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Practical psychologist

Anna Kholodnytska

Career counselor

analyst-oriented, psychologist

Mail:

Anna Kholodnytska conducts individual career guidance, career and therapeutic consultations, preventive work, lectures, seminars and training programs on mental health, professional development and career development of students and staff of the university.

PSYCHOLOGICAL ASSISTANCE

    forms a high level of psychological culture of students and staff of the university; promotes personal development of students, helps to solve psychological difficulties of students and staff in difficult life situations.

    CAREER GUIDANCE is relevant for students who want to choose the best profession for themselves, in order to build a successful career. Career guidance is provided to select the education and profession in the future that best suits personal skills, abilities and interests.

    CAREER COUNSELING allows you to assess your current skills and build a strategy for acquiring the necessary new skills. Counseling helps reduce stress from uncertainty and focus on goals. This is an opportunity to identify your strengths and weaknesses, which should be guided by drawing up a personal development plan.
    Popular questions to the psychologist:
    1. How to meet somebody’s expectations?

    Question:

    Everyone always expects high results from me: excellent grades, victory in competitions or contests. It’s crucial for me to succeed in all deeds. How to achieve this?

    Answer:

    It is quite important to figure out why we need to meet certain expectations.

    Thus, to realize how to achieve what we need, find out who really needs it. We frequently adopt someone else’s expectations. If our dear ones expect high results from us throughout life, we can do this for them. At the same time, we personally want to succeed. Thus, expectations seem mixed, like our own.    

    How to figure this out?

    • Define what we get when achieving only high results?

    For example, recognition, praise, joy, respect, support, etc.

     

    • Do we get respect and support when failing to achieve high results?
    • What we get in case of failures or insufficient progress (in our or somebody’s opinion)?

    For example, feeling of disappointment, shame, loneliness, blame, etc. 

    • Did we experience support by people expecting high results from us when we didn’t get them?

    Sometimes achieving the high result (in our imagination) can provide us with a feeling of our value: we feel recognition, respect and love. We seem that love is something that we should deserve by great efforts and only in this case, our close and dear ones will appreciate us.

    But is it really so? The feeling of our own value often depends on early experience: whether we received sufficient support and love from adults important to us despite our success or performance. You should take it into account and try to analyze whether this aspect affects us now. If we get used to satisfy somebody’s expectations, it is not our choice but the dependence.    

    We have the right to choose and sometimes we should gain another experience in order to realize whether you do need this. How to understand that somebody appreciates us just because we are who we are if we constantly strive for success?

    It is not an easy experience, as it is uncomfortable and takes time. This experience requires particular resources: belief that we are definitely appreciated, support by dear ones whom we can trust.

    Try to direct your insistence to achieve high results to obtaining of new experience. When you don’t compare yourself, you can enjoy the process rather than the result. It will release us from the pressure and allow focusing on our actual priorities.

    2. Loss of feelings

    Question:

    Something has changed, I feel nothing. How to return feelings?

    Answer:

    • Losing feelings is quite difficult, it’s similar to losing the taste of life. Feeling is a response to something, it is like a reward or protection for us. 

      Thus, loosing senses, we need to find out the origin of it. What has happened to you and blocked your senses? Any event, any thoughts or anything else? It’s important to recall how everything has started in order to find the way out. Try to reproduce the whole path.       

      Remember that blocking of certain feelings can be a protective mechanism of our mind. So, if it has something to protect, it’s better to address a specialist who will help you to reproduce this path safely. If you are still not able to overcome this state on your own, you will likely get rid of it with professional assistance.

       

      Unfortunately, there is no instruction regarding senses, but their atrophy is a crucial signal for taking care of yourself, asking for support, particularly by analyzing causes for such a state. The therapy with a psychologist will allow you to sort out your feeling, habits and settle the issue: How to start feeling anything again?

    3. How to cope with annoyance?

    Question:

    I’ve been recently annoyed with all people around. How to combat a sense of anger?

    Answer:

    • Being angry when something annoys us is natural.

      Anger and aggression take lots of energy. You should try to use it not as a weapon but as a resource in order to benefit from this energy.

      Something makes us respond in such a way. It can be the need to be heard.

      Do you have anybody to share your feelings with? Can you tell anybody that you’re angry or annoyed? Do you feel that someone understands you?

       

      Combating feelings is a lowly craft. It’s better to comprehend and accept them:

      - Allow yourself to feel what you feel.

      - Try not to offend, defending, but fairly specify your boundaries: I agree/disagree on this matter, it’s difficult to me, I’m angry at the moment. 

      - Don’t hurry to throw your feeling on others. It’s just an illusion that expressing feeling will help to get rid of it. 

      - Try to visualize your annoyance: specify its color, forms, size.

       

      Don’t combat the feeling but accept it as a part of something taking place at this moment.

       

      We frequently say, “I can’t”, which can mean “I don’t know yet how to do it.” Thus, you should initially learn from yourself and listen to your feelings. 

    4. Fear of relations

    Question:

    I need relations but I’m afraid of being throwing off. How to cope with this?

    Answer:

    • Paradoxically, our mind is arranged so that we are frequently afraid of something that we eagerly desire. 

      Relations satisfy our certain needs: care, love, support, respect, sense of appreciation and safety. We scare not to receive it all immediately, as relations often lack something of the above-mentioned. Sometimes relations can cost us some freedom.

      It is quite significant to realize what kind of need is behind a desire to have relations and a desire that can be disguised as a fear not to have them.    

