Selina Camaibau Kuruleca

Selina Camaibau Kuruleca, is a household name when it comes to counselling and psychotherapy in Fiji.

The director of Kuruleca Consultants is involved in psychotherapy, consulting, addressing mental health issues, research and training.

She has a Masters in Counselling and Psychology from Santa Clara University, Santa Clara, California. Emphasis in Health Psychology and trained as a marriage and family therapist.

Graduated in 2003, Ms Kuruleca returned to Fiji and joined the Department of Psychology, University of the South Pacific, before venturing into full time private practice in 2006.

*Describe yourself: Hardworking, straight forward, honest and enjoy good company and a great laugh. I tell others and often tell myself that we shouldn’t take ourselves too seriously, have a plan and yet be flexible enough for the demands of family, friends and work.

*What inspires you to be the person you are? My parents. My late mother was a senior sister and midwife at the CWM Hospital before she became a lecturer at FSN; my dad rose through the ranks at MH until he became the distribution centre warehouse manager.

They were always working, our house was always filled with people and though sometimes there wasn’t much to live with, they always managed to stay positive and wished us the best.

I vividly remember my father telling me when I was about 12 years old “Lina, no matter what, always work hard, be a good listener and be good to your family and friends, the rest will work out.”

*What would you describe as your passion in life and how are you going about realising it? I love the work that I do, listening to people, not judging them but facilitating the process for them. Helping them to realise that everyone has problems, including me, but if we are honest and willing to do something to make it right, the we can overcome difficulties.

*What would you consider to be the most memorable in your career? Some of the most memorable moments would be working with adolescents. Adolescence is perhaps one of the most difficult periods in life.

They are challenged by their peers, their family, relationships, sports and studies, yet we expect them to resolve these issues with minimal help.

So being able to work with these young people — building a professional yet personal relationship to enable them to make the best life decisions and to help them be better people, is always so satisfying.

*I am obsessed … With cleaning up, cooking, baking and sewing. I also enjoy the occasional gardening. I enjoy my children. Most weekends are often spring cleaning for us at home and thinking of artsy stuff to do that is fun for the children.

*I can’t live without … A good book — some of my favourite authors are James Patterson and Patricia Cornwell. I enjoy National Geographic, good kava from Namacu, Koro or Bureta, Ovalau, and a good bottle(s) of red wine.

*I am proud of … my kids. Mostly they have learnt some good skills and manners and are trying hard to stay in school, play sports and achieve their targets. Having “unplugged” days, especially over the weekend can be a challenge, but they are mostly doing well.

I am proud of my contribution to various policies governing suicide prevention and mental health in Fiji.

*Wish I could change … my health have had a few bouts of ill health and it’s always so draining, so yes, I wish I would change that. It is sometimes scary and not a good place to be.

*Really need to … Save money and buy a new car.

*Can’t handle it … When I see that there is something that needs to be done and it is not my place to say or do it. To refrain from correcting something that is fundamentally not good or helpful. I always have this overwhelming urge to make things better or right when sometimes it is none of my business.

*I look back and … Wish that my late mother, aunts and my grandparents were around today.

*I relax by … Hanging out at home, baking, drinking kava, listening to Fijian music and Hawaiian music, and watching CSI. I have some of the best friends in the world and some of the best cousins in the world as well and they offer great entertainment — always live

*I am excited about … Rugby — whether it’s 7s or 15s, I enjoy it. Particularly when it’s our Flying Fijians or the Vodafone 7s team. I also enjoy the super 15 and am a Brumbies fan when I am not being a Crusaders fan.

*I have always wanted … To own a coffee shop that can double as a kids play pen. I enjoy looking after young kids and elderly people. The very young are so carefree and eager, we can teach them so many things. While the elderly always have invaluable experience and wisdom that we can all learn from. We should always cherish the old people — our parents, in-laws, aunts, uncles, grandparents, there is so much we can learn from them.

*Biggest weakness … Thinking that I have to be everything to everyone. This is both draining and also a huge mistake.

*List of favourite things … Jake and Dee; my books, reading various things on music, fiction and how to make our house a home. Finding and combining new recipes and trying it out — I’m proud to say that we have mastered baking apple pie and making chicken wontons.

*Opinion on the state of the world

The new US President will impact all of us all over the world — Say no to Donald Trump.

We need to look after our inheritance — planet earth better, this is the legacy we leave our children.

*Mother always told me … Our God is a living, loving and forgiving God.

Pick up after yourself.

Cleanliness is next to Godliness.

*My attitude to exercise … Needs to be consistent, fun and part of a routine.

*My relationship with my body … I’m ok with my body.

Favourite food: Marlin fish kokoda; steamed kawakawa fish, tivoli and waci poki

Favourite drink: water; Red wine – Tisdale and Vito: White wine – Oyster Bay; Fiji Bitter

Favourite book: Along came a Spider – James Patterson

Never tell – Catherine McCall

A Day Late and A dollar Short – Terry McMillan

Full Blown – David Lovelace

Favourite movies: Batman Vs Superman: Dawn of Justice; Spy; Iron man;

Favourite TV series: Death in Paradise; Yes Prime Minister; House; The Wire; Sons of Anarchy

Mentor since childhood: my father — Peni Kuruleca

Favourite quotes:

1. Work like you don’t need money, love like you’ve never been hurt, and dance like no one’s watching -Unknown Author

2. The trouble with the rat race is that even if you win, you’re still a rat. -Lily Tomlin

3. Watch your thoughts; they become words.

Watch your words; they become actions.

Watch your actions; they become habits.

Watch your habits; they become character.

Watch your character; it becomes your destiny. -Lao-Tze

Person you would love to meet:

Barrack Obama and Hillary Clinton

Advice to young children: Be respectful of yourself and others; work hard and honestly. Have fun while you do these things, have good friends and respect your parents.

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