What does the “street psychologist” do?
Vilja (that is her first name) walks around the city centre of Bergen and tries to approach people, especially of a young age and with different needs for support. She looks for people who experience a tough situation or serious problems (like family ones) in their lives at that moment. But she is also into youngsters who just want to talk. Bullying at school is unfortunately popular in Norway too.
Then, she talks to them in a friendly yet professionally appropriate manner and tries to help them see different perspectives on their problems. Most of the times, this relaxed environment (on the street and not at school, hospital or other institution) makes things easier for the psychologist. Youngsters become more approachable and receptive to the small talk.
Does it work?
The “street psychologist” does some serious work. Kudos! As she says, many youngsters she approaches do have serious problems they need to deal with. Like depression, anxiety and trauma. Sometimes, they have issues with addictions, like drugs or alcohol.
Most of them are eager to talk about their problems. They see her as a friendly adult, outside of a formal institution, they can talk to anonymously, on the street and receive some guidance. Others are not interested and walk away.