The life of a psychologist is not an easy one. Dealing with people's toughest griefs and trying to get them back on the right paths, you'll learn things that will change how you approach life forever.
Below are the most profound things psychologists have learned during therapy, and how it changed them. Check them out. A source with even more stories can be found on the last page.
1. It helps.
Excessive alcohol consumption, at a level not usually considered problematic, impacts people a lot more than they think it does.
Depressed? Heavy drinker? Think about cutting down your drink before turning to anti-depressants.
2. Habits are hard to break.
Very little about you is original, as we're constantly repeating patterns we've learned since childhood. When humans find a solution, no matter how maladaptive it turns out to be in the long run, we stubbornly keep trying it over and over and over. It turns out it's more comfortable to stick with the devil you know than to risk fear, failure and vulnerability by trying it a new way, even if the new way is logically better. The subconscious is a much greater force than most of us can fathom or care to admit.
3. Express yourself!
There are not enough people who advocate themselves because they "don't want to cause a fuss/problem" even if that problem is the root of their issues.
4. The foundation.
Having bad parents will mess you up for life.
Even if you find a way to have career success, a happy relationship, and meet other goals, something will be off for you internally.
I also learned that many of us are one horrific life event away from being a total train wreck.
5. Make the plan for your life!
I was a psychologist in a suburban mental health clinic for 30 years. I began by asking, "How do you want your life to be?" It was amazing how many people had never learned to make reasonable life plans based upon their aptitudes, intelligence and desires.
Together we'd complete a goal list and visualize how things would look in 5 years. Each element was tweaked until the client was satisfied. From then on, he/she was asked to dwell on the image daily and especially when making important decisions. "Will X bring be closer or farther from the image?" Obviously a preponderance of constructive thoughts, words and actions would bring them closer to the life they desired. Valuable resources include Dr. S. Reiss' book Who Am I? and the YouTube video "Learning to Flourish and Endure in a Challenging World."
Also, people who are too self critical can learn to place their mistakes on a scale from one to ten and judge themselves accordingly.