Hello and WELCOME to PsychAssist. This week we continue with Serkan’s story of how he is navigating through his psychology career. As we read in his previous articles, he has decided to abandon his plans of pursuing the Clinical Psychology Doctorate and this appears to have left him momentarily aimless. However, within this article, he describes how he is slowly pricing his vision back together and even thinking of merging his two passions to create his own lane within the Psychology world.
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Over the last few weeks I’ve been self-analysing more than usual. Which elements of my life could I use to lead a fulfilling Psychology career? I finalised education, cultures, upbringing and societal issues. Also, I’ve bombarded several acquaintances questions to assess the degree to which their life philosophy aligns with mine. Where possible I’ve attempted to embed novel views into my philosophy too. Admittedly, digging deep into my thoughts frequently triggered surprise, anxiety and pride…
Unlike several people I know aspiring a career in Clinical Psychology, I didn’t enter the field because I wanted to “fix” something in my life (certainly not at a conscious level).Yet what if I now want to help people that are struggling in a life domain I used to, via an alternative path? Considering education, I was bullied throughout my primary and secondary schools. Although I received no professional psychological input, family support has been vital in my coping and academic success. Perhaps becoming an Educational Psychologist, then, is the ultimate way for me to guide less fortunate victims of bullying (e.g. lacking a support network, suffering from mental or physical health conditions, speaking limited English etc)throughout school. My clinical work covers the lifespan, so it certainly offers a baseline for such career.
“…be an absolute privilege to specialise in the Psychology of acting”
Serkan Avlik (2019)
Continuing with my academic journey, Cognitive and Social Psychology fascinated me during undergraduate study. Findings on the neurological basis of memory and learning encouraged me to question their real-life implications, whereas theories of crowd behaviour reminded me of the necessity to voice my opinion even if it conflicts with that of the majority… and I live by that. You know just like Nico & Vinzsaid, “I ain’t trying to do what everybody else doing. Just cause everybody doing what they all do. If one thing I know, how far would I grow?I’m walking down this road of mine, this road that I call home.”Which nicely brings me to social problems including homelessness and reaching refugees in need. Sadly, not everyone is non-judgemental and willing to listen to these groups. I’d love to challenge the psychological roots of this negativity, be it through doing humanitarian work, research or both!
But what If I wasn’t pursuing Psychology? Well…professional acting would have been my dream!! I’ve been a huge fan of films since a young age. I mean how can an actor make the transition from an emotionless serial killer to the most admirable and hilarious singer between films!!?? Or how can they use their body language and facial expressions so diversely? It would be an absolute privilege to specialise in the Psychology of acting and delivering sessions in schools, hospitals, clinics, organisational settings and so on, to combat issues like low self-esteem, anxiety, poor concentration or memory failures. I mean why can’t we promote mental wellbeing and tackle associated stigma using enjoyable methods? 😊
“…I literally can’t place myself into only one box”
Serkan Avlik (2019)
Do you notice the difficulty I’m having? I literally can’t place myself into only one box and say, “Mate, now you go on and do this”. Nor can I predict my future and it’s this uncertainty that’s annoying me. I recently read a BPS article summing up highlights from the Careers in Psychology events hosted last year. It begins with the statement “A non-linear, messy and confused career path, dotted with failure, may very well become a successful career path.”I fully agree with this and know that life will happen. Every goal will be achieved one way or another. It’s just a matter of time and patience. For those of you who are reading this article and can relate to my current situation, let’s just make the most of this developmental process. 😉