ICOnnect | ICO Newsletter Issue 05 - February 2018 - Page 2

USJ ICO NEWSLETTER FEBRUARY 2018 ISSUE 5 INTERVIEW WITH CLINICAL PSYCHOLOGIST INÊS LOUSA by Joana Costa, Intern at USJ's ICO What do you currently do? I am currently coordinating the Aftercare Department of an NGO, ARTM – Association of Rehabilitation of Drug Abusers of Macau. In this department, we work towards the rehabilitation and social reintegration of ex-drug users. We have several activities throughout the year, like methadone meetings, counselling group meetings, individual counselling, professional learning courses and family counselling, amongst others. What made you choose psychology? My number one reason to choose psychology was the fact that I have always wanted to help other people, so psychology was always my first option for a career. But on my first year of college, the more I got to know the “real” psychology, the more I fell in love with it. Throughout my working experience, I have learned that helping others is not something you can always do, it depends greatly on the person in need’s willingness to get help, so this is a field where you also need to deal with your own feelings, especially frustration, because sometimes all your effort, which usually is huge, is not enough. But that is also what makes it worthwhile. You need to know that you cannot save the world – as I imagined I would – but the fact that you can help someone, it makes your day and that person’s day better. I love challenges and being able to challenge myself every day; and that is what psychology offers me, because every day you see different people, you deal with different issues, you turn someone’s life better and maybe, who knows, you can help save a life! How did you get to where you are now? Can you please tell us more about your studies and work experience. I went to college in Portugal, in ISPA - a well-known Portuguese Psychology University. There I did a three- year Bachelor’s degree in General Psychology, and then had to study for two more years to be a Master in Clinical Psychology. During my last year as a student, I had a one-year internship at a Portuguese NGO, APAV – Portuguese Association for Victim Support, and I mainly worked with domestic violence victims. It was my first real work experience, and I felt fascinated! My dream was coming true.