The anticipated interview with Dr Pavlos Filippopoulos is here. I had the opportunity to have a quick chat with one of City’s most liked lecturers. Many Psychology students will know him for his animated Clinical lectures. Dr Filippopoulos has previously discussed his research findings through: radio channels, the press and has appeared on television. Along with being a Senior Lecturer at City University London, Pavlos also offers psychological consultancy within Psychology and Psychotherapy.
Pavlos was involved with many things before he started to study. Interestingly, he was accepted into a medical school in Greece but found when diving into his studies, he would get bored. He realised that he was interested in: how people behave, why they behave in particular ways, how they think and what they feel. He soon found out that Psychology was the field that studies that. Since his decision to study Psychology, he has never been bored. Therefore, the discipline has not let him down. Clinical and Counselling Psychology came later for Pavlos, as he studied more in detail. The application of Clinical Psychology to a clinical practice was what fascinated Pavlos.
“I felt I was doomed, what am I going to do with my life; there is nothing that can keep me interested.”
Pavlos described himself as a clearly eager and motivated student. He admits that he would be annoying to his teachers, as he would ask questions and stay after lectures to discuss the material of the lectures. However, he hopes that he was not one of the very annoying students in his class. He explained that although he was never the top student in terms of marks, he put effort into his assignments to get a good degree. His focus was not on getting the highest marks, but acquiring as much knowledge as he could from the people that had practiced Psychology for years.
Many people would doubt their ability to become a good clinical psychologist. The reasons could span from: being too emotional, or feeling uncomfortable if a client were to cry, or not knowing what to say. I asked Pavlos whether he believed that some people would not be suited to practice Clinical Psychology.
“There is nothing that should stop you from being a Clinical psychologist, if you really wish to do so.”
It was a tough question for Pavlos to answer. However, he said ultimately if it is something that a person wishes to do, then they should not let anything stop them from pursuing their wish.
I was curious to know what Pavlos thought the best and worst parts of his role is. The hardest part for him is having to make difficult decisions that will put someone in a challenging position. For example, if he has to ask a student to write better on an essay, knowing that they may take it personally. I had never thought about how lecturers feel about giving criticism on essays. However, Pavlos said that communicating to a student that it is in their best interest is difficult. On the other hand, the best part is getting to study with the students. Pavlos believes that every time he gives a lecture, he studies with the students as he learns things as we consider things together. Also, Pavlos enjoys his clinical work as every case he has is different.
“Supposedly this country would say I teach you, but every time I ‘teach’ you I study with you”
Pavlos’ advice to students:
My students, here at city? Go for it guys. You are excellent students, by far the best students I have come across. So the world is yours, fully. Go out there, conquer it and shape it for your children.
Favourite colour ? Blue. It reminds me of a clear sky or blue sea.
Motto in life? Still alive; so let’s make the most of it.
Would you rather have the ability to be invisible or read minds? Both.
Written by Dionne St Rose