      On one hand, it hurts when someone throws us off but gives us reasons not to trust people and keep our freedom. Perhaps, the model of relations originates from our families or we can have the first bruising experience in relations with people who should take care of us and support us.      

      The question is difficult and has no simple answer. It requires honesty towards yourself, safe space and permit to find the origin of our distrust.   

      You can gain experience in establishing relations with a psychologist who won’t blame you and throw off, who will be responsive and attentive to your needs and freedom. You will be able to rely on this experience in the future while establishing close relations with others.  

    5. Deep anxiety

    Question:

    Heavy load, expectations and alarming news exhaust me. I always feel anxiety.

    Answer:

    • When we are exhausted, it can be quite hard to overcome anxiety. If anxiety is intensive and unexpected, we can feel helpless and non-productive, which results in the lack of confidence. All this highly enhances a sense of anxiety and puts us into a circle of despair of stressed feelings that keep stealing our power and energy.    

      What can we do in this situation?

      1. Fast self-care during an anxiety attack.

      Anxiety makes us focus on inner problems and activates body feelings. Therefore, you should:

      - focus on external issues rather than internal ones: what I can see around, count things: 5 objects of the same color, 5 smells, touch something (your clothes, bag, etc.) 5 times.

      - control breathing: deep breathing-in, breathing-out twice longer than breathing-in 


      1. Prevention of anxiety conditions
        - regular breathing exercises (daily at a defined time to develop a habit)
        - cardiovascular exercises if they are not contra-indicated to your health (you should consult a doctor in advance and monitor a pressure level and a heart beat rate), long fresh air walking
        - taking care of yourself and your body: listen to body feelings, don’t overload your body, balanced sleep and nutrition
        - balance between work and rest, permit for your hobby and leisure.
        3. Support
        We often think that dealing with a problem on our own means not involving others. However, the support of close ones is a resource that can help us as much as possible. It is important to have somebody you can trust and share your troubles with.

      Note that the above-mentioned recommendations are the ways to cope with symptoms but not the reason for such a state. There is no guarantee that you won’t face this condition again. To find the reasons for this state, you need deeper diagnostics, analysis and safe space where you will be able to think of your concerns and their source.

    6. Self-organization

    Question:

    I always fail to meet deadlines and frequently let others down. It causes a sense of guilt on the one hand and anger and helplessness on the other hand, as I realize that the problem is in myself but can’t change anything..

    Answer:

    • It is difficult to control the process if these processes cannot be organized as planned (by us or others). The desire to find a guilty person is natural in this case and we consider ourselves guilty. This feeling may seem fair, especially when we fail to fulfil our promises (given to yourself or others).    

      Why does it happen to us?

      You should understand the origin of such behavior. There are various reasons why we unconsciously can choose this model of self-organization. If we feel discomfort because of it but cannot change the situation, it is also a kind of unconscious choice. Consequently, it is hard to change it because we should initially comprehend and analyze this choice, make it conscious. We should find out the reasons for our unconscious choice to break deadlines. They can be as follows:  

      • protest against experience when our life (for instance, in childhood) was organized too well; when we could feel like slaves of perfect order. The lack of organization, as a compensation of this experience, makes us feel free. 
      • imitation of behavior when we had no experience in being organized (or when people didn’t fulfil their promises given to us). If we don’t allow ourselves to be mad at those who took care of us and didn’t teach us to be organized by their example. Thus, imitating this behavior, we seemingly contradict this feeling of angry. It seems like we don’t have to be mad because we do the same. It means that we are mad at ourselves, as it is safer than to be mad at others.     

      There can be other numerous reasons that we can examine in order to understand how to combat this pattern of our behavior. The first step is to realize that our behavior is the imitation or the protest against crucial experience in your life. You should figure this out in order not to find a guilty one but to return your power to make a conscious decision. It will allow you to meet internal barriers and decide how to change this.

    7. Fear of public speaking

    Question:

    I admire smooth-talking speeches by other people and fear that I will never reach such a high level. I want to believe in myself but don’t know how to do it.

    Answer:

    • We obtain numerous resources, such as inspiration, while watching excellent speeches. It is natural to strive for delivering seamless speeches in the same manner.

      It is also natural to feel concerned that we will speak in another manner that will be worse or we believe that we have to do it even better.    

      Such a comparison will definitely make us experience stress or be afraid of losing our head or confusing something during the speech. We generally focus on speeches that seem perfect to us and compare ourselves with people proficient in this activity. So, we are not quite fair towards ourselves.   

      Well, how to become more self-confident?

      • Allow ourselves to try something we are interested in. Accept the fact that it will take time, that we can be frightened and feel uncomfortable. Meet these concerns not on stage but in order to realize and accept them.   
      • Find support. It is great if you have people that you can trust: ask them to express their assistance by words or presence. Asking for help can be also difficult. But later, this experience can be integrated internally, which requires time and safe space. It can be true friends, family members, or you can address a psychologist or a coach who will provide you with support and help to prepare for speeches.
      • Take small steps. Start speaking before a small group of people, analyze your feelings during the speech rather than its quality. Prepare for speeches but don’t exhaust yourself. Find a balance between load and relaxation. Sing even if you don’t have unique ear for music or voice because singing is excellent training for lungs and an efficient anti-stress technique. It is also referred to cardiovascular activities: walking, running, dancing (everything that is safe to your health).    

      Keep in mind that admiring somebody, we frequently project our potential on this person. It can be great support towards searching for solutions of combating the fear of speeches. We have the solution and resource inside: everything that we admire can be a response to our inner capabilities requiring the implementation.   

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