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Psychologist (psychotherapist, consultant at a narcological dispensary)
Recently, psychology is increasingly spreading to the medical field. At first, psychologists here faced with a misunderstanding and suspicious attitude of medical workers.
Currently, the situation is changing dramatically. Demand for psychologists in such institutions is growing rapidly, and psychologists themselves began to enjoy the respect and recognition of doctors.
This article will focus on the work of a psychologist based on a narcological dispensary. In this institution, people suffering from alcoholism and drug addiction undergo a course of treatment and rehabilitation. It is now difficult to underestimate the role of psychological assistance in working with such people, given the importance of the psychological factor in the treatment of addictions, or pathological attachments (from psychoactive substances). Of course, it is impossible to do without medical treatment, because the dependence extends to the organic level. However, a person who has decided to fight it needs support and help from a psychologist, because his main task is to restore himself as a person and a full member of society. Moreover, the true causes of the disease are often precisely psychological, therefore it is impossible to limit oneself to purely medical means; each patient needs attention to his personality and internal personal problems.
The tasks of the psychologist occupying this post include psycho-diagnostics, assistance in treatment, individual counseling, as well as work with relatives of patients. For diagnostic purposes, various tests are used to assess attention, memory, intelligence, emotional-volitional sphere, personality orientation, and attitudes towards alcohol and drugs. Based on the results, the psychologist writes his conclusion. Data on the patient, test results, as well as the conclusion of a psychologist are recorded in a special diary. The psychologist provides his opinion to the attending physician and the patient himself. The treatment uses methods such as various types of medical “coding” and psychotherapy. Forms of work such as group and family therapy are also possible, however, they require special conditions, organization, and often turn out to be impossible due to the high "turnover" of patients.
The psychologist, in addition, regularly conducts interviews and consultations with patients and their relatives, constantly liaises with the attending physicians and staff.
Up to this point, mainly formal, external characteristics of the psychologist’s work were discussed, but what really stands behind it and what personal qualities does it require from a person holding this position? First of all, patient characteristics should be considered. Here, the psychologist may encounter misunderstanding and distrust, skepticism from patients. Unfortunately, a typical situation is when the patient initially reacts negatively to a psychologist and openly resists brainwashing. In such a situation, of course, the psychologist requires not only kindness, patience, the ability to think broadly, a sincere desire to understand the other and help him, but also the presence of a solid internal foundation, a special philosophy that allows you to not give up on difficulties and skillfully overcome them. Therefore, such work is contraindicated for those people who do not have a personal interest, who are not persistent and persistent, are not ready to communicate with such patients, cannot guarantee that they will not be intolerant and aggressive in their relation. Communication with patients here is associated with increased emotional stress, so the psychologist should first of all be responsible for his own ability to self-regulation. Of course, positive feedback comes from both the patients themselves and their relatives and doctors. In addition, the psychologist has the opportunity to observe the real results of his work. Nevertheless, one should focus not on gratitude and praise, but on satisfying one's personal research interest.
Indeed, from the point of view of scientific psychology such work provides a wealth of material for analysis.
The nature of human dependence on psychoactive substances is still a deep mystery. And, perhaps, in unraveling the essence of this irresistible craving, there is a clue to the mystery of a person, his essence (according to the psychologist with whom the interview was conducted). In addition, each patient is a person with a special fate, which in itself is of undoubted value and interest to the psychologist.
The difficulties faced by the psychologist in this position, however, are not limited to communication. It is important to mention purely objective difficulties: low wages, lack of modern technical means. The psychologist with whom the interview was conducted works at a rate of one and a half: every day from 10 to 16 hours, except Saturday and Sunday, and at the same time admits that it would be difficult to withstand a large load; for any other work, there is no more strength left. However, if you work at the same rate, this work can be combined with something else.
Regarding technical difficulties, the psychologist noted that "this is temporary, profitable," because "the main tool of the psychologist is his personality." In addition, in her opinion, technical means, computer programs, etc., can even interfere with the work of a psychologist, since there is a risk that he will rely too much on technology and stop thinking independently.
So, the complexity of this work is associated not only with technical inconveniences, but with emotional stress. It is difficult to imagine how much endurance and self-control, what emotional stability is required from a person working in the oppressive atmosphere of a narcological dispensary, every day confronted with what is considered to be the shadow side in a person, his vice. Although, on the other hand, a clash with this part of reality provides opportunities for personal growth. When every day a great variety of human destinies, real life tragedies, flashes before one’s eyes, one’s involuntary change in one’s outlook on life and values. Perhaps he begins to appreciate more what seems ordinary, learns to love life in a new way, overestimates his place in it.
According to the interviewed psychologist, she is proud of her work. Indeed, despite the great demand, few dare to work in such conditions. Low wages, lack of technical equipment, a strong emotional burden - all this frightens away young specialists, many leave; after working just a couple of months. Therefore, choosing this position, you should think more than once, evaluate your capabilities, understand what is the true goal of the aspirations of a novice psychologist. It takes a strong personal interest and the ability to sacrifice in many situations. Discussing this problem, our interlocutor noted that the choice of this place of work is more likely connected with a special vocation and a special type of personality.
In conclusion, we should dwell on the problem of professional training, which is required to work in this position. At the beginning of independent work, a young specialist psychologist feels a lack of practice, his general psychological education is not enough, and this is overcome only with time. Graduates of the department of clinical psychology will be in a more favorable position.
From the point of view of professional growth, for a psychologist working in a narcological dispensary, the prospects, at first glance, are extremely small, but here it is inappropriate to talk about career and ambitions. At the same time, the experience that a psychologist can gain by working in this position is a unique and indispensable experience both for the development of science and for the development of his own personality.
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Psychologist (psychotherapist, consultant at a narcological dispensary)
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