I have to say that I am so excited that I am officially done with my Masters in Counselling and Psychotherapy in the Faculty of Social Sciences at the University of Saint Joseph, Macau. It has been a long road full of new challenges and lessons learnt.
The first year was tough. I was coming from not working for more than a year and not studying for almost two years. The coursework was enjoyable and I learnt a lot from my group work and presentations. Learning to work as a team was very important for my professional development and I used the skill a lot during my second year doing my internship.
The second year was even tougher and it taught me a lot about myself. I was an intern Psychological Counsellor at the University’s counselling centre and had a great field supervisor. The first few weeks were the hardest as nothing really fully can prepare you for working with clients hands on. It was exhilarating and challenging and I knew I was in the right profession. I re-discovered my passion for helping people and even created group psycho-education and therapy interventions. My social life took a steep decline and some weeks I barely saw my own husband due to our conflicting working schedules.
The Masters Thesis was a very challenging part of the year and it truly took a lot out of me. I was passionate about my topic and excited to learn more about it. I had an awesome advisor and the skills I learnt form her I will always cherish.
The title of my thesis was: Couple satisfaction in female partners of male shift working pilots. Being a pilot wife it hit close to home and a lot of my findings resonated deeply within me. I discovered that I am not alone in feeling the way I do and that I have a lot in common with the ladies in my study. The amount of effort and work ethic that goes into writing a thesis is tremendous and it was the hardest I’ve worked for anything academically in my life. Writing the thesis during Covid-19 was challenging and it took extra prayer, effort and determination to push through on the tough days. I will share more about my findings in a follow up post for those of you who are interested.
The culmination of my year was successfully defending my thesis in front of an examination panel at a public examination. The oral defence was one of the most difficult things I have ever done and it was all that was standing between me and having my Masters degree and with it officially a Psychologist. Preparing for the defence was many hours of hard work and determination amidst a global pandemic raging outside in the world – I won’t lie it was very intense and stressful. The defence itself went well, but the comments and questions from the panel were tough as they really have to take your work and analyse it critically to look for any flaws. I have to add however that I also received very good feedback and even compliments from the panel, and that I will cherish forever.
By the end of the defence everyone in the auditorium was asked to step outside and the examination panel deliberated on my fate. Once they were ready they called everyone back in and officially revealed my passing grade with the revisions I needed to make to my thesis. I was very happy and thankful to be done with my Masters, and passing with distinction was the cherry on the cake. At long last I was done and I could relax!