Altering Mental Block

In my line of work, I have the privilege to meet a lot of people – listen to their stories and mapping their cognitive functions. By doing so, the process of psychotherapy will serve as the basis for my clients in understanding their way of thinking, distorted belief or simply to know that they have options.

The hard part of psychotherapy is to talk and make family members to understand client’s situation – that they need time to readjust to their new pattern of thinking or how much they need support from their loved ones. Sometimes I scratch my head due to disbelief that family members can’t wait to reach the end line of the process.

What if we – as psychologists – are the ones who need to give support to our loved ones? The answer is as hard as those family members of our clients. When we put down our professional titles and be an ordinary family member of our loved ones, chances are we facing the same difficulties like others.

We have our expectations, our own hopes, as well as fears, whether they will make it or not. Will they be able to pursue their dreams, or will we have to accept the fact that every hopes shatter to pieces? All those questions are in our head – the so-called psychologists – when we walk together with our loved ones who need help or support.

The journey will not be easy. We need to learn from the family members of our clients – who wait and support patiently through every session and years of psychotherapy.

We need to alter our mental blocks and believing that our loved ones will be able to get through their hardest days, their biggest fears and their made-believe limitations. We also need to help them in overcoming those blocks – and make them believing in themselves. It will not be an easy journey, because they might have grown up with the same way of thinking for the past 20-30 years before we met them. But it will certainly be a worthy journey to conquer.

If you’re facing this kind of problem, believe in yourself and believe in your loved ones. Having a set of positive belief will bring you to a new stage of life. Keep up the hard work!

“I am a Psychologist”. Sorry, what?

Yes, I am a psychologist.
It is interesting to notice the first impression of others when they ask me about my job. Mostly they will ask, “Don’t you feel stressed out listening to others in daily basis?” Or “What kind of problems that people share with you?”.

Even though I’m working in a big city in Indonesia, Surabaya, people still second guess this profession. It can be caused by the limited information regarding this work or the wrong conception regarding this job. People tend to think that psychologist is the one who is responsible to take care of patients with mental disability or schizophrenia. They forget to see between those two gaps – anxiety, depression, relationship issues or even daily hassles. Sometimes people come to my office to share how they feel or think – and that’s all.

Working in this area has a lot of benefits for me. For example, I have the privilege to learn a lot about life and its complications without the need to experience it first hand. I also blessed to have the opportunity to broaden my knowledge of life – how to see things objectively and slow to judge. Sometimes, when people are busy talking of others, I can float myself out of the circle and not being part of that ‘small minded’ conversation (as Roosevelt said).

Another important experience as a psychologist is the need to keep on updating oneself with recent knowledge. Going for conference and engage with a group discussion is very challenging and also enriching. For me personally, to be able to learn from and share with others is fun.

And if you still unfamiliar with our job, try to watch some well-known series: Bones (with Dr Sweets), Law and Order: SVU (with Dr Huang) or Criminal Minds (with Dr Reid). Despite the criminality background, their part in the series is quite loud. And you may get the seriousness of this work (well, not that serious though).

Enjoy your work as much as we enjoy our work 🙂

Being a Clinician : What Does It Means?

After I had my case presentation last week, I still have numbers of questions in my head. My lecturer said that one important point that differ Clinicians and Educational Psychologist is the ability to read beyond the number written in the paper, such as: IQ score, mental age or any other scale used in psychological measurements. She critized numbers of cases presented last week, because for her what we did was not enough for a Clinician-t0-be. I started to reflect her advice to myself…

Being a clinician is one of my dreams since long time ago. I always want to help other people by understand their feelings, their backgrounds, their actions and the outcomes. I want to help them with scientific knowledge, not just based on my perceptions, or even worse, my intuition.

Whenever I listen to other people about their problems, my mind is wandering around. It is like travelling through the time and space, just to get the clear picture of what had happened with that person and what it was like for that person. I imagine that I am watching a movie and listening to the narration, while the person tells the story, so that I could understand the case and get the whole picture of it.

In order to understand a case, we need to read beyond the spoken words, beyond the thinkable possibilities or the seen phenomena. It’s not about becoming a mind reader or a witch doctor, but it is a way to connect the missing puzzles and bring them all into consciousness as a complete picture (do I sound Freudian?). Sometimes the person just don’t get the correct understanding of the relations among scenes or events in his life. Therefore, we have to help them to connect the missing puzzles. And after that, we can work together with that person to move on to the next step and understand that the past may affect present life and should not affect future life.

I think, personally, being a clinician means that we have to help others with the knowledge that we have. It’s not merely about the money, but it is also about developing ourselves, myself, to understand other people better than before and learn the life lesson given from certain case.

Way to go, Clinicians!

‘Copy-Paste’ Psychologist

Writing reports on client’s assessments or intervention is something that a psychologist has to do, daily. For experienced psycholigists, making reports is piece of cake, but yet still need their full attention. For those who do not have much experiences on writing reports, like me, we still a whole lot of practices and practices. One thing I hate about ‘the great of computer technology’ is the ability to copy and paste anything! Let me share some experiences that had happened around me…

There was one lecturer in a place where I had my internship back on 2003, who copied and pasted report from someone else’s report. The previous report was made by her too. When I had to send the report to the company who referred the client, I noticed that the client’s name was not right. When I checked out, almost half of the report contained the wrong name. My colleague and I told the lecturer about that, and we found out that she just copy-paste the interpretation of assessments from her previous client. Well, I guess she thought that all of her clients were just the same…

There is a classmate of mine who also love to copy-paste someone else’s work. Last week, after the case presentation on the first day, he copied one paper who had been pasted to the classroom’s computer (all the presenters must paste their papers onto classroom’s computer to make it easier to prepare the presentation). We did not know at first, until he opened the wrong paper during his presentation. He was going to open his own paper from his flash disk, but then he clicked on someone else’s paper who had been copied to his flash disk. Well, if he did not fell ashamed of it, we did. Because for us, a psychologist must understand the ethics of respecting someone else’s work… I guess he did not grasp the meaning of respecting others.

