Seko Tutor Interview
- Q. Hi Seko! Thank you for taking the time to do this interview. May I ask you to briefly introduce yourself?
A. Hello, I am Seko, a psychotherapist who works with both the body and mind. Thank you for giving me this opportunity.
On Cafetalk, I offer lessons as a professional psychologist to listen to your concerns, as well as counseling lessons that incorporate mindfulness meditation.
I have been listening to and supporting people with disabilities and difficulties in their lives for almost 30 years. I myself have been diagnosed with depression twice when I was younger, and have been helped by counselors and friends in self-help groups.
- Q. You seem to have extensive experience as a therapist and have worked in a variety of settings. You’ve also been supporting people with disabilities since you were young, and we’d love to know what made you decide to become a psychotherapist!
A. I have had an interest in mental health issues since I was young, so I studied counseling and listened to people’s concerns on the phone. As for my career, I spent a long time working in the field of education and welfare, supporting people with disabilities as well as children in need.
One of the reasons I decided to become a psychotherapist was beacuse a counselor helped me during my own struggles with depression. During a very difficult time, my counselor empathized with me, became my ally, and helped me to think about my next move and helped me to recover. When I got better, I wanted to return the favor by helping others in need.
Another reason is through my career, I have had many opportunities to listen to people who were suffering from mental illness, and I wanted to support them to live their lives with ease, not only by helping them with their feelings and working with them to find solutions to their problems, but also by getting involved in a more professional, deep, and fundamental manner.
I hope to provide support that will not end when your current problems are solved. I hope that I can support you in changing the way you think, the way you perceive things, the way you act, and the way you live so that you will not have to be troubled by similar problems in the future.
Another reason that keeps me focused on my work is that I want to make the rest of my life meaningful. Normally, I would have retired by now, but even if I reach 70 or 80 years old, I still want to do what I can contribute to society while I am still healthy. I also want to continue to practice my life’s work since I was young, which is to “reduce the number of people who take their own lives.”
- Q. Can you briefly explain what mindfulness is?
A. Indeed, mindfulness is a state of mind that focuses on the “here and now”, rather than the past or future, and accepts everything around us as it is.
Some people may think of yoga or religion when they hear the term “mindfulness meditation,” but my lessons are different from yoga or religion; I prefer to call them mindfulness-based counseling.
What you think about in your head may not be clear to you, but when you pay attention to your body and feelings in a state of mindfulness after the meditation, you may be able to gain new insights. Sometimes the result can be completely different from what you were thinking in your head.
- Q. What motivates you to pursue your career as a tutor?
A. Although it has only been two months since I started teaching at Cafetalk, I am very much looking forward to meeting people from all walks of life. When I listen to their stories, I am deeply moved by the way each person faces themselves and tries their best to live their life. When I hear my returning clients tell me that they feel better or refreshed after my session, it makes me glad that I chose this job.
- Q. What are you usually up to when you’re not teaching on Cafetalk? What are your hobbies and interests?
A. I work full time, usually Monday through Thursday, as a full time professional. I work to support people in need by listening to their stories on the phone or visiting them, and by working with various related agencies. To improve my physical fitness, I exercise at the gym for about 30 minutes at a time, two to three times a week after work.
In addition, I am currently studying a psychotherapy method called Hakomi-therapy, where I often attend workshops on Saturdays and Sundays, or do independent study with my peers.
There is so much to gain from these workshops, as I learn as a therapist while also facing my own issues as a client.
Other than that, I have recently started hiking in the mountains and plan to go once or twice a month from now on. I also occasionally participate in theater workshops. I have never been on stage yet, but it is my dream to be on stage someday.
I have also been playing the piano for a long time, and recently started attending a class nearby. I am looking forward to playing Beethoven’s “Fate” 1st movement jointly with my teacher at a recital in November.
- Q. A lot of students are probably curious about the atmosphere in your lessons. What can a student imagine a lesson with you to be like? What’s your teaching style?
A. In my lessons, I do my best to create a friendly and relaxing atmosphere so that students can feel comfortable talking with me. To achieve this, I first try to be in a mindful state, trust my students, and accept them as who they are. My lesson style generally consists of the student talking about what they wants to share about, and me listening to them attentively, asking questions about how they feel about it, and working together with them to sort out their feelings. If you would like, I may then ask you to become mindful and observe your body and mind to gain a deeper awareness. If you prefer to just talk to me, I can listen to you and then give you feedback on how to live your daily life with a sense of ease.
- Q. Since you offer a variety of lessons, is there any lesson you can recommend in particular?
A. If you are a new to my lessons, I recommend that you try my 30-minute trial course “Listening to your Body and Mind: Mindfulness Session”. I believe it’s a great way for you to see if you are comfortable with me as your therapist, and the way my sessions are conducted.
If you have a problem in front of you right now, and would like someone to listen to you, I would recommend my “Would you like to have a quick chat? Talk with a psychology professional!“ lesson. I also recommend this lessons even if you don’t have any particular problems at the moment, but just want to talk to someone. Since I am a professional psychologist, I will not only listen to you, but also offer you feedback from a professional’s perspective.
If you are interested in mindfulness meditation and want to experience meditation, my “Stress Reduction! Mindfulness Meditation Experience” lesson is a good choice. Not only meditating, but also paying attention to your body and experiencing your feelings in a state of mindfulness after meditation can bring up unexpected feelings. I will conduct this lesson according to each person’s individual needs.
- Q. Finally, would you like to leave a message for your current and future students?
A. To my current students,
Thank you for your continued support. I am rejoiced to have you continue taking my lessons. I am confident that there will be positive changes as we continue.
To my future students,
Whether you have a problem in front of you or not, or would just like to talk to someone, please feel free to book a lesson. I will listen to your stories sincerely.I look forward to meeting you.