Heart, mind and soul

Leandré Kurz says her personal struggles have been a source of wisdom and growth.

29 March 2019 | People

Justicia Shipena



Leandré Kurz was born in Swakopmund and raised in Omaruru, but completed her secondary, tertiary and post-graduate education in Windhoek.

Kurz has always had questions related to why we behave in certain ways.

This extended to a curiosity about psychology, which became her career path.

She is currently preparing to undergo her Health Professions Council of Namibia (HPCNA) board evaluation in order to register as a clinical psychologist.

She is registered as a clinical psychologist intern at Let’s Talk Psychology.

Her role includes offering others a sounding board as well as a shoulder of support to help them work through personal truths, which may be difficult to handle independently.

These may range from clinical symptoms of mental illness to the unfolding of unfortunate life events. However, it is more than a job involving checklists, diagnosis and textbook interventions.

It is about human connections, empathy and genuine respect for the reality of an individual who seeks assistance.

The job is about continuously learning from others and evolving in one’s own paradigm and lifestyle.

Kurz told Careers that psychology is not unique in its presentation of career-related challenges.

It demanded late nights, early mornings and neglecting countless social and family commitments.

“There have been moments of emotional and financial ruin during the period of four years of undergraduate training, my six-month internship, two years postgraduate training and finally a one-year internship,” she said.

She added these challenges, for her, have enabled the strengthening of humility and gratitude. She learned how to depend on others, as mentorship, support and guidance have been made available in abundance.

Her typical day in the office requires her to have face-to-face consultations with individual clients and consultations with other medical practitioners about client management plans.

She also does research on different therapy modalities or treatment aids.

Some days of the week are also dedicated to administrative work, such as writing reports, doing more comprehensive research and continuous professional development by means of supervision.

Kurz encouraged young people by saying it is not always our end goal that is impossible. It is often tolerating the ups and downs of the journey that makes us stumble and doubt.

“Prepare for your journey by doing research. Persevere through the struggles. Be kind to others you find along the way. Be patient and kind towards yourself when you struggle,” she said.

She added that one should ask for help when in need and take care of yourself.

“You can’t pour from and empty glass. Don’t stop setting new goals,” she said.

Her future plans include becoming a certified cognitive behavioural therapist, completing her PhD, getting more involved in community psychology projects that empower the socially oppressed and settling down to start her own family.

Kurz said her personal struggles have been a source of wisdom and growth. They have taught her kindness, compassion and respect for her own pain and the pain of others.

Balance is one of the many things that are important to her.

“Adventure, travelling, fun, food, leisure and socialising have their place, but so do hard work, goal-setting, perseverance and ambition,” she said.

She loves spending quality time with her significant other and her family. She enjoys engaging in sport and other outdoor activities.

The sound of music, the ocean and the rain nourish her soul. Drawing from the experience and knowledge of her personal and career predecessors keeps her inspired.

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