Feb 23, 2012

Malaysians and Therapists

Listening to people crying while telling their life problems and stories on Prof Muhaya's session on Ikim.fm, i couldn't help but feeling that our Malaysian people are in a serious need of trained therapists (psychologists).

But nowadays therapists can't really survive in our country, mostly because of the social stigma. People don't want to be labeled as 'insane', or 'crazy', or 'mentally disturbed', just because of several visits to their therapist's office.

This taboo leads to severe depression among our people who cannot channel their problems to the right directions. Instead, they keep their problems to themselves or open up to someone who can't offer much solution. Not a good one, at least.

As muslims, of course the first one to turn to in the time of need is to Allah. That's what makes us different from the Europeans or Americans who mostly don't have much beliefs in diety. But professional help is also crucial. Trained therapists are experts in the sciense of psychology, which i think, is the one you should see to seek advice.

I however believe that our religious leaders (ustazs) can and should play some role in helping the matter at hand. Generally speaking, people trust their Ustazs and regard them as people who can offer spiritual advice when it comes to worldly problems, such as problems in marriage, or between siblings and friends, or even in work place.

But in order for this to be a valid alternative (if not to replace it all at once) to seeing a therapist, our Ustazs should also prepare themselves with some knowledge of human psychology, and must abide fully to the discipline, rules and guard lines of a real therapist, such as the doctor-patient confidentiality etc.

Thus, as those who interact with other people for a living, med students and religious students alike, we should really prepare ourselves with people skills. Learn how to talk to them. Know what interests them and what is off limits. Try engaging in their daily activities and discover what their common problems are.

What is the use of getting full marks in exams if we don't know the first thing about a good public relations?

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