A precious mind cannot be lost in the chaos of life.
I always aspire to know more about any subject which interest me. One such area is psychology. To gain more perspective and what experts in the field as to say.
Instead of my learning and writing about it, I thought why not approach someone from the field and catechize. To get answers from their experience.
So, my dear collegemate Phani Bhushan who is now a psychologist has dedicated some time for my blog and answered a few questions.
Let me introduce him to you because a little introduction goes a long way.
Phani Bhushan is a certified Psychologist. Recently, he received “Shri Baljit Shastri Award” for Best in Human and Traditional Values by Amity University Mumbai.
Currently, working as a Psychological Counsellor at IIT- Hyderabad. Formerly worked as a Psychologist at Apollo Hospitals, Assistant Professor and Psychologist at KL University.
He has conducted nearly 300 workshops for corporate MNC’s like Genpact, Cognizant, Facebook etc., on the management of stress, mindfulness, Work-Life Balance, Coping Skills for Anxiety, Anger Management, Personality Development, Sleep Hygiene, Corporate healthy competition, Healthy work boundaries, Handling Criticism, Unhealthy Thinking Habits, Self-Love etc.
He has a Facebook page named Psychology- The Interesting Facts, where more than 1lakh followers ensue his work related to psychology. His educational background includes a MA in Clinical Psychology from Amity University Mumbai (2015-2017). He has been trained and certified in Human Relations & Personality Development, Covid-19 Mental Health care by American Psychiatric Association and Harvard Medical School, also in CBT, REBT, Dance Movement Therapy and Mindfulness Meditation approaches.
Ready for some insights?
1) Why do you think mental health is a stigma around people?
Ask a ten-year-old kid what you should do if you get a cut on your knee and the child would immediately recommend cleaning it and bandaging it. We teach our children how to take care of their bodies from a very young age and they usually learn such lessons well. But ask an adult what you should do to ease the sharp pain of rejection, the devastating ache of loneliness, or the bitter disappointment of failure, or low self-esteem or loss and trauma and the person would know little about how to treat these common psychological injuries. One of the reasons we take little to no purposeful action to treat the psychological wounds we sustain in daily life is because we lack the tools with which to manage such experiences and lot of people still don’t know the differences between a lot of mental health issues if one person gets a panic attack they think that he/she is mentally ill but they don’t know that it’s just due to anxiety. Lack of awareness towards mental health is the major reason behind stigma.
2) How can you identify the symptoms?
We are trained in performing Mental Status Examination. It’s a standard protocol we have to follow for every client we take in. With the Mental Status Examination, we can able to differentiate each every aspect such as past medical history, presenting complaints, triggers, behaviours impacting personal or social life etc. We follow DSM-5 as well to screen the clients.
3) What is your style of communication with people?
We all know one size does not fit all. So, the style of communication can vary from client to client. Sometimes we have to use open-ended questions, paraphrasing, reflective of feeling, focusing, appropriate use of silence and confronting. Communication can be non-verbal to make them feel comfortable like nodding, gesturing and eye contact.
4) Do you have any particular method that you apply to treat people?
Rather than a method, I would like to term it as a therapeutic technique. Personally, I follow Cognitive Behavioural therapy (CBT) and Mindfulness for the most mental health ailments.
5) Do you suggest any activities to keep our mental health in check?
Our daily activities are the best interventions to check our mental health such as noting down the sleep patterns and timings, food habits, disinterest in hobbies, feeling to stay isolated etc., these all will help to understand whether our mental health is the track or not.
6) Why did you choose psychology? Any anecdote from your life?
After my intermediate, I had a choice of picking up MBBS. But personally, I love to research. So, at that time, was going through a lot of researches on physical health and found various technology being involved in treating physical ailments but when I looked into mental health, very less research has been done and still there is not much technology implanted in this field especially in our country and stigma is always there. So, believed that this is the field where a lot of manpower is needed because demand is more but supply is less. Not only that, I am a person who is in to see the optimistic world and strongly believe that the world is not something that it is, but what we see and perceive. Decided this will be my cup of tea and wanted to contribute some small chunk of work from my end. Would love to make people practice emotional hygiene as they care for physical hygiene.
7) What are the do’s and dont’s to be a psychologist?
A psychologist should be specific to the needs, issues and circumstances of each individual client. He/she should be interactive, collaborative and respectful, directed towards developing autonomy and self-responsibility in clients.
A psychologist shouldn’t involve in giving advice, do interrogate, maintaining personal relationships with clients, denying the feelings of clients, arguing and controlling the client.
8) Can anyone pay a visit to the therapist even if the person is healthy?
Yeah, anyone can visit a therapist if they want to have a discussion with making an important decision in life. Counselling, not only helps mentally ill but also helps normal individuals to gain emotional stability.
9) How important is the bonding between friends, family and colleagues for our mental health?
A Harvard study, almost 80 years old longitudinal study, has proved that embracing community helps us live longer, and be happier. The surprising finding is that our relationships and how happy we are in our relationships have a powerful influence on our health. Loneliness kills. It’s as powerful as smoking or alcoholism.
10) Any message which you want to convey?
After a number of counselling individuals and couples, as well as doing my own inner work, I’ve come to believe that perhaps our greatest life lesson is learning how to fully accept and love ourselves. For only when we are truly aligned with our own beautiful and unique spirit, we can completely and authentically give and receive real love. Self-love is a journey. It takes dedication, devotion, and practice. Resolve to love yourself each and every day and watch your best self-blossom and your greatest life unfold! Self-love is an exponential force.
You can follow his work here:
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