Wednesday, 2 August 2017

An open letter to the BPS and its members

Dear BPS, and all BPS members,

While I only have been a student member since the beginning of January, I cannot be any more honoured to be a part of it.

As a first (nearly second) year Psychology with Counselling student with the OU, my short (and continuing time) as a student member has been a real blessing. The BS have made me feel more welcome, and my opinion more appreciated, than any other organisation I have been part of.

The BPS conference, as well the recent Structure Review, have helped me to see that I am valued by people. And while accepting that is, at times, difficult due to the kind of past and mental health issues I have, the BPS members have welcomed me more than some other people in my life in the past. The conference was my first major public event since I started having mental health issues, and to feel so welcomed and accepted was a big surprise. And during the times like this when my past is haunting me like a horror movie demon, the memories I've made with all of you at the conference brighten the darkness for at least a little while (also talking to you, the man who fist bumped at my table during the dinner speech, I still can't stop laughing about it!).
The whole experience of the BPS has been nothing short of amazing, and it encourages me even more to pursue a career in psychology, as I wanted to since my mental health issues begun.

To be a member of this organisation of members who made me feel like my opinion is valid and that people actually care about what I have to say is an out of this world experience to a person like me, whose opinions and feelings were discarded like rubbish or put down at every possible occasion.
Psychology fascinates me on so many levels, and I love reading actual research papers (because articles and headlines on psychology or any scientific research can be out of this world inaccurate!) and reading about therapies, terminology, exploring topics I never dreamed of exploring for myself in the past (artsy person here!) and becoming motivated on every step to do more to alleviate psychological suffering of others in the future by, eventually, becoming a counselling psychologist. A long way to go yet, but positive experiences of both studying psychology and being a BPS member have helped me to see myself in a much more compassionate way.

Thank you to all BPS members who have made these past few months so positive in midst of my mental heath chaos, and thank you for helping me feel like I finally belong somewhere.

Nat