Sarah Liang ’15, Sovatsky Counseling and Yogic Research

Sarah-LiangIn the span of just six short hours, I was able to not only meet Dr. Stuart Sovatsky ’71 in his office in Richmond, Calif. over spring break, but I was also able to learn about the very unique practice that is yogic counseling. Essentially, he focuses on unifying marriage and relationship counseling with the traditional meditative practices of Yoga. This particular melding struck my fancy because I have personally studied these two topics separately, but have never encountered them together before. He even played his shruti, a wooden box emitting a droning sound that evokes a sense of calmness and peace within oneself. I felt its effects fully and powerfully; it was truly an eye-opening and relaxing experience.

For the first half of my time there, Stuart and I simply sat face-to-face, as he would with his clients, and chatted about both the spiritual Yoga that he has researched and published on, as well as the psychology side of his practice (that I was far more familiar with). I got to hear about some incredible experiences he had across the world, such as Slovenia, lecturing with the vast amounts of research he has conducted on Yoga practices. I also got to hear some monumental events throughout his lifetime, such as the impacts he has left on people’s relationships and lives.

In the second half, I had the opportunity to meet a couple that had been seeing him for several years already. They told me about the painstaking experiences over time that it took for them to achieve the bliss and love that they felt between each other today, and then were kind enough to answer the questions I had thereafter. I was also able to meet one of the interns that works under him, and observed the different career paths I could possibly take in order to achieve my personal ends in working in the field of psychology. Overall, the hands-on experience from today was not something that I had fully anticipated but nonetheless appreciated to the fullest.

From this Princeternship, I not only Liang 1learned new skills, but developed preexisting ones from areas that I’d previously studied, and was able to explore miscellaneous career path interests in the process. I am so grateful to Dr. Sovatsky for taking time out of his busy schedule to meet with me for this rare opportunity. This Princeternship has left a very positive impact on the rest of my time at Princeton, and hopefully beyond my collegiate career as well. I’d certainly recommend it to anyone considering clinical psychology as a possible field in which to study in the future.