Virtuous Prom Scholarship 2019 Entry by Ester Uvaydova

Half a year has yet to pass since the last mass shooting occurred in America. It was supposed to be a regular Tuesday, when everyone again was stricken with fear and uncertainty on what had happened and what could happen in the future. That day I had two classes part of my counseling psychology program, one in which the professor believed it would be best if we all talked about the violence that had occurred instead of the class topic. A man came into a holy place of worship, a synagogue, and let loose his ramped anger killing many innocent souls. That same week a man shot two African American people due to his racist prejudice. Another man attempted to send explosives to competitors of our president Trump. My class and probably the whole world was quivering in fear and anger at the atrocities that occurred.

My professor, who is a licensed psychologist, took it upon herself that in such a hard time would be the best for us all to speak up and express our concerns. We have a moderately average class size of 20 students, not everyone wanted to speak up. However, I felt as if everyone truly appreciated that they could have a chance to be heard. Many people expressed how they were in shock, that we constantly are having problems with shootings and violence, and that they wish that we could do something but at the same time that they feel powerless. The professor sat in front of the class, and heard everything that was expressed. She did not interrupt a single person, but maintained eye contact the whole time, nodding and expressing interest in what was being said. Once everyone who had a desire to talk was done, she took the chance to tell us how she felt and her concerns. That she too had similar concerns about the future, but at the same time that this should not be something that will deter us away from living our lives. That yes, it is a difficult time, that danger and violence lurk all around the world, but we must try our hardest to make sure that it does not get in the way of our goals. Instead, we should focus on self-care and spreading love. My professor used her skills as a psychologist to discern that her students needed to have a way of expressing themselves and allowed us to speak up. It may have seemed as a small gesture, but it had a great outcome. The study of psychology and the field itself, allows a daily understanding of those who are in need of help.

As a student currently studying counseling psychology with an emphasis in marriage and family therapy, one conceptual phrase will always stick with me. Our main duty is to look for the best interest of our client. Although, my professor is not our class therapist she truly looked for the best interest in us and tried to ease our concerns. Psychology could be a tricky subject in that it could be used in many different forms and theories to distinguish how to truly help a person. In simple terms, learning psychology is a stepping stone towards the enhancement of peace, understanding, tolerance and kindness. It is not only an academic tool but also a way of living and the type of support a person could get. People rely on mental health professionals for many different attributes including but not limited to mental health concerns, stigma and prejudice, and social concerns.

Academically going into the psychological field, I had the privilege of learning not only theories ranging from psychoanalytical to feminist theory, but also an understanding of diverse cultural groups, identities, and population. From day one, of being a psychology student, one of
the main attributes is to be accepting. Which leads towards a type of philosophical outlook in life, one becomes more passionate and kinder towards others in a daily basis. By learning psychology, students open their eyes to what occurs to different people and the struggles they
have to endure. We become much more compassionate towards these situations, and search for ways to ease pain or discomfort. The majority of clients that people in the mental health field help are those that are underprivileged, discriminated, and not supported. Every client is unique and different; they have their own set of features, beliefs, and values in life. It would be easy to group people together and distinguish what is wrong, but that would help no one. We see the difference in everyone and we embrace/encourage it. Instead of simply memorization and lessons, psychology also teaches us the importance of humanity and how there is a future for
everyone, even in the most darkest times.

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