Liu Xiao (R) talks with a soldier. [Photo courtesy of Zhang Zhuangzhuang]
A female mental health expert in northeast China's Jilin Province has firmly dedicated herself to easing the worries of young soldiers over the years.
Adopting scientific methods, Liu Xiao has helped countless soldiers from the local 16th Group Army of the People's Liberation Army to overcome psychological difficulties and regain confidence.
One soldier described to her: "I once underperformed in a test. Instead of giving me words of comfort, my leader criticized me, saying I hadn't taken the correct attitude."
Liu advised, "Set a reasonable expectation before each test. Never push yourself."
This dialogue is typical from an online counseling forum used by people in the army. Liu usually receives dozens of such requests each day through the internet, via email, phone, or on the instant messaging app WeChat.
Not long ago, a soldier named Li often broke rules. Officials of his brigade talked with him in turn but the weary young man remained silent.
Learning the situation, Liu came to Li, persuading him in a mild tone. Finally, the man spoke out about his secret, which turned out to be that his elderly grandfather was confined to bed by a stroke.
Brought up by the senior, Li wanted to return to his hometown and look after the old man personally.
After learning about Li's problem, Liu encouraged him to open his heart while creating conditions for a video chat between the homesick youth and his grandfather.
Meanwhile, Li's leaders also offered him more care and understanding. Due to Liu's effort, the soldier regained his enthusiasm and did training sessions more earnestly.
"Unable to take part in the skills competition organized by our brigade, I felt all my hard work was useless!" a soldier told Zhang by phone.
Liu visited Zhang instantly. After several talks, the soldier realized the imbalance of his mental state and overcame his negative feelings. Before long, he returned to his post with regained passion.
A soldier called Bart was performing well in his brigade until recently. He longed to become a Party member but failed to fulfill his wish in several attempts due to the limited quota. Consequently, Bart found it hard to regain his former enthusiasm for work.
Liu kept close contact with Bart, sending him messages of encouragement every day. Due to Liu's great patience and professional guidance, the man finally overcame his frustrations.
"I regard the worries of youthful soldiers as a big issue. I'll try my best to solve their troubles. It's my wish and duty," the expert said.
(Source: People's Liberation Army Daily/Translated and edited by Women of China)
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