“Pain can be a catalyst to look inside; to dig deep and heal wounds from the past, to create more vibrantly, love more whole-heartedly, and to be an integrity with your highest self.” – Kelley Kosow
“Dear ‘Dear Zindagi’ – Thank you for showing us so beautifully that therapy helps!”
In the wake of this heartwarming movie, I find it a great time to write about the benefits of seeing a professional counsellor for all our mental health related problems.
Science has progressed multifold over the years with advancement in medicines and treatments, thereby increasing our average life span. While physical health has been given due emphasis, mental health awareness is gradually evolving in India.
Actor Shah Rukh Khan who plays psychologist Dr. Jehangir Khan in the movie, states it just the way it is –going for therapy and counselling is still a taboo, a subject of shame in our society! People are afraid to speak openly about their problems here. Visiting a shrink is considered a western concept. Ours is a very society-driven mindset. ‘Log kya kahenge?’ is always playing at the back of our minds.
Mental health related issues are usually brushed under the carpet. ‘Are you mad to see a psychologist?’ is what holds back many people. The film’s protagonist Alia Bhatt is initially reluctant to reveal her story to the psychologist, pretending to have come to resolve her friend’s issues. It is only when she acknowledges the presence of her problems as being hers, that she fully opens up to therapy.
Any form of healing begins with asking for help. When we need not suffer in physical pain, why should we suffer in mental agony?
Seeking a therapist during my challenging times has always led to positive outcomes. I needed to get over the initial inhibition of speaking my heart out to a complete stranger. The first step was to accept that I’m dealing with situations far beyond me. That I’m unable to comprehend and find solutions on my own. I had to decide that seeing a professional would mean giving myself an opportunity to move ahead in the healthy direction. I care about me a lot to take the effort to steer my life positively.
Very often, we stuff feelings inside of us until they choke up and we require an outburst. Until expressed, they tend to even harm our bodies. Having a release during therapy sessions was extremely beneficial to me. In the light of my own experience of counselling sessions, I list below the benefits of seeing a therapist.
Advantages of therapy:
- A good therapist listens without judging you
- It is safe to reveal our stories in complete confidentiality
- Therapy helps us look under the surface, deeper into our feelings, emotions and inner demons
- It initiates the process of soul-searching, which is vital to our growth
- The therapist can recognise our characteristics which we tend to oversee
- Therapy helps to resolve our problems before they pile up into bigger issues
- We get an objective perspective to our situation
- Therapist provides a platform to say it like it is, without any fear of hurting anyone
- It is reassuring to know that we are not the only ones that need help
- Therapy helps us weed through our pain enabling us to process our emotions
- It empowers us to cope with difficult challenges ahead
Seeking professional therapy for our mental health is not a sign of weakness, instead it is that of strength. Strength to have acknowledged that there is a problem that needs attention. Strength to face it and resolve it.
The initiative of healing is with us; the therapist only facilitates our healing. We no longer need to remain in denial. We need not be embarrassed to see a therapist. There are psychiatrists, psychologists, counsellors, mental health institutes – a dime a dozen. We need to reach out to that one good therapist who we can bare our soul to.
If you think you need one, just go find one!