A journey without an end – from 12th anniversary of private practice to de-stigmatisation of mental illnesses

The 12th anniversary of my private practice on 28th September 2020 signifies a milestone for a new page. My assistant, Lap, and I are planning a new venture to be launched in the coming year. We are going to provide more useful knowledge and insights in psychology for our audience through different modalities. From the feedback of our blog and public seminars in the past one year, we know our audience appreciates our effort in providing interesting and useful knowledge in psychology.

In the past 20 years of experience in clinical psychological practice, I acquired knowledge and skills in psychological assessment and treatment for various mental illnesses and psychological issues. Many people may think that my knowledge and skills are completed and advanced for dealing with all the complicated cases. It is reasonable to say that my expertise is advanced. However, I would like to clarify that I am still constantly in a learning, developing and evolving state. In my everyday practice, I still have new insights and learn new ideas through my interactions with my clients, my friends and the nature.

As in “hero journey” of our “self” (please refer to the blog on 25th September), there is no final version of my clinical practice. The more I learn from studying and treating my clients, the more I realise my ignorance. My style in doing psychotherapy is under constant revision through my reflection and discovery. As a result, there is no end in the evolution of a private practice that is beneficial to the society and people in need. It is a never-ending journey.

In this 12th anniversary, I invite my audience to reflect on the limit one set to the “self”. Through traditional education or conventional wisdom, we tend to think that we need to discover our true “self”. By trying to find our true “self”, we limit our possibilities in evolution and development. Indeed, self-awareness and self-understanding are very important and beneficial for our well-being. However, we should not limit our possibilities after acquiring knowledge of our “self”.

I frequently tell my clients who have been diagnosed to suffer from some kind of mental illnesses or personality disorders not to define themselves only through the “label”. De-stigmatisation is very important for a person with mental problems to step out of the frame and evolve to become a new version of oneself. For example, I feel excited when a client with obsessive-compulsive disorder, generalised anxiety disorder and social anxiety disorder telling me that he aspires to become a clinical psychologist.

This is also true to those who have no mental illness but tend to limit ones’ life through a limited frame of mind. In this era, we are facing radical uncertainty in many aspects of our life. We need to step out of our comfort zone and explore new possibilities for solving difficult problems and adjusting to a new way of living. With a mindset of a never-ending journey, we can let go of our pre-set framework and keep evolving to a newer version.

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