Iren Kovalevich from Belarus meets every day with joy. Two children - a teenage son and a four-year-old daughter - bring a lot of amazing and exciting things in her life. Her everyday task is to teach students one of the most unusual sciences - psychology. To this end, Iren has to read, think, communicate, listen to words attentively, ask people questions, be surprised, change opinion (which sometimes is not so easy for her). She is active, athletic, she is dreaming about traveling, new impressions. When our Advisor cannot make a decision, she "freezes" and listens to her feelings ... In the opinion of Iren, this is how the right decisions are made.
- How did You become a psychologist? Was it a childhood dream?
Becoming a psychologist was not a dream. I studied in the humanitarian class of the gymnasium, at the biological faculty of the university. My specialty is a biology teacher, psychologist. After completing my studies, I was thinking about whether to go to graduate school - to work in genetics. But it all turned out that now I'm a teacher of psychology, which makes me very glad.
- Why did You choose this profession?
People often come to psychology to solve their own problems. Perhaps this is my story too. In my teenage world there were many things that I failed to understand. It seemed to me that getting acquainted with psychology would help me to understand the rules according to which life goes on.
- Was it difficult to master it?
Even now, when I have known psychology for almost 20 years, I cannot say that I mastered it. Acquaintance with this profession can take place at any time. From books (serious and not very serious books) or while communicating with colleagues, students, strangers, children. I do not stop self-education until now and I'm not going to stop.
- Are there any special qualities and skills necessary for a person who decided to become an expert in psychology?
Yes, we need special qualities to help people effectively. First of all, I would like to say that the work of a psychology teacher and a practicing psychologist are different in their specifics, therefore they require different personal characteristics. Recently, besides teaching, I have been working in sphere of practical psychology - counseling and therapy. It is important for a psychology teacher to be a good mentor, to be erudite, to know his subject and general principles of psychology, to be able to organize the process of students teaching, to be a good speaker and to have a certain degree of artistry. And this is not all. A psychologist, who leads a personal reception or who guides a group of psychological work, should be empathetic, sensitive, stress-resistant, well-trained professional, who had sufficient number of personal therapy.
- What difficulties do You face in your work?
I have to "do my homework" like in school time. Every day you need to prepare for classes. Reread, search for new information, be aware of modern researches. In addition, communication with students is always unpredictable. I should be prepared for unexpected questions. I have to allow myself not to know everything and not to feel embarrassed about that.
- What is the most interesting part of your work? Can You tell us the most interesting case from your practice?
To answer this question, I will give you an example of my own story. At some point in my life, I had to ask help from a psychologist. It was scary and uncomfortable to go and open my thoughts (not the most positive ones) to a stranger. I retold him the facts, he asked me to talk about the feelings that accompany them. Then it seemed very difficult. I realized that I did not know myself at all. With an effort, I realized that I was full of anger, even wrath and grievance. Then it became easier. The work with these feelings began. I got my homework. About two weeks I was thinking, I was talking about the emotions that tormented me, I was writing letters to a person, who I was angry with (but I did not send them, I put them in a pile - those were the conditions). For two weeks I said and probably wrote everything I could. I had nothing more to say or even think about. And anger, wrath and grievance were gone unnoticeable. They retreated, and there was only a person who behaved somehow, and could not behave in another way.
- How do You think, why some people do not dare to ask help from psychologists?
I think people find it difficult to trust, open up, be sincere with strangers. One more thing - a person gets used to living in a certain scenario, not noticing that something is happening, something that deprives them of strength or does not bring joy. It seems that’s how it should be, "if only it would not be worse". However, psychological culture slowly, but surely comes into society. More and more people are interested in psychology, gaining an understanding of the need for careful attitude to themselves and the ability to change what does not suit them. It seems to me that such a trend will only increase with time. And this is good!
- When is it necessary to go to a psychologist?
Probably, it will be a huge list of different topics. Parents turn to a psychologist for help if they think that "something is wrong with a child", couples learn to survive crises and solve conflicts, schoolchildren are getting determined with the choice of the future profession. You felt sad (difficult, uninteresting, tired), to live; you want to cry; your mood changes often (it used to be different); you cannot stop eating (you have no appetite); they do not understand you; you buy everything that you see; you often get really angry; you want to finally understand what you are ... and many more cases when meeting with a psychologist will help to relieve tension and bring joy to life.
- What is the uniqueness of Your work with clients?
Each person is a whole world that has something to learn from. And even among psychologists there is an opinion that they always have the client that is necessary for the personal development of the psychologist.
