SINGAPORE - Although she was already armed with a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in Psychology, Miss Mindy Lee, 23, felt that there was still more she could do to better equip herself for her work in the mental health sector.
"At the undergraduate level, a lot of what we learn is generally quite theory-based.
"Psychotherapy is something that takes time and development to become good at, and if you jump right into the workforce as an undergraduate, you won't have sufficient experience," she said.
It was this desire for greater personal development that led Miss Lee to pursue a Professional Diploma in Psychotherapy at the School of Positive Psychology, a private education institution established to promote the practice of positive psychology. The school provides education and credentialing in various fields of psychology. Here, Miss Lee has the opportunity to get her feet wet in the world of practical psychology. She said: "For an assignment, we were asked to record our work with real-life clients, either external or assigned by the school using techniques taught to us in class.
"After the assignment, we listened to everyone's recordings to see how we could all improve.
"I thought it was a great way to ease into the role of a therapist while also getting immediate feedback in a real scenario. This was opposed to normal classroom- based work, which cannot compare to the real thing. It was certainly an eye-opening experience."
The emphasis on practicality and hands-on experience were big draws for Miss Lee.
"A few other schools also offer psychology-based qualifications, but most of them are much more theory- oriented.
"What we learn here is usually immediately applicable to what I do at my job," she said.