think are the barriers that stand in people’s way to approaching therapy for the first time?
I think one of the barriers that stands in people’s way is a fear of change which we all have. Sometimes our body and mind will resist change because it’s the unknown. Even if it’s something we know isn’t great for us – like chocolate for example, we’ll eat it anyway because it’s what our mind knows and craves. It’s often takes more effort and ismore demanding to change instead of stay the same, even if it’s not good for us. Time can also be a barrier as working on yourself is a commitment and you need to make space in your life for it. It’s all about motivation – I find therapy isn’t as effective when a person is unmotivated. When you realise that the change is something you have to do, or you want to grow and learn – this is were the motivation comes from.