Tell us a little bit about your background…
My name is Dhanshri Vishwambher Shinde and I come from Mumbai in India. I am 24 years old and I’m currently at the University of Strathclyde studying MSc Clinical Health Psychology. There is a famous saying that goes “an investment in knowledge gives the best interest” so the more knowledge I can gather the better. I will never be finished learning, which is why I wanted to pursue the programme that I am on just now. I’ve been studying psychology since 2011 and completed my Bachelor’s degree at Mumbai University. I also have a Master’s degree in Neuropsychology from Bangor University. While studying I also pursued a degree in Bharatanatyam Classical Dance as well as western dance forms. I have a keen interest in theatre and have worked in many dramas productions and been part of over more than 90 shows.
I am also a mental health advocate and have given lectures in schools and college’s to students, parents and teachers about mental health and the power of positive thinking. I’ve also undertaken some volunteering work in an NGO, a care home and an autistic school. I chose to stick with psychology as I saw it as a way to help make life easier for people.
I wanted to come abroad to pursue my interests in the field of psychology and encourage personal development. Coming to Glasgow allowed me to interact with other cultures and understand how social and psychological factors impact on different countries and cultures.
What attracted you to the Clinical Health Psychology programme at Strathclyde?
I wanted to continue on my international journey and was keen to couple this with studying psychology. The structure of the course at Strathclyde made this stand out, along with the dissertation topic and the industry placement (this was the cherry on the cake for me!). Before committing, I explored the background of the professors, which I found fascinating, each researching their own fields.
What advice would you give to someone considering studying your course?
My advice would be to study hard to expand their knowledge. Read and watch as many videos as you can about their chosen subject as it helped a lot for my placement and group work. Also, don’t hesitate in asking any questions. Getting to grip with statistics is also key as this is an integral part of the course.
Tell us about your time during professional placement.
As I said the professional placement was the cherry on the cake for me. The experience was new and different. We felt that we were helping people every day and there were students coming to us after the session and saying ‘thank you’ as we had managed to help them. It felt amazing! During the placement I also learned a lot from others and adopted new skills. My placement top was ‘stress busting’ and now I know how to keep myself calm throughout stressful situations and I’ve also passed this useful advice on to my friends and family.
Will you take any learnings from this placement in to your career?
The most important part of my placement was CBT therapy and I found it to be the most effective therapy. It supports all age groups and all cultural backgrounds. This type of therapy allows the individual to connect with themselves and this is the part of the programme that I most enjoyed learning about. In fact, I have already started to plan my career around becoming a therapist of giving seminars on the topic of stress busting.
What do you think of the support available throughout the course?
The teaching staff have always been very supportive which is why I would encourage upcoming students to get in touch with the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences if they have any issues or questions at all. Other than that the student union is there for any additional support. The writing skills support has also been very useful for me.
What are your ambitions for the future?
I have only one ambition, that is to be a good therapist and help people making their life easy and worth living, and maybe go into research field and pursue PHD in future. One of the most important things I will carry with me is to dream big and stay positive!
Any final points, or words of wisdom?
Just believe in yourself, MSc life can seem very challenging but it’s very fun if you have desire to learn something new and you will enjoy what you are learning.