Sunday, January 19, 2014

The practice of psychology

I met up with two women last night over dinner. I have known one of them for some time and she brought along another friend. It was an interesting cultural mix. I am Indian born and raised in India and now residing in the US. One of the two women was Finnish, married to a Hungarian, lived in Copenhagen and moved to the US a few years ago. The third women, a new person to me, was Portugese, younger than both of us, unmarried, and a student in the US after having spent the last few years in Europe. As I said, an interesting cultural mix, guaranteed to lead to interesting conversations. What you wouldn't expect is the similarity of our conversation with the ones I have had with my Indian friends with the same kind of upbringing as I.

All throughout dinner, we spoke about the everyday struggle of being a working women with a family and house to take care of. We spoke about our relationships with our husbands, the issues plaguing our kids and the occasional, almost mandatory:) reference to our mother in laws. It sounded all too familiar to my discussions with my Indian girlfriends.

Its almost funny how similar we all are. Education, upbringing, family background, finacial status, cultural factors,........ its just a cloak. All of us have the same motivators, same triggers, similar goals, and the same reactions to the same incidents. Our life histories are by and large also similar.

And that is what my science is based on. Reseachers in my field continue to find the commonality in all of us and extrapolate that knowledge to help individual clients deal with their very personal issues. Yes, at its very root, it is an empirical science but the advances in research has allowed us to back these experience based inferences with cold hard facts and proofs.

We are counselors and psychologists by training and designaton but the real truth is that we are just keen observers of human behavior. That is what we really are.

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