I have seen a lot of mental health distress at home, and also how patriarchy, communalism and violence cause mental health distress. When I was struggling with a lot of these issues, I went to a really good counselor at the college I was studying in. That helped me to realise that I’d like to be like that for other people.
That they deserve a safe space which center their needs, feels helpful and does not discriminate them. Unfortunately, there are no clear answers to things like “how many sessions” because it is a process that does often go back and forth, so listen to yourself and ask if you’re making small shifts rather than looking at number of sessions. As Carl Jung said, “It is not that our problems go away or become smaller, but we grow bigger than the problem”
I aim for it to be a collaborative, safe, exciting and helpful relationship. Some of the things I do for this is letting them know that they can always disagree, be tentative in my interpretations and suggestions, seek feedback, be transparent and share notes that I take.
So far I’ve been working with children, teens, adults. Older adults have been lesser in my practice. Issues we have worked on together are anxiety, depression, self esteem issues, mood swings, body image problems, unique life stressors of queer and trans people, trauma and abuse.
I use post modern approaches a lot more. This means approaches that question power difference between client and therapist, and which also question that there is only one reality/truth. These approaches also question the source of our problems and believe that many of our issues originate in society/power/politics and so on. I do use tools from various therapies like CBT, solution focused therapy, narrative therapy, arts based therapy, therapeutic writing, buddhist psychology, acceptance and commitment therapy, emotion focused couple therapy, Gottman school of couple therapy and some family therapy schools as and when appropriate for the client.
I mention my pronouns in my first interaction with them, and I tell them about my understanding of queer affirmative work. I ask their pronouns and name. I ask about the sources of distress that originate in cis-heternormative patriarchy. I also make visuals to wish on relevant days like pride month or smaller milestones in their journey.
The Quote Sadaf Vidha Resonates With
Effective therapy is about engaging people in the re-authoring of the compelling plights of their lives in ways that arouse curiosity about human possibility and in ways that invoke the play of imaginations
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