A reflection on the supposed non-human nature of the psychologist.
This article is inspired by the many times I have been told a somewhat peculiar comment regarding my profession. And not only to me, but many of those who read this text and dedicate themselves to psychology must be thinking the same thing.
Dismantling some myths about the profession of psychologist
There are many branches of psychology, but popularly not all are known. When someone thinks of a psychologist, he automatically associates him with the clinical specialty, that is, the discipline that studies conduct disorders to later subject the patient to therapy to improve their quality of life. Coincidentally, the profession of clinical psychologist is the most exploited by the Hollywood film industry and is also closely related to the most famous clinical psychologist in history, Sigmund Freud , Psychoanalysis and the huge world of dreams.
For this reason, when someone asks you what your profession is and you answer that you are a psychologist, almost instantly they have already imagined you sitting in a chair with a patient on the couch.
“Divan: armchair / bed to lie down and
closely related to psychoanalysis ”.
Once it is assumed that you dedicate yourself to psychology, and although no one knows that yours is not the clinical specialty, one of the phrases that we have heard the most since we started studying the fantastic career of Psychology usually arises in the minds of the interlocutors .
Leaving aside other recurring questions also well known as: guess what I think, are you psychoanalyzing me? Or have I dreamed of a castle tonight, does that mean something to you? Here is the phrase that they repeat to us until we are exhausted !:
“Psychologists study that career because they have a problem and want to heal themselves (commonly called” crazy “or” deranged “).
Let’s reflect on this sentence. As in all races, there are peculiar, strange, conflictive people and even with serious problems in their behavior. As in the career of psychology, this also happens in all disciplines, as in all jobs and especially as in life.
There are people with more or less serious problems in all corners of our society, and also some in the faculty. I attest to this, because I have had the “pleasure” of meeting various “peculiarities” that come from the same guild.
But this does not mean that we should make the exception the rule. There are also people who study this career to better understand why they are the way they are. Although we have all had these thoughts in our heads at some time, simply for the mere fact of being human and thoughtful beings. But my advice for people who are considering studying psychology with the sole interest of trying to solve their problems, it is preferable to go for a consultation and try to solve your possible “problems” or concerns that way. In the end, you will surely save yourself a lot of time and go straight to the goal.
Psychologists have emotions, although it is incredible
As the title of the article says, psychologists are people. We don’t do everything right, nor can we surely “heal” ourselves, as many believe. We have tools to manage some situations more easily, but we don’t do magic.
We make mistakes, we fall, we hurt ourselves and we also suffer. We have difficulties, complicated circumstances and less bearable moments, like everyone else. We have the right to be bad, like all other people and that is not why we are less professional. We have to take into account that our attitudes, emotions and situations affect us subjectively, so we have to discern very well what affects us on a personal or professional level. If what happens to us is really unavoidable, it is necessary to start solving that problem and that situation in order to carry out our work in the best possible way.
Psychologists attending consultation
Psychologists often also need to go to consultation to solve certain issues that affect them. Does it sound strange for a psychologist to go to another psychologist? Well, it shouldn’t be.
For example, a psychologist may need to go to therapy because they cannot mourn the death of a family member or loved one. It may happen that this person comes for a consultation so that another professional can help him / her in accompanying this process called grief.
The duel has different phases, and it does not always go quickly from one state to another, but we can stay in one of those phases for more or less time or even get stuck in one of them. Especially in this society in which we are not taught to go through a grief normally, it seems that we have very little time to overcome a grief and not all of us need the same time to assimilate the loss of that person who is now gone.
Each person faces bad times in their own way
Many people even get stuck for years in a phase, which does not allow them to move forward in their life normally. In other cultures and / or countries, such as Mexico, the loss or death of a person is faced in a very different way. Examples such as the Day of the Dead in Mexico when everyone goes out to the streets to remember the deceased with songs and customized with skulls painted on their faces. On the other hand, in the United States, a kind of catering is carried out at home so that everyone can say goodbye to the deceased and offer condolences to the family.
They are different ways of facing the same reality. Psychologists, as human persons, are also different when it comes to going through such a moment. We are not immunized against sadness, nobody is.
In short: a psychologist is neither a robot nor a magician
So then, and going back to the thesis of the article, I hope that after reading this text, when you meet again with a psychologist, you will think differently about how it is or what it can contribute to you. Do not forget that people are, above all, people. With defects and with virtues, with fears and with illusions.