Being a psychologist is such an honour and privilege. I have the opportunity to sit and hear from clients about their most personal struggles and assist them with moving forward. I get to see them being vulnerable, and have courage in doing so.
In being a psychologist, I have found that is actually a two-way street. Clients learn from their psychologist- for example, how to cope with painful emotions, healthy perspectives, communication skills- however psychologists also learn from their clients. During this blog series, I am going to write about some of the things that I have learnt or been reminded of by clients.
In today’s blog, I am going to focus on what client’s have taught me regarding values.
In today’s society, we are constantly bombarded with messages through the media that you need to be wealthy, successful and attractive to be content and satisfied. Client’s often come into therapy holding these ideals. It can be the pressure to achieve these ideals that maintain their pain.
What I have found though, is although on the surface, clients communicate the allure of being wealthy, successful and attraction, what clients tend to put most value on is experiences and relationships. During therapy, I have often seen clients reflect on their values and become more in touch with what really matters to them. What I have also found, is that when clients reflect on what matters to them most about themselves, it is not necessarily being wealthy, successful and attractive. I have often seen clients communicate that they would rather be a person who treats people well and has good friendships, rather than someone, for example, who is physically attractive.
So as you read this blog, what can you take away? It is always good to reflect on what really matters to us. Valued areas can include family, friendships, work, education, participating in the community, enjoyment and pleasure, health and personal growth. What really matters to you most on that list? How can you take action to improve your life in the areas that matters most? Is it organising to see that friend you have been planning on messaging for a while? Is it joining the sporting team you have always felt you were too busy to be in? Is it leaving work earlier to spend more time with you family?
Living consistently with values is so important for overall mental health. Often people come to see a psychologist for assistance with clarifying their values and problem solving how to increase their satisfaction in valued areas.
Michelle Dean (M Clin Psych, BA (Hons – First Class), brings her genuine care and compassion for people, along with her keen insight and analytical abilities to her work.
Through her various roles, she has developed a deep understanding of how these difficulties develop and impact on people in different life stages. Michelle has been able to assist her clients in developing skills to manage their anxiety and depression, along with enabling them to develop a healthy sense of self and greater self confidence. Michelle is a high calibre and compassionate professional and she is wonderful at being able to see the complexities of a clinical presentation and bring her therapeutic work down to a manageable and structured approach.