- Do You keep in touch with clients outside of the sessions?
Psychologists have an ethical code that regulates relations with clients beyond professional communication. Most often it's about the fact that communication outside the office is not preferable during therapy. Most likely, this will interfere with the changes and development of the client. The intersection of professional and personal contexts causes confusion in the relationship between the psychologist and the client.
- How useful and important is Your profession?
I consider my profession to be very important. Helping an individual is in itself very good. I believe that people will be happier due to the work of psychologists.
- Does Your profession bring a good income?
My work as a teacher is not the highest paid. I hope that a well-organized private practice will bring me sufficient reward.
- What advice would You give to those who want to become a psychologist?
If someone wanted to become a psychologist, he should know that this is a long and difficult journey. First, you need to get a higher education. Secondly, it is necessary to keep studying all your life, attending various courses, trainings, programs on specialization (which requires material consumption). Thirdly, the profession of a psychologist requires constant reflection, supervision, visits to a personal psychologist, interaction with colleagues. For all this, it is necessary to have a great desire to help people, to love people.
There is one more important point. Life experience influences the effectiveness of the work of a psychologist. Almost every person is more comfortable solving the problems of his own child with a psychologist who has his own children. Couples can be skeptical of a professional who never married, who has no experience of family relationships. Therefore, people that often come to my profession are not at a young age, but those who have more or less life experience.
- What personal qualities do You have to become a good psychologist?
I'm communicative, patient, optimistic, decent, observant, active. I love people and I'm ready to help them. I'm interested in living, in learning new things, in sharing energy with others.
- What is the biggest myth about psychologists?
Confidence that a psychologist can read thoughts and give advice.
- Can You work under pressure?
It is very difficult for me to work within a strict framework. My productivity increases when there is the possibility of free activity.
- What are Your interests?
I really love fitness, cycling, outdoors picnics with children and friends, traveling by car. In addition, if I have free time, I gladly knit small things - scarves, hats.
- What methods of getting rid of stress in your life are You personally using?
First of all, it's a hot shower, a quiet evening, green tea, quiet conversations with loved ones.
- Who inspires you in Your career?
I am inspired by ordinary people, colleagues who do their job well. At the same time, they remain sufficiently successful parents, they retain a good disposition of the spirit, do not lose heart from everyday cares, they find the strength to smile at the people they meet.
- Ads of psychologists who consult clients online, using Skype, etc. are published on the Internet. Do You practice this method?
This is a fairly progressive way of psychological work. I like webinars and online conferences, online seminars. Thus, a special space of psychological practice is created, which any person who is in need of certain information, support, like-minded people, can enter without leaving his own home.
- What is Your personal key to success?
It is important to listen to yourself, to understand what you want. Do not force, do not hurry, feel the moment, be attentive to what is happening around and inside you.
- What personal and / or professional goals have You set for yourself for the future?
I will be realized as a practical psychologist in my profession. I want to conduct a reception, help people solve personal problems of a psychological nature. Personally, for me it's important to take care of health, organize life so that there is an opportunity to travel. One more thing that is very important for me, I want my children to be happy.
- How does participation in surveys affect Your work?
Participation in the surveys has become an important part of my daily routine. I admit, I learn a lot of new and interesting things thanks to the surveys. There was a case when I had a chance to talk with a mathematics teacher. Surprisingly, I easily supported the conversation about artificial intelligence, about Elon Musk, about the unconditional basic income, about the influence of the development of robotics basic tendencies on the everyday life of a person. I learned all this information by participating in DB Advisors. In addition, I use the received information in class with students, organizing debates, discussions, opinions exchange.
- How do You think, what is the connection between the EQ development and your profession? How does the activity of DB Advisors resonate with Your profession?
Probably the most direct connection. Developed emotional intelligence (the ability to recognize and understand one's own and others' emotions, express them and manage them in order to increase the effectiveness of life) is one of the main working tools of a psychologist. It turns out that people with already developed EQ choose this profession. And in the course of professional growth, emotional intelligence develops as well.
- What do You like most about our website?
I really like openness and friendliness, as the main idea of the website's organizers. The website attracted my attention from the first day. So far (for more than 450 days) I participate with interest in its life. For me it is important that the platform develops, changes. One more very important thing is that thanks to the website I have the opportunity to get acquainted with people from different countries. I am still surprised that every participant to whom I address is ready to respond and help. For me, all this looks like an international family, which suddenly appeared in my life.
- What would You advise to DB Advisors?
Rejoice the good that happens to you. Including the things that happen to you thanks to DB Advisors.
DB Advisors Analytical Center