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Beginners guide to Psychology: Reflections of a P plater


I’ve always been someone who loves putting the pieces together. Working out the back story: what went on up to this point, what pieces added together to make the whole we have now. Mostly to do with people; relationships, communities and people’s motivations for their actions. I’ve found this to be a lovely blessing and an overthinking curse. I’ve had friends over the years who have really appreciated the new perspectives I’ve been able to open for them and I’ve friends who have had to calm me down when I’ve come up with way too many perspectives for myself.

This year I made the transition from the theoretical world of University into the practical world of Psychology. But as with anything in life, it’s not that clear cut. Psychology is a wonderful combination of theoretical guidance and practical application, meaning we don’t stop asking questions and learning along the way. But do we hope psychologists will have the ultimate answer, that magic wand that will make problems disappear?

I love working with children, watching them grasp the world as they currently understand it and add pieces to their web of knowledge as they go. This year has given me the amazing opportunity of doing school counselling work in a primary school and working at the Resilience Centre in Epping.

In this work it is important to keep in mind a view of the bigger picture. Being able to take steps along the way to make a difference but not seeing any one intervention as the magic bullet that will determine a child’s future. Keeping an eye on where you would hope to guide a child, to a place of confidence, competence, an ability to deal with life’s stressors, and being one piece in the puzzle that will hopefully lead them there.

Life is made up of many different people who will guide us along the way and experiences that will act to shape us. While some experiences are seen as being important steps in this process, for example starting school, we will never know which experiences will have the biggest impact on us. Or which people will play the biggest role.

One of the most rewarding experiences of the work I have been doing this year is watching a child describe their Kindness Project as part of the Connect-3 program. Seeing how excited they are about what they did and hearing about all the different people that were involved in their project. Knowing that each of those people will have had a positive experience with that child and imagining the flow on effects. Each of those people will be a piece of the puzzle in putting together that child’s sense of who they are and who they will become.

As adults we don’t stop shifting and changing, learning as we go. We are all being shaped and moulded every day by our experiences and those who journey with us.

Who do you have in your life who is shaping you right now?
Think back to which people you can credit with playing an important role in your past?

Back to the old expression ‘it takes a village to raise a child’, it really does, and I’m loving being able to be one piece in the puzzle for some of the children I get to work with.


Frances Goldfinch
Provisional Psychologist
Intern and Resilience Coach at The Resilience Centre



Frances Goldfinch
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