Monkeys as Therapists??

Hola, my name is Robin! I am originally from Fengcheng City, China, but my parents adopted me and brought me to Sacramento, CA. I am a freshman at UCLA and majoring in cognitive science which is extremely interdisciplinary (hence the reason I chose it). I was born in 2004 which makes my animal sign the monkey!! Monkeys are awesome because similar to the dragon, they are both determined to perform above average, and they also make a wonderful couple as they make the best of one another's positive forces. 

There are certain characteristics and attributes that the monkey possesses. A few examples include: versatileness, curious, kind, enthusiastic, gentle, truthful, etc. Those born in the monkey years tend to be sociable, innovative, and are willing to put others' needs above their own as they have practical ability. Because of their desire to help others as well as their creative ability to problem-solve, an ideal profession for the monkey is therapy or counseling. The topic I will be focusing on is animal/therapy. 

There are five elements/types of monkeys with specific characteristics; fire monkey, wood monkey, water monkey, gold monkey, and earth monkey. The fire monkey is ambitious but irritable, and being ambitious as a therapist is important when it comes to solving problems. The wood monkey is helpful, compassionate, and stubborn, and this assists therapists to have more empathy when a client confides in them. The water monkey is smart, quick witted, and haughty which is beneficial as having a quick wit helps to react accordingly. The gold monkey is smart, confident, irritable, and stubborn in which a therapist should be confident when speaking with a patient. The earth monkey is frank, optimistic, and fearless and being honest and optimistic are prime qualities in a therapist to show that there is hope but the client must be willing to make the change. While each type of monkey differs from one another in one way, the common theme is that they are smart, determined, and stubborn. 

When it comes to therapy, qualities of good therapists include: empathy, versatility, optimism, trust, ability to solve problems, openness, curiosity, etc. Upon looking at the personality traits of the monkey as a whole, they contain a lot of the characteristics of a good therapist. 



For the Chinese, the monkey represents luck, smartness, and slyness. There is a novel The Monkey King where the monkey king accompanies an honored monk to the west in search of the Buddha Sakyamuni. They confront 81 devils in which the monkey king conquers them. In the end, the monkey king earned the title of legendary hero in the mind of every Chinese person. While the moral of the story focuses on the human desire for freedom and the journey from an ignorant monkey to a enlightened being, the monkey king also represents strength, intelligence, wit, trickery, and determination. Much of these characteristic are present in great therapists as it is their job to support, listen, and challenge the patient to change their way of thinking. 

Overall, those who embody the monkey have promising qualities that many professional therapists possess, and while this occupation is not for everyone, it is something to think about as an individual who was born in the year of the monkey. 

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