Why did you choose to become a therapist?
My interest in Psychology came from fascination with the subject, and from there it became more focused on mental health. As part of my graduate internship, I visited the Psychiatry Ward at a government hospital and seeing mental illnesses in their most severe and intense form, I realised that I wanted to work with it.
In short, I felt that mental health was essential to how we lived our lives and I wanted to contribute to people living their best lives. I also realised that mental health was not seen as the essential part of the well-being puzzle - so I wanted to bring attention to it and support it.
What would you like to tell a client who comes to you for therapy?
Clients can expect a non-judgmental, patient, and safe space to begin with. I believe that emotions, specially overwhelming emotions need a space where they can be let out and be contained before they can be understood or resolved. Clients can also feel assured that I am not expecting them to feel a particular way or respond in expected ways.
As a Cognitive Behaviour Therapist, I also focus a lot on thoughts, beliefs and perspectives, so clients can expect conversations about challenging thoughts, exploring alternate perspectives, and trying out newer behaviours, as well.
What does a first session with you look like?
The first session for me is to learn as much as possible about the client. I try to understand what came before the difficult experience that they are talking about. I also focus on exploring other significant aspects of the client's life which they may not have considered to be connected to the problem and hence, may not immediately bring up in the first session. I aim to create an early version of a therapy plan and first version of therapy goals based on discussions with the client.
What has been an important learning of being a therapist?
The most important learning has been about how unique people are- that I should never assume someone's life story without hearing it from them and that rarely anything is as simple as it appears on the surface. I have also learned the importance of empathy and how it can nurture and support in even the most dire of circumstances.
Can you share a quote that resonates with you?
“And those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music.”
― Friedrich Nietzsche