The psychologist on being conscious as a key to happiness
In search of answers to existential questions, Kristina Sungarska left her successful career as a lawyer and became a psychologist. Today she works with children and adults who need to re-establish the connection with themselves and overcome problematic behaviours. Kristina believes that sometimes the psychologist can be a better alternative to a friend.
You have extensive professional experience in various fields, how did you come to psychology, and what motivates you to explore the human soul?
The human soul is worth exploring. Though vast to be understood, only it has the capacity to experience all emotions in life, shaping the state of the psyche. After that we can speak of the quality of life, material world, and meaning.
As a lawyer I was guided by the penalty code, thinking I was helping, but actually it wasn’t like that. The cause and effect connection between the committed crime, the application of the law, and the punishment has never gone smoothly. Just as the psyche is in constant interaction with external factors and internal storm-like conflicts. The cases I encountered in my legal career turned my attention to issues related to seeking answers that couldn’t be found in the legal literature.
Subsequently, I changed my professional field and turned my hobby into an official profession. I dabbled in numerology for a few years, and it was somewhat fulfilling, but definitely not enough. I knew well the reactivity of the mind, but the feelings, the pain, and trauma, the cause of every motivation and mental state remained in the shadows. So I enrolled in Psychology and began an extraordinary journey of finding answers to existential questions such as "Why me?", "Why is this happening to me?". And how to live adequately when in a state of confusion, when the mind and soul are not in a team.
For the last two years our lives have been accompanied by uncertainty and crises, which certainly affects our mental health. When is it time to ask for help and in which cases is a psychologist the best solution?
As I have already mentioned, the first indication that the psyche is disturbed (provoked) is the feeling of confusion and pathlessness. The intensity of anxious thoughts and behaviour increases. Of course, I will not comment on what consequences there are for a person when they remain for a long time in the feeling of fear and uncertainty. I think that a psychologist can sometimes be a better alternative to a friend. Subjective opinion is limiting, and with a broader view, one can choose.
What does "finding yourself" mean in terms of psychology? What are we actually looking for and why is it important to find it?
People are in search of their selves all their lives. This is our life cycle. It is like finding "complete happiness". I would say that feeling "comfortable in your own skin", liking yourself, and considering your path (life) to be valuable is the hundred percent realisation of teamwork between mind and soul. This requires a strong desire for personal work and acceptance of life in its essential characteristic – duality.
Maybe we seek to come to the conclusion that we have become conscious after the experience with which life has rewarded us. That would be enough to call ourselves happy. There are such masters, but they were apprentices first.
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