I have been staring at my laptop screen for the past 2 hours, and I can already hear Mr Bartolo in the background saying ‘Don’t forget your deadline!’. My journey with Willingness has been a rollercoaster of emotions. I personally met Matthew at a talk he was giving at the University of Malta on Valentine’s Day. It was the first time I had ever talked to him and I am glad to say that we hit it off from there.
Throughout the 2 months I spent with the Willingness Team, I was happy that I managed to get to know Mr Bartolo from another perspective – that of a team leader. By sharing his experiences with us, we all got to know him on a more personal level and thus managed to understand the work that goes into being a leader. At first I admit I could not find my place in a such an organisation – I was the young Gozitan girl still on her way to getting a degree. My mind was boggled by the fact that as an organisation, Willingness challenges the idea of a hierarchy in the workplace. This was a team, and they all put a huge emphasis on that.
In such an environment, I learnt the true value of teamwork. It is not a chore that is put on you by your superiors, it is an opportunity to let others help you and you help them in return. It is all about sharing. I could see that especially during the team meetings; where professionals would all help each other in the different cases they might encounter. This completely shifted my view of the profession. Therapy is not there as a magical solution to people’s problems, but it is a safe space where people can be helped to see light at the end of the tunnel, and then work for it. For a time, I felt so volatile. I started questioning me going into psychology in the first place – I mean I am a music enthusiast, what was I thinking going into this?!
A couple of breakdowns later (nothing too dramatic), I managed to have a chat with Matthew. This is where I truly understood the power of opening up on the workplace. Things suddenly fell back into place – maybe it was the fact that I felt understood, or that maybe life was not so gloomy after all. Ultimately I am still a young girl trying to find her place in the world, and Willingness has managed to teach me just that – I am a hard worker, but I have a voice and it is my responsibility to make it heard. It is my responsibility to stop and listen to my body and see what it needs… as cheesy as that may sound, that’s how it works!
Coming out of this internship I do believe I am a different person. If I tried to list down all the things I managed to learn, this would definitely not be a 500-word blog. But, my last thanks to Willingness would be my appreciation towards them helping me to get to know my strengths and weakness and thus become a more mature woman. I have improved in many of my relationships and thanks to that I am a happier person. This Summer might have had more sweaty bus trips than beach visits, but I am glad I got to share it with the people who have now become my dearest friends!
Stephanie is a Psychology and Theatre Studies student who is currently participating in the internship programme with Willingness Hub. She has a great passion for music and seeks to combine the arts with psychology as a field.