I am someone who feels a lot, expresses a lot, and always wear my emotions on my sleeve. I think building such a relationship with my emotions helped me to cruise through life with such rich experiences. Therefore, I decided to use it as my strength; becoming a counselling psychologist gave me an opportunity to witness and facilitate people’s stories and their relationship with their emotions.
The most exciting part of my work are the stories of resilience and unique ways of coping that I get to witness. I am always in awe of the ways in which people navigate the challenges which come their way, and continue their lives with new insights every time.
After our first session, I hope for clients to take away a sense of feeling heard, understood, and safe. Additionally. I structure my sessions in a way that clients also take back an overview of what direction we’ll be moving towards and how the process might look like.
I would start by asking them what they’re feeling about starting therapy, and validate that both excitement and nervousness often coexist when we start something like this. I would also highlight for them that therapy is an act of service towards oneself, and while it’s a gradual process, it’s a process which allows us to be present for ourselves like no other. And of course, I would encourage them to ask a lot of questions about the process.
I wish to build a safe, empathetic, and equal relationship with my client when they come in. I want to work collaboratively towards where both of us feel safe in the therapeutic space, and there is always space for feedback. Being authentic about my values and stance in therapy
One of the greatest learnings that I have had is that we are always responding to our environments and circumstances. Clients navigate their lives and circumstances in their own ways and deal with challenges on their own. While therapy gives them tools and alternative ways of coping, people are responding and coping uniquely to their circumstances, even before they start therapy.
My curiosity as a counsellor is something that I value and appreciate; curiosity allows me enter my clients’ world, explore, and wander around with them. It adds so much richness to their stories and gives me a fuller narrative of their lives.
Across my years as a counselling psychologist, I have worked with a varied population. But some areas that I specialise in, include, trauma, gender, sexuality, anxiety, and concerns around attachment and relationships. I have worked majorly with adults aged between 18-40 years.
My therapy lens is guided by principles of narrative therapy, and social justice. This implies that, while working with a client, I am sensitive to the context and the intersectionalities (gender, sexuality, caste, religion, region, class, among other nuances) of their identity while holding space for them. Additionally, when I talk to my clients I, I talk to them about how my narrative therapy training allows me to look at people as the hero of their own stories; where they know their stories better than everyone around them. They help me understand their stories so that I can navigate the journey WITH them, instead of doing it FOR them.
Ever since I have started therapy, I have been in supervision that has been queer and trans affirmative. I have been a part of groups, trainings, and learning circles led by queer and trans folx where we have had the opportunity to learn from lived experiences and personal narratives. Additionally, I am continually learning by reading and participation in conversations around queer and trans mental health.
The Quote Utkarsha Resonates With
To become spring, means accepting the risk of winter. To become presence, means accepting the risk of absence.” I love this quote because it explains so wonderfully talks about the dichotomy of human emotions, and only when we open ourselves wholly to the spectrum of human emotion, the good and the bad of it, we allow ourselves to be loved.
My favourite quote from the book The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint Exupéry
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