One on one… Kristina Xavier
One moment that changed the course of your career
As part of my training to qualify as a Clinical Psychologist I completed several internships – at a private practice, in a hospital setting and in an eating disorders day program. Each setting afforded unique learning opportunities, but ultimately, I found I enjoyed the wide range of presentations in the private practice. I was offered my first job at this private practice!
One nugget of advice for aspiring psychologists
Develop a healthy self-care routine, learn to put yourself first.
During lockdown my goal has been to listen to more podcasts. I’ve enjoyed How To Fail With Elizabeth Day. She interviews actors, writers and other public figures on their failures and how they’ve dealt with them. She’s also recently published a book which is on my reading list.
One thing psychologists could do better
Be flexible and treat each client/patient as an individual with their own unique set of strengths and challenges. There will never be a one size fits all approach!
Tools and techniques from positive psychology, such as discovering unique strengths, gratitude journals and thinking about values, inspires clients to make meaningful changes in their lives. Rather than talking about ‘what’s missing’ or ‘what’s wrong’, discussing what they are proud of significantly changes the energy of our sessions.
George Ezra’s Shotgun. This was our family’s soundtrack for 2020 after my 5-year-old was introduced to it by her Reception teacher. It’s such a fun song to dance around and dream of adventures to (once life returns to ‘normal’).
I’ve seen Les Misérables countless times and it never fails to move me.
One alternative career path
I’m passionate about health and wellbeing, so if I hadn’t trained as a Clinical Psychologist I would have become a nutritionist.
Our way of life has been so disrupted by coronavirus. There have been so many challenges over the past year, but overall I hope that we all take something from this experience – that we re-evaluate what is really important to us.
One lesson learnt
I don’t believe that we can do or have it all. We need to constantly work towards finding balance, and I think we can do this by prioritising what’s important to us ‘right now in this moment’.
One thing you couldn’t do without
One proud moment
Setting up my own private practice, first in Sydney, Australia and now in London. I enjoy the balance of running a small business and being a Clinical Psychologist.
One book that has inspired your work as a Clinical Psychologist
Viktor Frankl’s Man’s Search for Meaning is incredibly powerful in helping clients access what is really important to them (i.e. their values), and ties in so well with cognitive behavioural therapy, Schema Therapy and Acceptance & Commitment Therapy. I also recently read Andre Agassi’s autobiography Open which I found fascinating and inspiring.
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