The Reason Why I Want to Be a Psychologist and My Actions

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Upon receiving a text message from a friend about her intention of suicide three years ago, I was overwhelmed by a sense of shock and agitation. Without hesitating, I referred to the DSM-V, learning that suicidal thoughts are a symptom of depression. Additionally, other classmates of mine have suffered from this disorder, especially those whose parents were not taking their mental health concerns seriously. As a result, I became determined to become a psychologist, helping individuals overcome disorders and promoting the importance of mental health awareness.

Through A-Level Psychology at Shenzhen College of International Education, I have found that a holistic view rather than a reductionist perspective should be utilised when interpreting the results of an experiment or understanding a mental disorder. In other words, there should be fewer judgments and more exploration of opinions based on diverse knowledge. Outside the classroom, psychology-based theories and methods, such as Rational Emotive Behavioural Therapy, have helped me manage negative emotions of my own in that I can choose how to think and feel towards adversity. In addition, A-Level Mathematics and Geography have provided me with the skills and competence in evaluating data and statistical analysis, reinforcing the methodical and interpretative skills necessary to succeed in the field of psychology. I aspire to gain first-hand experience in conducting laboratory experiments at university level.

During the summer of 2018, I had the privilege of participating in a workshop focused on Counselling Psychology at Beijing Guoao Psychology Hospital. There, I acquired theoretical knowledge and observed medical devices such as electroencephalograms and those for basic relaxation, biofeedback, and health risk assessments. Moreover, I enhanced my understand of Freud’s theory of psychoanalysis, defence mechanisms, and humanistic psychology, furthering my enthusiasm and determination to advance my studies in this field. Furthermore, we conducted a simulated counselling session in which I functioned as the therapist. It was evident that utilising the appropriate questioning techniques was crucial for understanding, helping, and diagnosing the patient. As a casual trainee on the final day, I was responsible for guiding patients to a private room where they would self-report their mental and physical states and establishing if there were improvements or deterioration based on reliable psychometric tests. During these exams, I had to introduce the measurement method to the patients and convey the questions clearly and concisely. A strong sense of obligation towards this profession arose in me concerning the fact that unforeseen circumstances regarding patient behaviour are possible which may generate invalid results.

To combine theory with practice, I worked as an assistant at Sunflower Children’s Rehabilitation Centre (Shenzhen, China) in March 2019. As an organisation that treats artistic children with various types of therapy, I was responsible for encouraging them to participate in activities to maximise the effects of the behavioural approaches (such as applied behaviour analysis), helping them learn life skills, and alleviating their symptoms. Based on my experiences there, I firmly believe societies should pay more attention to children with autism without further delay and contribute to their well-being.

While I have accumulated a theoretical foundation and practical experience in psychology, an undergraduate degree is a prerequisite for achieving my long-term goal of becoming an effective clinical psychologist. Through the discipline’s theories and methods, I hope to promote the importance of mental health in China through practice, workshops, and education.

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