When did you start at NBP?
I started at NBP in August 2017. The values and principles behind NBP closely match my own, and it is a friendly and supportive place, so I am very happy to be working here.
Why did you get into Psychology in the first place?
I was not clear at all about what I wanted to do when I left school. I tried many different pathways, including studying a Bachelor in Asian Studies, spending some years in Japan working and studying, then working in Tourism, and as an international flight attendant. After this, I decided to commence a degree in a ‘helping profession’, which then ended up being Psychology. I believe that my openness to new experiences, and my flexible thinking, allowed me to be okay with ‘not knowing’ my direction for a while, and with rejecting ‘shoulds’ and ‘musts’ with regard to career and life progression. I like to encourage my clients to keep on learning from, and evaluating their experiences, in order to clarify values, as knowing our values helps a lot with making that next life decision. My slightly Buddhist approach to life also helps me to understand that struggle is part of life, and that we grow from it. So I try to embrace and accept it as much as I can rather than to resist it. Making space for discomfort allowed me to keep pursuing my dreams and goals to become a Psychologist, even when there were setbacks along the way.
What would you have done if you didn’t become a Psychologist?
I often thought of becoming a teacher or a Nurse, or a stay-at-home Mum.
What do you like best about your job?
I enjoy meeting new people on a regular basis. I like seeing the strengths and uniqueness in all of my clients and sharing these with them. I believe that everyone has the potential to change, and I have eternal optimism and enthusiasm which I share with my clients on a daily basis. My job helps me to stay positive and inspired in my own life and in my own growth.
Which are your favourite therapies to draw from and why?
I mainly draw from CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy) and ACT (Acceptance and Commitment Therapy). ACT sits nicely within the Buddhist framework of accepting ‘struggle’ – of learning that emotions are normal and important and that they can give us important messages about what is meaningful and important in our lives. We can listen better to our emotions when we stop struggling to push them away. And we can learn to build more helpful relationships with our thoughts so that they don’t take over and interfere with living in the ‘here and now’. I also use Schema Therapy, and I am continuing to learn more about this so that I can help my clients to uncover any underlying and deeply ingrained unhelpful schemas or ‘beliefs’, which can lead to irrational thoughts and behaviours.
What does a typical day on the job look like for you?
Well, no day is really ‘typical’ with regard to the work I do in sessions with clients, because every person is different! What is consistent, however, is that I do some physical movement each day as it helps me to feel calm, peaceful, and ready to be in the room for a number of hours and to be present for listening attentively. I also make sure that I prepare healthy meals and snacks, and get enough sleep, to ensure that I can focus. I get some sunshine by walking my dog, and I debrief or do some relaxation when needed. I don’t see too many clients in a day so that I can prepare for each session sufficiently, and follow up with administration tasks where needed. One of the reasons that I have such a strong focus on self-care, is that I have always wanted to ‘practice what I preach’. If clients wish to improve their management of depression, anxiety and other mental health challenges, it helps a lot if they start with getting regular exercise, choose healthy food options (most of the time!), improve their sleep patterns, take time out for relaxation and fun, and expose themselves to at least 10 minutes of sunshine a day.
What activities do you enjoy outside work?
My preference for when I have free time has always been to go outdoors and to do physical activities, even from when I was very young. I like cycling, hiking, travel, and exploring new places/things/foods. My curiosity is never satisfied! I recently challenged myself by trying indoor skydiving. I also enjoy spending time with my family, my cat and my dog, and lately, I’ve been doing some more reading in my spare time. My creative outlets are trying new recipes, and taking photos of things I find interesting or beautiful. Not long ago I visited Cambodia and this gave me a whole new appreciation of the way that we get to live here in Australia, despite the challenges that we face daily.
Ingrid Schults sees clients at both our Aspley and Stafford offices. Book an appointment with Ingrid today.