Ghassani Swaryandini: Autonomy’s Role in Help-seeking: From Hesitation to Action | Bouncing Back #34

In this episode, host Joahanna Wickramaratne is joined by Ghassani Swaryandini, a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Queensland and a practicing psychologist

This podcast covers various aspects related to autonomy and help-seeking behavior. The guest, Ghassani Swaryandini, delves into the significance of autonomy in seeking help, how it influences individuals’ decision-making process, and the barriers that may hinder people from seeking help.

Meet Ghassani Swaryandini

Ghassani Swaryandini is a psychologist and PhD candidate at the University of Queensland. Her work centers on understanding and mitigating biases to enhance judgment and decision-making. She is passionate about empowering adolescents by teaching them how to identify and overcome cognitive biases. She aspires to enable them to make more informed career decisions and improve their overall well-being.

About the episode

During the podcast episode, Ghassani and host Joahanna Wickramaratne engage in a detailed discussion on autonomy’s role in help-seeking. Ghassani begins by defining autonomy as an individual’s capacity to make independent decisions and take control of their actions. She emphasizes that autonomy should be considered in the context of help-seeking, as some individuals may perceive seeking help as a loss of autonomy or a sign of weakness.

The conversation then delves into the factors that can influence help-seeking behavior. These factors include cultural influences, societal expectations, and personal beliefs that may either encourage or hinder individuals from seeking assistance. Ghassani highlights the importance of creating a supportive environment that respects individuals’ autonomy and empowers them to make choices aligned with their values and needs.

Ghassani offers practical strategies to help listeners overcome hesitation and take proactive steps toward seeking help. 

  • Develop self-awareness: Through regular self-reflection (every six months), you can become aware of your strengths, limitations, and evolving goals. This will help you identify needs that need to be addressed.
  • Seek input from trusted individuals: When self-reflection proves limiting, seek input from trusted people you’re close to as another perspective. Blindspots may be missed.
  • Seek input from trusted individuals: Reach out for help proactively before hitting rock bottom. Consider help-seeking, such as working with a personal trainer, not just for emergencies.
  • Embrace autonomy: Autonomy includes recognizing limits and making responsible decisions to seek appropriate help when needed.
  • Focus on learning skills: Through education, build habits from youth, focusing on learning enthusiasm, feedback reception, and decision-making rather than just facts.
  • Embrace weaknesses as opportunities for growth: Accept that limitations and weaknesses aren’t failings but opportunities for growth through addressing needs with support.
  • Embrace feedback and continuous learning: Be open to feedback, even when it may feel discouraging. View mistakes as part of the learning process rather than a reflection of your self-worth. 
  • Set goals aligned with your values: Set goals tailored to your needs and values, not external ideals, revising as needed through reflection. Focus on progress, not perfection.
  • View help-seeking as empowering: View help-seeking as empowering connection, not dependent weakness. Your openness creates opportunities for supportive relationships.
  • Maintain perspective: Remember that everyone struggles. Normalize difficulty and learn from the diverse coping strategies of resilient peers.

In conclusion

The podcast episode on autonomy’s role in help-seeking highlights the significance of autonomy in helping. The discussion emphasizes that seeking assistance should not be viewed as a loss of autonomy or a sign of weakness but rather as a strength and an opportunity for personal growth and well-being.

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