Mental health is one of the most important factors in any person’s well-being. It is when you ignore your mental health issues, either because you don’t want to deal with them or because you’ve been told your mental health is not important to deal with, things start going awry.
Mental Illnesses are on a rise and there is a demand for good therapists to join the market to make it easier for people who are looking for help to find the right help
There is a lack of well-trained experience therapists and a conversation with this therapist based in Lahore helped us discover why
Daheem is a marriage and Abuse counselor in Lahore and she also works as a senior tutor at Therapy Works. She got her bachelors degree in Psychology from Kinnaird College in Lahore and followed it with a Masters from Government College Lahore. Regarding becoming a Psychologist and higher education programs for that she says, “I also taught at BNU for a while and there are good programs in all these colleges.”
The qualities that are required in a therapist include a lot of patience and being a good listener. Daheem talked to us about her own education and experience
“The relational aspect of the field is not really taught in Pakistan and that is the most important part of this field. A person could get a 4.0 in psychology but if they are not properly trained then cannot be good therapists”, she says.
Students studying psychology or human behavior should try to access mentors and supervisors who can help guide them in the process of becoming good practitioners in the field.
Psychology is a lot like medicine because unless you get experience under the supervision of a senior, there is no guarantee that you can practice in the field. Daheem works with Therapy Works which is a great platform for this. They have offices in Karachi, Lahore and Islamabad and they have a two step program that nurtures young psychologists. Daheem told us that she has taught both of these programs and they are very self involving which is essential because unless a therapist sorts their own issues out, they cannot be of help to someone else.
“I still have a therapist myself and I think it should be mandatory for every psychologist to seek therapy alongside of their practice, helping other people”
Daheem feels it is important for doctors themselves to be treated by professionals and not take themselves for granted.
Therapy Works offers a certificate that trains students to develop a sense of empathy and make sure they know how to observe their reactions no matter what a client tells them. The second step which is the Diploma actually makes them more comfortable in taking clients but they can always refer back to their supervisor or mentor if they get stuck.
Her education and experience as a therapist has helped Daheem raise her own children better but her profession can sometimes be a struggle in her personal relationships
“It is a lot about how much you absorb. Once that empathy and compassion sets in, it becomes a part of you.”
It is important to find a specific specialization because you cannot become a therapist in general for all issues. Daheem for example trained in couples and family counseling but has overtime gained expertise in trauma cases. The majority of her caseload is of trauma cases and with experience she has gotten better at helping her clients as well.
We asked Daheem for any advice she had for people aspiring to study Psychology
“It is extremely important to find a mentor. Approach a teacher or a practicing therapist who can supervise your work and guide you. Also remember to have principles with regards to your work and maintain confidentiality about the intimate details your clients share with you.”
This field can be extremely overpowering and overwhelming but don’t be scared because this is not a well established profession in Pakistan and there is a shortage of good therapists.
We hope that Daheem’s story provides insight and guidance for anyone who wishes to pursue a career in psychology.
Cover image via: hearldsun.com.au