Driven by a passion for psychology, Mahadevi Doobay-Girdhary aims to spark change

Mahadevi Doobay-Girdhary, a final year Master in Clinical Psychology student, is on a mission to effect positive change.

With a deep-seated passion for understanding human behaviour, Mahadevi has set her sights on making a lasting impact through psychology.

Growing up in Best Village, West Coast Demerara (WCD), this now 31-year-old woman always had a thirst for knowledge.

She attained her secondary education at the West Demerara Secondary School and pursued several higher education programmes. Furthermore, she boasts a Degree in General Psychology from the American University of Peace Studies.

Mahadevi, who is pursuing her Master’s in Clinical Psychology, said there are two reasons why she chose this field.

The first reason is the lack of trained professionals to aid in Psychotherapy and Mental Health intervention and the curiosity about why people behave the way they do.

Many persons are living with Mental Health issues, and it is affecting their daily functioning, whether it’s work, academic, or personal lives. Emphasis is placed on the present situation without diving into the psychopathology of issues persons face to deal with, hence the reason for pursuing a career in this path.

his “West Sider’s” commitment to her field extends beyond academia. Starting as a part-time lecturer at American University, this mother of two was recognised for her contribution to the institution.

This paved the way for her to be promoted to the university’s Director of Curriculum and Instruction.

This further placed me in a position where, apart from teaching, I listen to stories from people. They have a venting line when things are bothering them. They have someone to assist when they have work to be done or a personal matter they need advice on.

I wanted to make changes, and I acknowledged that this is a work in progress and that the university is one place where I know I can facilitate changes in the lives of individuals. Being in this profession and role gave me the knowledge and training that I need to assist in helping those who need the help, and one of my life goals is to support those who require assistance and assist persons in finding themselves, something that I struggled with but was luckily successful on my own.

Managing a family, work, and education is no easy feat, but Mahadevi credits her supportive husband for making it possible.

Being a mom of a seven-year-old and a five-month-old, a wife, working more than one job, and studying is a rough path. Sometimes, I feel like I can’t do it anymore, but my husband, who has always been in my corner, reassures me that no matter what challenge comes up, we can overcome it. This work-life balance is successful because of my very supportive and hardworking husband. Even my son recognises and understands that mommy has these responsibilities. He learned responsibilities and has been very helpful in dire situations as well.

Moreover, this aspiring psychologist explained that her son has been her rock and biggest cheerleader and motivator.

In fact, from scheduled dates to him sitting in her classes while doing his homework, Mahadevi said she works in “sync” with her son.

My daughter’s birth pushed me further to want to establish a balanced work-life situation because I like to set a foundation and example for her that she can do it all if she sets her mind to it. I want my children to feel empowered and motivated, never give up, and recognise that challenges make us stronger and that we can be and do anything once we are determined to do so. Even if we are alone, this kind of motivation and support system makes balancing life and work with proper planning manageable and rewarding.

Although International Women’s Day has gone, Mahadevi believes in the importance of recognising women’s contributions every day.

She emphasises the need for gender equality in academia and beyond, advocating for equal opportunities and respect for women’s abilities.

Furthermore, she encouraged women to pursue careers in male-dominated fields, reminding them of their inherent strength and capability.

Women and men are equal; yes, some biological things set us apart, but we are equal. Don’t allow societal influences and expectations to limit you. Just like men, women have been to the moon, climbed Mount Everest, contributed to science, fought wars, advocated for peace, civil rights, freedom, ruled empires, etc. So if women like Marie Curie, Amelia Earhart, Ruth Ginsburg, and others can do it, so can we. Words from the one and only Maya Angelou always play in my mind, which helps me succeed: ‘If you are always trying to be normal, you will never know how amazing you can be.’ Make these words part of your daily affirmation; success will be yours.

Looking to the future, this mother, director, and student sees herself as a self-actualised individual, delving into psychology and possibly law.

I want to see myself self-actualised. I see a Psychologist, someone diving into the law arena. I know a woman who can do anything, even if it means dipping her toes into areas that interest her. I see a woman who will never stop chasing her passion and will always seek to have women seen as the equal people they are.

Source: Things Guyana

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