STUDENT INTERVIEW with Julia Fletcher (continued)

Why have you chosen to study Naturopathy?
I have always been passionate about self-improvement and wellbeing. I have seen a naturopath as I have needed over the years and found the recommendations and support helpful.  More recently, I have had health problems of my own and noticed people close to me becoming increasingly unwell. My curiosity and desire to improve my circumstances and those around me then kicked in. I researched study options, spoke to Kim at AIHFE and found my calling.

What are the aspects of your study that you enjoy?
I thoroughly enjoy all aspects of my studies, I have a deep love of learning and most importantly I aim to implement as much as I can as I learn new things. I will admit that I have found the herbal component challenging, as there is so much to learn. However, I have already learnt a great deal and I look forward to applying this knowledge and improving my understanding as I learn more.

What aspects of your study could you see improved?
Studying with a family of 3 children and a husband who works long hours has been one of the biggest challenges; however, AIHFE and more specifically the lecturers and my fellow students have been extremely supportive. I use my family as motivation, knowing that what I am learning has already and will continue to help us all be healthier and happier.

What have you discovered that you weren’t aware of before you started your studies?
I was surprised to learn the extent that gut health and stress play in our lives, and was eager to learn the role that naturopaths and natural medicine can play in supporting healthy changes.

Where do you see yourself in five years time?
In 5 years, I see myself working closely with others to educate, inspire and develop healthy lifestyles.

Do you have any special interest areas?
I am particularly interested in mental health, children’s health and health education and promotion.

Any comments about registration for naturopaths?
I believe registration is an inevitable step forward.  I think that the benefits to clients, practitioners and the integrity of the industry outweigh the potential disadvantages. I also think that the process of registration should be transparent, with manageable expectations and allow a sufficient timeframe to support the industry and the individuals to meet the regulation standards.

Why did you become an ANPA Student member?
To be inspired by and learn from other practitioners in the profession.

Any tips for survival with a demanding study load and often working to pay your way through the program?
I think it’s important to practise what we preach. To set realistic expectations, be organised, find time for what is important and be grateful for the people that support me and the opportunities available to me.