WENDY MACKAY | CLINICAL PSYCHOLOGIST
WHAT LIGHTS YOU UP ABOUT BEING A PSYCHOLOGIST?
I love it when I see a client feel relief, like a huge weight has been taken off their shoulders. I get a real kick out of seeing changes in someone’s emotional well-being and how it extends to all parts of their lives. It’s all about energy for me. I love to share knowledge about non-traditional psychology techniques that can help change how someone experiences their challenge emotionally and how they view the issue.
It’s wonderful to see clients who are committed to finding the core issue, despite it being emotionally difficult at times. I feel privileged when clients are open to being vulnerable and trust me to share their emotional journey.
WHAT ARE YOUR TOP 3 VALUES YOU BRING TO BEING A PSYCHOLOGIST?
Hard to narrow it to just 3 but I’d say:
WHAT PISSES YOU OFF ABOUT BEING A PSYCHOLOGIST?
Well….I guess the system we work within can be challenging at times. Sometimes people get labelled or ‘put in a box’ and it sticks for life which can be unhelpful. People think they have to have something forever which is not true. E.g. anxiety
Going to see a psychologist can be viewed in society as weak or that someone is crazy or has a mental health problem. Often we give clients emotional support and strategies to cope with a situation that may be challenging for them. Everyone needs support at some time in their life. That’s just life.
I can’t expect someone to be authentic in therapy if I’m not authentic. I need to have done my own personal work to be able to be present for my clients. I couldn’t do this work without being able to understand what clients are feeling and the context of where they are coming from. I use my intuition a lot in therapy as it guides me to where we need to go even if it may not make sense at the time.
WHAT WAS A PIVOTAL MOMENT OF LEARNING FOR YOU AS A PSYCHOLOGIST?
We’re taught a lot of dos and don’ts in our training, and over the years I’ve come to realise that it’s ok for me to be vulnerable and share life experiences if that will help my client. Just being me, my authentic self is the most important thing I can be with my client. I’ve found that it helps clients relax and be themselves and be okay with being vulnerable, because I too have had my bumps along this journey of life that have given me perspective and life learning, which is perpetual.