I have been asked a few times, why psychotherapist. When did I decide that this is what I want to do? How did I know my path? The truth is that I didn’t know… but I knew how I felt deep down… I knew my desire. Today, I have decided to share my story with you…
Where it all began
I believe it all started when I was just 7 years old. I remember walking in my village where I come from Poland. As I looked around this feeling of lack of belonging overwhelmed me. And I didn’t like where I was. It felt stuck and no signs of opportunities for growth. I had the need of helping people, I had the need to fix things for others. So that day, that minute, I promised myself that I will become a surgeon as I could save people’s lives.
As a young child, I was very aware of other people’s feelings. In primary school, there was this boy and a girl that was bullied. I hated that. I hated how others treated them. So I got involved and started to give out how they dare treat those kids like this. I talked about how those kids don’t deserve it because they are just kids as the rest of us were, and they had their feelings. The class agreed with me, so the bullying has stopped.
Looking back, I can say that I had quite a strong personality, I always had an opinion, and I liked to be perceived as a leader. Not everyone liked me, but I was ok with it. I never really paid attention to those who didn’t. I trusted myself and that was my strength.
When I was 14, my Polish teacher asked the class what each of us want to do in the future. I said I want to be head of surgery because I want to be able to save people’s lives. I will never forget her reaction! She nearly had a heart attack! She said I am too vulnerable, she said it is not for me at all! I listened to her confused… she was on about psychology, and why I should choose that road.
A change and a challenge
That year was a year of a huge change for me. In June 2004 we moved to Ireland. When my dad asked me, do I want to move to another country, I was delighted. I saw this as an opportunity. Until the reality hit… Only when I was in Ireland, I realized that people speak English here. Yes, I know how it sounds, but that is the truth… It never once crossed my mind before that. So I landed in Ireland with no English at all, and two months later I was put into 2nd year in Secondary School… that year was one of the hardest years in my life.
After Secondary School, I still had that need of helping people. So I chose to do law. I created a new vision of myself, as the owner of a law firm, where I could help people solve their problems. In the 3rd year, one of the exams was that we had to act as a solicitor, while we had a client to be legally advised. I had someone who needed family law advice. I remember sending more time with this lady than the required time. My lecturer wasn’t pleased with me. She said it was more of the counseling session rather than actual legal advice. Once again I had no idea what was the ‘counseling’ thing.
As I was working in the solicitor’s office, I felt something was missing. I didn’t see myself in that environment for a long time. It wasn’t where I wanted to be. So in October 2015, I started my journey with psychotherapy… From day one it felt like I finally found my purpose. I love it ever since.
Me as a psychotherapist
Very often I am receiving feedback from my clients that, they feel very comfortable with me in the room. And to be honest, I feel relief when I am hearing it because I don’t want to be perceived as an authoritative person.
Yes, I have a good knowledge of mental health and psychology and the different theories that come with it, but that doesn’t make me a better person than my clients. This is only my tool to be able to help and support my clients where they need it. I always treat my clients as we are equal in the room.
Often it is hard enough for people to come and seek help and support. So I am trying to make it as easy as possible for them to be able to open up. Sometimes we might cry together, sometimes we will be laughing and joking. Is that the right approach? I am sure, many people will criticize it, but it definitely works for me and my clients. I am choosing to be authentic in the room. And the ethics and boundaries are never crossed.
However, I believe that the therapeutic relationship is of equal importance as the therapeutic process itself. I am a psychotherapist, and that’s my job, but I also have my own personality, and I have created my own style of therapy. Therefore, I prefer to blend different approaches of therapy, rather than be rigid about one and only one. I believe this is given me an opportunity to be more flexible and to be more creative, as a psychotherapist.
your career path
I shared my story with you because I hope it will inspire you to find your own path. I believe we all have a purpose here. My path is to help people and empower them. I believe if you would really listen to your heart’s desire you would know what is your path.
As a psychotherapist, I do not give advice. But here, in this article my advice to you is to: Listen to your heart, don’t overanalyze it. Don’t fear it. Don’t question it. You don’t need all of the answers. You don’t need to know-how. But you need to know why. Just trust that what is meant for you won’t pass you by. I found my why, and I found the path that is fulfilling me as a person. Since I became a psychotherapist, I never worked. I love my job, and I wish you exactly the same.