Expert Speak: Mitali Srivastava, Senior Clinical Psychologist at CIMBS
Recent decades have seen a significant rise in emotional difficulties being faced by people in the general population. Stress has become a part of everyday living; no matter whether a person is young or old, early in their career or an established professional everyone has stress.
But, what can we do about it? With soaring expectations and shrinking deadlines, increasing competition and decreasing ‘availability’ of time, role confusions and communication gaps, one’s life has a tendency to become a roller-coaster ride. Lack of communication creates personal distance, increasing workload takes away close friends – and families’ reactions can be emotionally charged, so whom do we talk to? How do we manage stress? How should we manage relationships?
In a nutshell, how do we manage life?
Seeking help from a therapist can be one easy way to make a start.
People who feel that psychotherapy is for people with severe mental illnesses are poorly informed. Rather, a professionally trained and experienced Psychotherapist is very well versed in handling all sorts of emotional issues whether they emerge from relationship difficulties, workplace stress, ability to cope up with daily demands and stress, inability to achieve one’s desired goal or problems of Depression, Anxiety, Phobia or any other such ailment.
Sometimes referred to as ‘The Talking Cure’, Psychotherapy is considered a collaborative endeavour between the therapist and the client, where the client opens up her/his heart to a non judgmental, accepting and empathetic professional in a safe, supportive and absolutely confidential environment. The client comfortably and confidentially shares feelings and experiences, which she or he might not have been able to comprehend before.
With increasing awareness about the positive impacts of psychotherapeutic work, individuals often approach a psychotherapist when they feel depressed, anxious or angry. Some others look for help in coping with a chronic illness interfering with their emotional or physical well-being. There may be others with short-term problems, which they are able to navigate because of Psychotherapy.
Following are just few examples where Psychotherapy typically works wonders:
- feelings of overwhelming, unmanageable helplessness and sadness;
- constant worries, feeling of being on the edge, extreme or negative thinking;
- tendency to get angry and aggressive, propensity to harm self or others;
- difficulties in concentrating well on assigned tasks;
- a general sense of uneasiness and/ or restlessness;
- interference with performance and day to day activities due to emotional state;
- feeling of helplessness despite efforts and help from family and friends;
- disturbed, conflictual interpersonal relationships;
- coping by indulgence in drugs or alcohol.
Obviously, as psychotherapy is a collaborative effort, patience and the correct attitude of involvement from the patient are important. Sometimes, the process of introducing a new person, the therapist, into the patient’s world can be a difficult task, and one that takes its own time. However, once developed, this bond has the potential to work with the patient to overcome their deep rooted fears, resolved underlying conflicts and bring about positive changes in their life and their ‘sense of self’, perception, thinking and behaviour.
A well-trained and experienced psychotherapist acts like a guide through this journey; coaching and stimulating the patient to explore and understand their emotions and thoughts and lead towards positive living.