I wonder to myself, what can I do when I see a classmate or lecturer doing such thing? A friend told me to report my classmate to Masters-Program Coordinator, but other friends told me not to. Personally, I don’t care of what other people doing, as long as they do not copy my works. But professionally, I feel it’s going to get worse if I do not warn my classmate. He just does not realized the potential harm that he may cause when he’s working as a psychologist one day later…

I will work with him during my internship… hope I can handle it well.

Celebrity Mental Disorders

I’m not going to write any columns on celebrity gossips. I just watched this show on E! a few nights ago and I thought I would love to comment on that matter: celebrity mental disorders.

These days the position of psychologists or psychiatrist have been added to the top list of medical helpers. People seek us (read: psychologists) because they are aware of what we are capable of doing and the help that we offered. This thing happens especially in Indonesia, where the awareness of mental health is known only around big cities and haven’t touch the holes around small islands.


Many people are at risk of having mental disorders. The cause range from biological dysfunctions into social pressures. From work stress into relationships matters. Whatever the triggers, it may bomb someone terribly when that person is at low state of living his/her life.

Celebrity is one type of professional worker who are having stress continuously. They have to be perfect in front of camera, which is following them almost 30 hours/day. So, imagine you live under the camera and all those shots. It seems that they live under the microscope, so everything is very clear to be seen and judged (I’m inspired by Gil Grissom-CSI: Las Vegas).


For some celebrities, they started to be a star since they were young (toddlers sometimes!) until their adulthood. If we can count the pressures by numbers, we can understand the life that they had gone through. We may have problems in every stage of our development, and we go unnoticed. Nobody cares, beside our family. But when celebrities are having the same problems as ours, they will go under surveillance of their fans, paparazzi or media.

Some of them suffered from self-hurting behaviors, such as: cutting or burning. When they hurt themselves, they feel no pain, instead they feel good. It’s the compensation that they are looking for, after having such a stormy life. Some of them are also having OCD (obsessive-compulsive disorder), hoarding behaviors, panic attack with agoraphobia and most of all, depression. The teenage-celebrities are at risk of having eating disorders, like: bulimia or anorexia out of 80 other eating disorders. Most of them had gone through treatments or psychotherapies, such as: cognitive behavioral therapy or medicine to treat the symptoms of depression and other biological dysfunctions.

What we need to do as readers or fans is to understand the cause of those disoders, the therapy/treatment that they have and the outcomes. We can’t blame it on them whenever we see them without make up, looking fat and ugly. Despite being celebrity, they are only human.

Doing Ethics Final Examination

Headaches, nausea and dizzyness are very common among us, graduate students who are having examinations. Yes, we are struggling to finish the exams well. This semester we have 7 subjects (do not compare the Indonesian education systems with any Western countries system), i.e.: ethics, research methodologies (qualitative and quantitative), statistics, self-development, psychological assessment and philosophy of science.


Now, I’m updating my blog while trying to finish my ethics paper. Lecturers gave us 6 ethics problems and we have to answer all of them. Most of the problems are very abstracts and theory-minded. For example, we have write down all the possible dilemmas (plus the solutions) that might happen when a psychologist have to work as family counsellor, industrial psychologist, community psychologist, forensic psychologist and witness at the courtroom. So, you count all those aspects x possible dilemmas (plus the solutions) = ___ pages. No wonder we are all having headaches…

Ethics is always be the hardest part to decide, especially when it comes into making ethical decision and be fair to all of the clients (actual and prospective). Psychologists are always identical with ethics problems, such as: dual relationship, ethics VS law or unhealthy competition among psychologists. One colleague of mine suggested that the main thing to hold is how we can respect our client, as individual. When we can put the client first, then we can overcome some main problems regarding ethics. Putting client first does not mean that we will give everything that he/she wants, such as: give false testimony at the courtroom. As a professionals, we have to put the long-term benefit for clients and our professionality.

Way to go!

I Gave Pat on My Shoulder

Edwin is my classmate and he’s the writer of this comment. I thought he was exaggerating at first… but I have to admit that I was smiling at myself and patted my shoulder (honestly).

The great person to be

Halo, cuma mampir sebentar pengen promosi blog temenku yang kerennnnn banget:

Silakan diklik dan selamat membaca buah karya pemikiran orang yang menurutku benar-benar “psikologi” banget….
Anyway, as an appreciation, I guess I have to promote your blog in English, just like the way you write your blog. This “great” blog contains A to Z of a person point of view, who dedicate herself on educating children, living up her dream, and share her daily life with us, with honesty and truthfullness.
She’s, I think, one in a million person whom we should take a look at and have her as a role model. I never met someone with such “purpose-driven life.” I pray for you that you would achieve what you’re dreaming ever since….

Could you pray for me that I could make my dream come true as well???

original site: Surijah Corner

What a classmate!

What a classmate!


This appreciation made me realize that dreams are something to achieve and they are achievable! Start with a small step, one step at a time. It will amount into thousands of steps at the end. I’m collecting my steps at the moment. Even though it’s hard to keep myself calm and stay in track. Sometimes I just want to fly away for good, something that is impossible to do … because by doing that, I become irresponsible.

Thanks to Edwin …