Psyche of Psychologist
What do you consider the most inexpensive thing?
Anything that is of no worth, and there could be many, you’d argue.
But what if we were to pick just one.
Here is a pointer on how to arrive - something that is in huge supply, but lacks the demand.
For me, it would be Unsolicited Advice!
Agree, at least partially?
Good, we’re friends now.
We all despise advice and opinions and would avoid such conversations when we are least in the mood.
But what if someone has to make a career, advising people who are not in a proper state to seek and follow advice.
Over the last couple of months, we have been interviewing counselors and sharing their insights for the good of all.
In this interview, we do bring insights(Parenting 101), but for a minor change, we have delved deeper into the psyche of the psychologist.
Based out of Mayur Vihar in Delhi, Dr. Abha Arora has been a practicing counselor for about 2 decades. She started her career as a gynecologist in 1980. While most of the cases would be normal, she would also come across cases of infertility leading to domestic violence and abuse. Along with the medical symptoms in the body, she started to advise couples on ways that would bring harmony to their household, and she could see the difference.
The fertility of a lady should not deny her acceptability into the family. The in-laws and her husband need to accept the person as a human being, a female body is not a reproduction machine.
“The feedback I used to get from the young ladies were very encouraging. The counseling would bring anxiety relief and the infertility pills would help them conceive naturally. That was the turning point where I diverted myself and merged both of these practices”, speaks the doctor.
These days she also addresses issues related to Child care, teenagers violence, and addiction.
Q: In terms of issues with adolescents what are the issues that you have seen evolving?
20 years back there was no smartphone, there was no Facebook and other social media platforms. There would be cases of drugs and smoking that were frequent. The internet has come with its side effects.
Children google things and want to imitate the same. They imitate what they watch online. They want to become celebrities overnight, want to live a luxurious life, and will resort to unfair means to cater to their wants in peer pressure.
Q: Why do these patients come to you, who are otherwise chasing their prime?
The patients initially avoid seeking the help they feel there is only one day’s of life and they want to live it to the fullest. They feel it is normal for them this way. When they have some kind of breakup or some serious trouble then only they seek the help of a psychologist or a counselor. By the time they arrive, they are truly shattered, they come with a pang of guilt that they spoiled their life and they want to get out of it, it is then that the counselor’s job starts.
Q: Tell us a little about how do you go about dissecting the case?
I start with the initial days, of why he took that trajectory. What made him/her do that? Most of the time the parents don’t even know, while in some cases the mother is aware. When they come to me I ask them if they want to be out of it? I advise them to be consistent with the prescribed exercises. I ensure them that their secret is safe with her. For instance, if the mother is bringing them I will not talk to the girl in front of the mother in the second sitting if she says it is ok to sit with the mother then I talk to them together.
The roots sometimes are also related to child abuse. Whether it is a girl or a boy they want to get relief out of the burden of the trauma which they have been carrying for their entire life.
I extend a supporting arm, if someone understands them, acknowledges the grief, they develop a bonding with the person.
Q: Do you talk to the family members?
The trust in the family is breached somewhere. The parents are advised to treat their children as partners and friends. Instead of treating with a stick, the environment should be such that the child should feel comfortable in confiding with the elders. There are times when the child tries to initiate a conversation, but either fails to draw attention or attracts the flak.
Q: How do you go about advising the parents?
I make them understand the fact that they can’t keep bossing the kids all the time. The child can have his emotion, including anger, he could get annoying or even distracting. As parents, it is their job to acknowledge the fact that their child is imperfect, like every other human, and will make mistakes. There exists no remote control to press buttons and magically watch things happening. If they continue their bossy attitude, the relationship is bound to derail.
Q: Do you try to find the middle ground for parents’ expectations and the rebelling child?
Yes, it is a tightrope, my job is to minimize the expectations of parents(including the future aspiration of the child) and the freedom-seeking child.
The truth is nobody in a family wants the conflict. Parents are concerned for their children and the hormonal imbalance in the teen makes him impulsive. I try to magnify the fact that impulse is the by-product of hormonal imbalance, and it will gradually settle with time. they need to be respectful to their parents. what kind of parents they will make if they don’t change their behavior.
Q : How do you ensure people listen to you?
I need to ensure that the person is not offended, you must start on a friendly note. Offer advice in a manner where he does not rebel against you, nor should he dislike the idea. Help him discover his strengths and weakness.
The session should be such that the child goes home with a feeling that he has received something positive.
While talking you need to look into the eyes and gauge if the candidate is listening or pretending to listen. If you find rejection, change the mode of delivery, there can be multiple ways of expressing the same thing. Different people will react to the same thing in different ways, so we need to be flexible and see what is working and what is not.
Counselling is not dialogue delivery. You sit in front of the person constantly watching him every action is going to tell you if he is a liar, if he is faking, or does he need counselling at all.
Q : Tell us about any grown up child case that you have resolved.
One of my patients was an engineer who wanted to become an IAS, he left his job and everything, however, he didn’t clear his exams, his mother brought him to me and I started counselling him.
As I dug deep, I figured out he was lured into being an IAS to enjoy the power and perks the position offers, and was so hooked to that toy.
I made him understand that both the goals were essential but he should let them run together, he got a job again and got a promotion after a few years, although he was not able to clear his UPSC exams even in the fourth attempt he was happy that he didn’t leave his engineering altogether.
Q: Since most of your patients come to you with emotional problems, does it affect you?
A: I thank God that I am a very happy and jolly person so it does not affect me so much. I am glad that I can help others and make them happy.
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