My main responsibility is patient and customer work, where the focus is on people’s questions and problems. Many of my customers have been visiting me for years. In psychotherapy it’s essential to be engaged and motivated, and to deal with those issues that people bring to the session. The way to approach the issues completely depends on what the issues are like, and their seriousness. The goal is that people would talk about anything they have on their mind, and through that you get to the issues that normally are not in the scope of everyday thinking.
My working schedule varies per day, though usually my working hours are between 8 and 17. I receive certain number of customers per day, usually around seven in average. The duration of the visits is 45 minutes, and in between I have a 5-15min break. What the visit is like totally depends on the issues and the condition of the customer. With new customers it’s more about interviewing them and clarifying the situation. But there’s no pattern with the kind of work that I do - the discussion is versatile, intensive and creative, the focus being on the customer’s cognitive schema. After the visits I register them.
In addition to everyday work, sometimes there are advanced training days, and I also belong to board of our field’s association.
It’s a privilege that people share their very personal problems with you, it’s really interesting and gives you a peak to very differents kinds of lives. You would’t be able to experience that normally. The most interesting and dearest part of my work is that you can be with people, and at the same time you can reflect your own experiences and history. Or if not simultaneously, at least later. I constantly understand more about myself. One of the main objectives of psychotherapy is to increase one’s self-understanding. You should understand more about your own motives - and usually people don’t. But gradually they become clearer and clearer, and you start understanding why you’re doing a certain thing. Many things are not usually driven by rationality, but the actual motives are hidden. I also get to understand better my own motives and my own cognitive schema.
After the workday you’re usually quite exhausted, especially if it’s been a long day, since the days are very intensive. It’s not a big misery though, just exhaustion.
Psychoanalyst or psychotherapist education helps, and a very essential foundation for it is your personal psychic work, your own psychotherapy. To be able to understand others, you need to understand yourself first.
The education for the profession was so long that I had a pretty clear picture about the work in advance. The work is very independent, and of course challenging, but it has met my expectations well. You’re dealing with the reality of mind and cognitive schemas - it’s been exactly what I initially hoped to be working with.