A Psychotherapist in Kathmandu

Entry 1 April 2019

Tereza Nogueira, Child and Adolescent Psychotherapist and senior supervisor for ‘Child in Time’, writes to us from Kathmandu, Nepal where she’s spending two weeks working as a volunteer with Unity in Health http://unityinhealth.org.  Their mission is to work together to improve global mental health, and Tereza has travelled over to help plant the seeds for school counselling services in Nepal through training and discussion with adults at Tribhuvan University.  

Kathmandu is a blowing mind place, I never imagined I’d go to!  When I was 37 I emigrated to England from Brazil with very limited English, enough just to get basically by. At that time, I thought I was too old for such an adventure. I did all sorts of jobs until I re-trained to be a child and adolescent psychotherapist. I thought I was done with big changes.  Yet at 65, coming to Nepal feels like another life changing experience.   I am already flooded with feelings of excitement and anxiety, my passion for the project versus my physical limitations which humble me.

Crazy traffic, noisy, with a constant smell of petrol and a mist of dust and pollution, it feels almost apocalyptic. The pollution has been challenging for my breathing but I have been managing by wearing a face mask, Vaseline to prevent it to go inside my nose, nose drops and inhalers. So far so good! Luckily wearing a mask is very fashionable and a real necessity over here. The amount of motor bikes is incredible. They look like ninjas coming from everywhere and nowhere. I find myself closing my eyes imagining we are going to crash into every on-coming vehicle.  But somehow everyone finds their own place to drive. In a very small space you can see an overcrowded minibus, a bunch of motorbikes, cars, pedestrians, cows and street vendors, all sharing this chaotic space. 

The state of the roads and buildings is a reminder of the 2015 earthquake and it looks as if the country is working hard to rebuild itself in every aspect. One can sense an attempt to either recover the original shape or create a new one from scratch. But before this happens it is all chaos.   In some ways it reminds me of a therapeutic process, and the reason I’m here…

Read all Tereza’s blog posts here: http://childintime.co.uk/blog/