Dr Ewald Crause

I write this editorial at a time when many people I know have been misplaced due to the severe storms and fires which have ravaged the Western- and Southern Cape regions. Although there is unprecedented damage and destruction in the wake of these tragedies I was yet again comforted by the support offered for victims affected by these events. Our thoughts go out to each person and family in the area and we wish that Ubuntu will be our shining resolve to curb the negative impact of this sad event. We, as psychology professionals, have an important role to play in these spaces…

Back to PsyTalk and the theme of this issue…

There is a famous Steve Jobs speech where he talks about ‘connecting the dots’… i.e., realizing how his life experiences, including unrelated events (perceived), ultimately shaped who he was…is…

I recently watched this video again as I prepared for a presentation regarding career choices and in that moment, was caught-up in the emotional rollercoaster faced by students trying to find their place in society. Serendipitously during this time, I also was contacted by a student in need of a reference letter in preparation for an application for Masters studies in Psychology. Needless to say, while feeling helpless and completely overwhelmed by the events in Knysna I found myself contemplating how best I could assist a prospective student with a small token of support for the journey he was about to commence.

Indeed, the journey into Psychology is one of great highs and significant lows… This I have experienced first-hand while studying but also being in the position of lecturer for psychology master students. I will never say that I am an expert on the topic but will share three humble life lessons/affirmations which kept me grounded on my own personal journey.

  • I have come to realise that life (and the experiences we encounter) is unpredictable… Consequently, being resilient and flexible to change are key ingredients for success.
  • How we respond to challenges in life shapes who we are… Even in the midst of a terrible tragedy, there is a lesson to be learned. This applies to our personal and professional lives.
  • As human beings, the opportunity for personal growth is amplified when we are faced with a significant challenge… Do not get bogged down by the frustrations surrounding life’s challenges… seek those moments of opportunity when you can truly move outside of our comfort zones.

Although it has been more than 10 years since qualifying as a psychologist, these 3 affirmations have been reinforced on numerous occasions in my life. Looking back and connecting my dots… these affirmations also helped me cope with the unpredictable nature of master’s selection which was mediated in part by wonderful mentors and colleagues. Needless to say, I have come to trust these affirmations and find a calm resolve in them.

In conclusion, we don’t know what the future holds… and like Steve Jobs said, in looking towards the future, you have to “trust that the dots (each life experience and/or event… negative or positive) will somehow connect”. Whether you are a prospective student or an experienced practitioner I hope that you will find this current issue of PsyTalk informative.

For those of you who haven’t seen the video, here is the link below:

We look forward to seeing you at the September conference.

Kind regards,

PsyTalk Ed


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