Here is Why Therapy is The Best Investment You Can Make!
Therapy is perhaps the most fruitful investment one can make for themselves. It helps to resolve any issues and leads you to a much happier and more positive life. The editor of Holistic Living had the opportunity to have an intellectual conversation on therapy with Dr. Manju Mehta.
Dr.Manju Mehta welcomed me with a friendly yet intelligent tone. Dressed in a simple saree, she looked like a professional with whom you could even share your darkest secrets and not feel judged or misunderstood. I felt a tinge of curiosity to learn more about Dr.Manju and her views on therapy.
Please tell us about yourself
I am Dr. Manju Mehta former Professor of Clinical Psychology, Department of Psychiatry All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi
I have been trained at NIMHANS and PGIMER, Chandigarh. I have a vast experience of 39 years as the head of Child and Adolescent at. There I handled all types of emotional problems.
After retirement, I decided to work as a consultant at Holy Family Hospital and Mom`s Belief. At present, I have my own clinic at Greater Kailash II.
I have been trained in Medical Education Technology (UK) and Rational Emotive Behaviour Therapy (REBT) from the USA. I was in charge of undergraduate psychiatry teaching at AIIMS from 1984-to 2010. I have been involved in regular training programs in stress management, within and outside the institute. I have been imparting training to members of the judiciary on a regular basis and have conducted the psychological assessment of Indian expedition members to Antarctica from 1993- to 2015.
It did not feel like I was talking to someone who is the recipient of the prestigious Dr. MV Govindaswamy Memorial Gold Medal from NIMHANS. And CS Kang Oration Award (IACP) for her remarkable contribution to the field of Clinical Psychology. Her humility was certainly inspiring.
What is your expertise? What areas do you focus on?
My expertise is in Cognitive-behavior Therapy, Pain management (headache) using psychological methods, and psychological assessments. I work in resolving issues such as anxiety, phobias, depression. OCD, stress management, headache, somatoform disorders, ADHD, Specific Learning Disorders, Intellectual Disorders, Teenager problems. I have experience in handling problems in all age groups.
How long have you been working as a psychologist?
I have been doing therapy for 45 years of my life. I have written 4 books, more than 300 publications, and presented papers in national and international conferences. I have supervised 18 Ph.D. theses in clinical psychology, 45 MD theses in Psychiatry, Paediatrics, and many other medical and surgical specialties
I have been the President of three associations- the Indian Association for Child and Adolescent Mental Health (IACAM) and of Indian Association of Clinical Psychologists (IACP) and the Indian Society for Pain Research and Therapy. I have been an advisor to many advisory boards and examiner in various universities
What inspired you to become a psychologist?
I come from a family of doctors so I felt naturally inclined towards healthcare. I studied the correlation between body and mind. I wanted to understand more about how physical problems can also be solved by psychological methods. Moreover, my teacher was a great motivation.
What difference does therapy make in someone’s life?
Therapy can make powerful changes in the way the client feels and behave. Therapy trains the clients to solve problems and has many long-term benefits.
In what situations should someone approach you?
I believe that we ignore many red flags which then turn into a full-blown mental issue. It is better to identify these signs and works to resolve them from the very beginning in order to avoid serious problems. In any such circumstances, someone can approach me.
Could you share some tips on how to manage ADHD?
I have managed many children diagnosed with ADHD First of all comprehensive assessment of the child and family should be done. It’s Important to know the severity, type, and situations, and triggers. Techniques such as grain sorting, walking on 8 figures, setting a schedule, removing distractions from the environment are effective. Learning concepts through games is also useful.
Reinforce desired behavior by giving small rewards. These rewards can include eatables or even verbal reinforces work well.
Please share a personal experience where you guided your client to bring about a significant change with your therapy sessions.
A while back I was approached by a girl who was going through depression. With proper therapy, I guided her to change her self-concept, accept her father and pursue her passion. She has gone to win many awards as well.
It is a whole different feeling to be a part of so many of my clients’ life-changing journeys.
What is your take on online therapy in comparison with offline?
Online is as effective as offline. Both assessment and therapy can be done online. There has been many research studies that have proven the effectiveness of online therapy shown that it is effective. In fact, telemedicine is gaining popularity, and it will be the future.
Any myths or stereotypes about therapy that you want to address?
There is a common stereotype that therapy is for mad people. The truth is that therapy is for anyone and everyone who is looking to modify their behavior and make their life more effective and productive.
Anyone message to your audience?
Change the thoughts that no longer work for you. Leave behind the stigmas and accept your problems. Acceptance is the key to positive changes and loving yourself even more.
Holistic Living’s Editor note: After such an engaging conversation with Dr. Manju Mehta, my belief in the effectiveness of therapy was reconfirmed. Her expertise has reached seven continents, and her dedication to the mental health field has only been increasing for the last 45 years. Therapy needs to be more accessible given its large benefits, and Dr. Manju is clearly contributing to that.