Amanda Chen ’13, Sovatsky Counseling and Yogic Research

I arrived at the office of Dr. Stuart Sovatsky ’71 in Richmond, CA thirty minutes too early and unsure of what to expect.  But Dr. Sovatsky greeted me warmly, and we chatted about Princeton life while we waited for my fellow Princetern, Michele Tyler.  After Michele arrived, Dr. Sovatsky told us more about his background, his work in the U.S. and in Russia, and what the schedule of events would be for that day.  Michele and I had also never met before, so in the process of telling Dr. Sovatsky about ourselves, we also learned about each other.

Dr. Sovatsky’s private practice is centered on relationship counseling and yoga counseling, and we were lucky enough to experience both therapies firsthand.  Dr. Sovatsky had arranged for a couple he had been seeing for a year to come and talk to us at 11 am.  The couple we met was extremely friendly, and we got to hear the story of their relationship and how they found Dr. Sovatsky.  They had gone through rough times and told us about the techniques that Dr. Sovatsky had used to help them overcome their difficulties.  I found their story very moving and was tearing up by the time they left.

After lunch, Dr. Sovatsky’s intern, Andrew, came by with his daughter to share his experiences with us.  It was really informative to hear from both Andrew and Dr. Sovatsky about the different degree programs and processes needed to become a therapist.  They helped me figure out what path I wanted to pursue to reach my goal of being both a researcher and therapist.  Also, they shared with us how a private practice was set up, what it was like to run a private practice, and how different patients would respond better to different therapies.  Andrew’s adorable young daughter was with him, and he told us that running a private practice gave him more flexible hours to take care of her.

Amanda, Dr. Sovatsky, and fellow Princetern Michelle

Dr. Sovatsky told us of his other counseling work beforehe focused on relationship counseling, and we got to hear anecdotes about former patients.  As the day drew to a close, Dr. Sovatsky talked to us about his yogic research.  He played an Indian musical instrument for us that facilitates energy flow and was very calming.  We talked about how spiritual awakening is important in his counseling, and by the end of the day, I felt enlightened.

I am very grateful to have had this opportunity to meet with Dr. Sovatsky, the couple that he is helping, and Andrew.  Even though the Princeternship lasted only a day, I felt like I learned a lot about this career field, and I would definitely recommend this Princeternship to other students.