Mind Matters


By Paonam Thoibi

‘Students who are torn between pressures at home and school are often vulnerable to retorting to unhealthy coping mechanism like using substance or inflicting self-harm and injury’

1. My friend is doing very well with her teaching career. She is not only a good friend, but a nice human being. Her problem is her lack of self-confidence. She would be very indecisive even on small matters. What would you suggest? Rajshree, Imphal (W)

Ans: Dear Rajshree, it is really appreciative that you are bringing up a problem your friend is facing. Self-confidence is about trusting one’s own judgment and feeling comfortable with one’s abilities and limitations. It also allows us to feel secure in the world. It boosts a person’s careers, relationships and state of mind. Some people are self-confident in their work-life but not in their social life, we all differ. People also feel comfortable with confident people as they are usually predictable and their behavior is reliable.

Everyone has their own strengths, abilities and skills to enhance their self-confidence and become who they want to eventually be. Self-confidence is a skill that can be developed through realistic goal setting and planning at the right pace the person is comfortable in.

We should also consider factors which may have affected a person’s self-confidence; like previous failures, separation, illness, betrayal, accidents etc. Keeping this in mind it is advisable to suggest your friend to meet a mental health professional who is trained to give counseling for building confidence and assertiveness. A counselor can guide her to set realistic and achievable goals and also explore disappointments and set-backs. Techniques and strategies can be developed to build your self-confidence and change current negative thinking. Self-help books and motivational texts and literatures are also beneficial to develop confidence on a person’s own.

2. Madam, I heard you are also working in a school as counselor. I think it is very good for school going children. I know most of the schools in Imphal or other areas do not employ counselor as their staff. Counseling is needed in today’s atmosphere. I hope the government and the education department must deeply think on this. Memcha Devi, Chinga Imphal

Ans: Dear Memcha, it is true that I’m a consultant psychologist in a school in Imphal. Being a school counselor takes me to an advantageous position to maximally interact with the student or the youth which comprises the majority of our population and helps me help them as and when they are in need.

School counseling is an integral part of the education system in large numbers of countries and in others it is emerging as a critical support for elementary, middle, and high school learning and/or student health concerns. As far as I know there are schools that already have school psychologist or counselors for the students.

A school counselor provide academic, career, college readiness, and personal/social competencies to all students. In traditional teaching environment, counseling is provided by classroom teachers who either have such duties added to their typical teaching load or who are skilled in talking to students beyond their academic concerns.

Every school counselors are bound by the set of duties assigned by their respective schools and may differ from school to school. Generally the school counselor deal with the students’ exam stress helps them in developing study habits, time management, communications skills, and career guidance, providing individual counseling to children with problems at home and in school.

Much focus is laid on the adolescents who are starting to develop and acquire attitudes toward school, self, peers, social groups and family. It is also a time when life’s challenges can be faced head-on with the right amount of motivation and reinforcement after prompt identification. Students who are torn between pressures at home and school are often vulnerable to retorting to unhealthy coping mechanism like using substance or inflicting self-harm and injury.

School counselors work collaboratively with parents and teachers to decide on what action needs to be taken to address issues interfering with a students learning process. These issues may be academic or social. The school counselor also helps with crisis intervention and if necessary makes referrals.

Readers are requested to send in their queries atmindmifp@gmail.com


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