Interview with Lidia Budziszewska, Psychologist, questions asked by:
Cathy Smitton, Speech and Language Therapist.

What funny things do people ask you about your profession?

People ask many things, concerning both my professional and private life. The most common are:

•    » Do you always analyze/psychoanalyze anyone you meet? «
•    «Are you sometimes tired of listening to all those people? «
•    «Does a psychologist need a psychologist? «
•    «Do I have to lie down on the coach? «
•    «Can I tell you about my dreams? «

Why do you think people ask those questions?

Our profession is awakening those questions because people are unaware of what we do as professionals, of what to expect from us. A need to categorize and understand reality is one of the most important human needs.  This is exactly how stereotypes are born…

What stereotypes exist about your profession?

I can only guess how many 🙂 Still the most common ones are

•    Counsellors and therapists use too much “psychobabble.”

That´s a common concern, and certainly a very important issue for health professionals who need to be able to clearly explain how the mind, behaviour, or relevant topic works. We learn to use a simple, friendly language in order to be able explain all that to our clients or anyone interested in our profession.

•    We are all-knowing and can provide all the right answers.

That´s another expectation and a hard one to redirect.

It is common to get asked “What should I do?”, “What’s the answer to this problem?”, “What do you suggest?”. It would be nice if someone could tell us exactly what to do in order to feel better or get to the next step in life, but those answers lie within us. The professional helps us find them.

•    We must have perfect lives.

If this one were true,  the therapist wouldn´t be able to understand us, and relate to us. This raises the question of whether the objective of therapeutic intervention is perfection? Or finding a way to enjoy the life we have, making changes in the way we live?

We do have normal lives, perhaps more aware and conscious of our behaviour, but as anyone else, full of mistakes and errors, disappointments, bad and good days.

How do you respond to those stereotypes?

Obviously it depends on who´s asking and in what context.  If it´s a question, a joke between friends, I can just laugh about it with no need to clarify.

But if it´s a client asking and you can sense a more serious concern behind the question, I try to address the issue the best I can.

What would you like people to know about your profession?

That it´s very complex, demanding and hard work but also fascinating, encouraging continuous learning and motivation – as any other job can be, if you feel that what you´re doing makes sense.

Soon find out our Interview with Cathy Smitton, our Language and Speech Therapist

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