What are the most important lessons you learned in your life?
Life is the greatest schools of all, in my opinion. I learned to love myself and put me as a priority. I learned that I need to stand up for myself as well as verbalize my needs, wishes and wants. I learned that I need to teach people how to treat me by leading an example. If I want love, I need to show them I love me. If I want respect, then I need to show them I respect me; and so forth. I also learned that I need to be kind with myself and use my mistakes as learning opportunities to grow and evolve. I mostly learned to stand up after every fall and persist until I make my dreams a reality. If you believe in you, nothing is impossible.
How do you manage to stay focused while engaging with different cases on daily basis?
Throughout my training during both my masters and doctorate degree, I had an amazing supervisor who guided me through the process of remaining objective and distant. Although empathy is a necessity in my job, learning to stay objective and focused is the only way to guarantee that clients will be helped professionally. It was not an easy process in my early days of training but as I grow more and more in experience, the skill was easier to acquire.
To what extent are therapist credibly portrayed in screen features?
Sadly, they are not portrayed in the best way at all. We see all therapists either unethically behaving or shown as having strange mannerisms and psychological difficulties. We are still way behind in providing our audience the real essence of our work as therapists and how respectful of our ethical code we are. I wish one day that I could see some cinema or drama portrayals of a genuine real picture of my profession with respect and honesty.
Was being a woman ever an obstacle for you?
I love this question. At times I think if I was a man my life would have been so much easier and all what I would have to do is “shave in the morning and show up at work”. However, I have embraced my womanhood a long time ago and saw it as a blessing. By nature, women are more patient, empathic, love to listen and talk; skills that worked like magic in my job. The obstacles were more around practical steps to reach where I am today, like not being allowed to travel abroad to study before a certain age…etc. Simply because I am a girl or having to work extra hard at showing my brain in conferences so I am not looked at as a female that is “legally blonde” if you know what I mean.
How can women cultivate spectacular career success?
The first step is to be doing a job that you are truly loving and passionate about. With persistence, hard work and patience you begin taking steps toward your goals. The goals need to be based on a vision that you internally believe you will achieve and broken down into practical little steps. With time and a plan at hand, you eventually reach your goals. I also believe that it is important to recall that setback are interpreted and used as learning opportunities rather than failures. Nothing should distract you from your vision. You get up and continue your path and mission.
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