It is easy enough to dismiss the thought stating, “They help so many people; won’t they know if they need some themselves?” We, as a society, have to see psychologists in a more human perspective, in a more sensitive manner. The basic non-occurrence of the discussion on psychologists’ mental health should itself lead to a bone of contention.
Time and again, young psychologists give up on their dreams of being a counsellor and take up teaching or other jobs. This happens mostly due to the following reasons:
Imagine a psychologist who is being called to address a clinical session just after having a fight with their partner or attending the funeral of a friend. Most psychologists have to listen to the experiences of different types of clients in an understanding manner, with no place for a personal outlet. The pressure from different counselling sessions may result in the state of constant stress for a psychologist. This prolonged stress would result in physical, emotional, and mental exhaustion. With continued stress, one would lose the motivation and interest that led them to be a counselor, therapist, or psychologist in the first place.
Psychologists have to deal with clientele issues; sometimes they ring close to home and reflect issues in their personal life. There may also be conflicts with the client’s cultural value system,most often in the areas of authority and relationships.
With continued counselling and related pressure, there might be a tendency for a psychologist
to carry over some of these issues to their personal life. This can affect their family relationships
and friendships. Identifying the fine balance between job, family, and friends, and maintaining this balance is quite important.
Counsellors need counselling, too
As a psychologist, if you are facing all or any of the above problems, you are most probably in need of an external help. After all, even psychologists are human beings and need somebody to offer them empathy, sensitivity, and unconditional acceptance in a non-judgmental space.