Therapy is for one and all

Psychotherapist Inchara Shivaramu talks about her self-healing journey and its importance

By: Inchara Shivaramu





It is a myth that one can take up psychotherapy or counseling only if there is a significant issue or illness. It works for everyone who wants to explore about their self, understand their personality, decipher why they made certain decisions in life and learn how to make choices that suit you better and move forward in life.

Acceptance is the first step
As a mental health practitioner I have always focused on upgrading my skills and using it on my clients to heal them. But when it came to my own mental well being, I consciously kept away from meeting another therapist for help.

Studying and practicing psychology and psychotherapy had definitely given me an insight into a lot of my behaviors and thought processes. Although I knew self-healing was very important, I wasn’t sure what pulled me back--the sorted out image I always carried around or my hesitation to share my personal details with another therapist.

Practice what you preach
It took me awhile to realise how difficult it is to preach when we are not practicing it. As a therapist I expected my clients to be honest when they shared their life experiences with me. The healing can happen only if they speak the truth without masking anything. Doesn’t the same principles apply to me as an individual?  

Yes. The fact is that like any other individual a therapist also needs therapy. I understood that there is no point in masking my inner self and convincing myself that am sorted.  

All of us have certain blocks and concerns which require to be processed. But we fail to realize the importance of processing it and healing it, even after noticing how it keeps manifesting and playing out in our behaviors, personality and relationships.

Past experiences and mental blocks
I realised that due to my past experiences I had developed certain mental blocks, which in turn resulted in me forming  a strong belief system around the way I perceived people and the world around me.

I stepped back when I realised that my condition was not only affecting my personal life but also  seeping into my work. I kept my sorted belief aside and started with my self-healing journey.

Self-healing journey begins
The best way to start your healing process is work on frequently emerging disturbing patterns that’s affecting and bothering you. All of us have belief system formed due to early experiences which varies from individual to individual. What’s important is that how it comes alive in our day to day functioning, relationships and how it affects our wellbeing.

Once I entered therapy, the first thing I noticed was how childhood experiences had shaped my core beliefs such as “passiveness seeks approval, need to have sorted image to seek approval from people and voicing my opinion might cost me rejection. Usually the idea, or thought, by itself doesn’t feel bad. It’s the emotions attached to these beliefs and thoughts that cause us misery. Therefore the insights and awareness helped me declutter and manage my relationships and behaviors in a healthier way.

Although as a therapist I knew what was happening to me at the surface level, I needed the support of another therapist to understand my deep anxieties, fears and hang ups to get insights and meaning of my personality.

The best way to start your healing process is work on frequently emerging disturbing patterns that’s affecting and bothering you. All of us have belief system formed due to early experiences which varies from individual to individual. What’s important is that how it comes alive in our day today functioning, relationships and how it affects our wellbeing.

Transactional analysis and personal therapy
When my therapy was on, I simultaneously started my diploma in Transactional Analysis (TA), under which one of the requisite was to clock personal therapy sessions. TA is a model of people and relationships that was developed during the 1960s by Dr. Eric Berne. It is based on two notions, first that we have three parts or 'ego-states' to our personality, and secondly that these converse with one another in 'transactions' (hence the name).
 

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