Syed’s Story: Empathy and Personal Growth through Gentle Teaching

Ever since I can remember, my fascination with people has driven me to believe that there is an endless capacity for surprise and amazement within each individual. Regardless of how well we think we understand human nature, life has a way of introducing us to those who shatter our preconceived notions.

My journey into psychology, which began at UBC in 2014, was fueled by this curiosity. However, it wasn’t until I joined COR and embraced the Gentle Teaching philosophy that I truly began to comprehend the depth of empathizing with and understanding people. Instead of merely analyzing behavior and offering our interpretations based on psychological principles, Gentle Teaching taught me to perceive individuals in an entirely new light.

Through this approach, I discovered the profound importance of relationship building. Supporting an individual extends beyond a job description; it is about forging lasting connections, building friendships, and earnestly comprehending what someone is going through in both their joyous moments and trials.

Gentle Teaching has demonstrated to me how patience and understanding can nurture people not just physically, but mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. Each person I support at COR comes with unique needs, preferences, and aversions. Understanding and embracing their individuality has been a profoundly enriching experience.

There have been moments when I found myself grappling with how to best support the individuals I work with. Through Gentle Teaching, I’ve realized that what they truly desire is to feel valued, appreciated, and understood. As I’ve become more integrated into their lives, my role has evolved from being just a support person to becoming a genuine friend.

For instance, one of the guys thrives on routine and simply seeks companionship throughout his daily activities. Another is a beacon of creativity, eager to share his imaginative pursuits with anyone willing to extend a hand of friendship. Spending time together, whether playing video games, enjoying our shared taste in music, or planning outings, has created bonds beyond the conventional support-worker relationship. The third individual, going through his struggles, finds solace in feeling valued, often sharing his fascination with different cultures over coffee.

In essence, Gentle Teaching has revolutionized my understanding of people, fostering significant personal growth that extends far beyond the walls of COR and into my personal life. Grateful to be a part of the COR family, I look forward to contributing to this meaningful journey for a long time to come.

A Proud Member of the COR Family