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ANC Alumnus Changing Lives by helping Children Overcome Mental Health problems at a young age!


“ The numerous children that I have counseled over the years have grown up to become well rounded adults, highly accomplished in their careers while balancing family, work and life successfully ”.

Gimhani Gunawardena is a proud alumnus of ANC Education who has helped so many school children under the age of 18 years to overcome depression, anxiety and deal with mental health issues caused by the demands and pressures of today’s environment; the education system, social media, peer pressure, school, and parental problems.

For the past 11 years Gimhani Gunawardena has been changing children’s lives in Elementary School and Primary School by helping them overcome mental health issues through her expertise as a Behavioral and Psycho Therapist and Counselor for Children.

She also participates in many Mental Health awareness programs in the community, recently appearing in “Talkwalk Art TV’ that addressed children’s addictions to mobile phones, gaming and Internet and what parents can do to help their children overcome these addictions.

One of her greatest accomplishments is becoming the Founder of “The Miracle Mind” Center for Counseling & Psychological Services located in Mt. Lavinia:

UWL Master’s degree In Clinical and Health Psychology was my launching pad to open my own private clinic. It provided me with a wealth of knowledge and a lot of confidence and coupled with my extensive experience in the capacity of School Counselor at Musaeus College, Colombo 7 (2009-2015), and St. Thomas’ College, Mt- Lavinia at present, I took a leap of faith to open my own Clinic and private practice to expand my reach and serve more children and families in Sri Lanka”.


Gimhani completed both her Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology and Masters degree in Clinical and Health Psychology offered at ANC. Her Bachelors of Science is from Missouri University of Science & Technology, USA and her Master’s of Science degree is from University of West London (UWL).

ANC provided a valuable platform to launch a successful career in Psychology and to achieve my dream of opening my own clinic the Miracle Mind Center for Counseling & Psychological Services”

ANC had a chance to speak to this remarkable lady who is a proud mother of three children and  a successful career women, about her journey to the top and this is what she had to say:

Why do you think children need counseling in today’s environment?

School Counselors are the first people to identify changes in children’s behavior, signs of depression, anxiety and these signs are addressed early on before they become serious. We use forms of art, music and play for children to express themselves in a relaxing and trusting environment. Many of the students that I counseled over the years still visit me. They have overcome many difficulties and mental health problems as a result of consistent care and counseling. Sometimes the only thing these kids need is love, care and encouraging words.


Why did you choose a private / foreign higher education institute after A/levels? 

It was only after my A/levels when my parents and I looked at many private and local universities to pursue a degree in Psychology. However the decision to go with ANC Education was influenced by my father who is Dr. U.D. Gunawardena, the chief decider and my mother that foresaw a clear path for me to be a qualified Psychologist through ANC Education.


How was the U.S Psychology degree program at ANC Education?

I am proud to have been one of the first students to join in 2004 in the first batch of U.S Psychology Degree Completion program in Sri Lanka. During this time the U.S Psychology Degree was awarded by Missouri University of Science & Technology in USA. The lecturers were excellent, and the U.S curriculum covered each aspect including Child Psychology, Forensic Psychology, Business Psychology, Clinical Psychology and more.

Did you ever think it would be difficult to establish a career in Psychology?

Today, Psychologists are in high demand. But in 2004 School Counseling was just starting and Psychology was very new in Sri Lanka. In this regard ANC is very futuristic and forward thinking. All credit goes to them for introducing a U.S Psychology Degree program even before it became popular.   

During my Psychology Degree program I had the opportunity to start an Internship as part of the curriculum. It exposed me to the real work environment. My U.S Degree and Internships provided valuable experience, and even before I graduated I received a job offer to work for my Alma Mater, at the senior section of school counseling at Musaeus College. It was a valuable experience to work with children and counsel them which is where I made an impact in their lives for six long years and later joined St. Thomas’ College, Mt-Lavinia.

The decision to complete a Msc. in Clinical & Health Psychology from University of West London to advance in my career was a tough decision as I had to balance between work, being a mother of three kids and a wife. But ANC and the UWL program was flexible and allowed me to balance my commitments. I must thank my husband Lakshitha, my mother and father for all the support they gave to go up in my career and in life.

 Children need a lot of love and attention and their emotional well being is important. When both parents are working there is less time to devote to their kids. The pressures they face in school, with bullying, peer pressure and social media can be difficult to cope. These can cause changes in children’s behavior, make them feel depressed, moody, anxious and not happy Children. Children need constant guidance, and need to be guided to be resilient in life. It is my goal to serve many Children as the Founder of the Miracle Mind Center for Counseling & Psychological Services”

For more information about the Fall 2020 intake Call 076-998-9635 to book an online counseling session, or visit www.ancedu.com or follow us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ancedu/ and “ANC_Education” on Instagram.


 


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