By Piya Banerjee, Founder & CEO of Grey Matters Wellness and Consultant Psychologist at Medica Superspeciality Hospital, Kolkata
Psychology has helped me achieve greater fulfillment, not a question that I may have contemplated before. It has taught me that the mind and the body- specifically the brain- are inseparable. This knowledge has helped me not only gain more of an understanding of psychological disorders, but it also gives me better insight into how to maximize our health.
Apart from working with Adults and Geriatrics at Medica Superspeciality Hospital and at my establishment named, Grey Matters Wellness, my position with St. James’ School has specifically enabled me to interact with and assist at-risk youth through individual, family, and group Counselling on issues ranging from ADHD, Conduct disorder, Oppositional Defiant Disorder, Depression, Anxiety, Learning issues and Anger management to family conflicts, interpersonal relationship difficulties and substance abuse. By facilitating parenting groups and anti-bullying initiatives, I developed skills in being a supportive, empathic, and efficient leader. My extensive experience in servicing children and families has affirmed my interest in working with this population.
Giving back to the community
Furthermore, my experiences working with Rural Health Care Foundation, apart from volunteering for internships at several institutes have instilled in me the desire to give back to the community. Specifically, I have become more adept at interacting with clients from a variety of backgrounds and have developed a passion for helping clientele that might not otherwise have access to therapeutic services except through a community agency.
The much talked about stigma of mental health does not completely serve the purpose of its alleviation instead it backfires by increasing the stigma attached to mental health because of the over saturated publicity of Clinical Psychology/Psychopathology and not Psychology in general, that is, Psychology for the common mass.
Therefore it is essential that Psychology must become a lifestyle for the death of stigmatization of seeking help due to emotional difficulties, and bringing about a revolution of stigma-free access to wellbeing of health- Emotional and Physical.
Vast and dynamic in its approach
Psychology is vast and dynamic in its approach, ever-relevant in every aspect of life; hence by making it a lifestyle for the common mass, it serves the purpose of breaking the stigma and is likely to enhance the optimization of our health and wellbeing as a community, similarly increasing peace in our country.
My objective of returning to India post my education and training in Clinical Psychology, was to begin my own firm which is rightly named, Grey Matters Wellness, that provides psychological services and caters to the people who have everyday emotional difficulties apart from clinically significant cases in general, and therefore contribute to our community, as my mother had rightly instilled in me as a child, that Charity, must first begin at home. My father had advised me to apply for a job in the city of dreams, like every other Indian parent would, since Calcutta is known to serve homage to retired citizens and not for the aspiring youth due to lack of opportunities that it is infamous for.
I felt a strong sense of responsibility towards my community and I could not wash my hands off the concept of lack of opportunities in my state. I felt the need to change that concept or at least contribute in a small way.
Psychology is much more than just Pathology
The whole point of my education in Psychology was to spread awareness, kill the stigma and create the market for the community’s mental wellbeing as a whole and not exclusively for the clinically significant population, because psychology is so much more than just Pathology!
My experience in working as a therapist and running my own firm successfully, if I may say, has captured the interest of people from various communities and professions that come across borders to seek emotional help. My clientele varies from a broad spectrum of Professionals like successful businessmen, sportsperson, established doctors, engineers, management professionals working with esteemed corporate houses, students from premiere schools and colleges, home makers, fashion designers, researchers and academicians to people from lower socio-economic backgrounds residing in various small towns and villages from the state and across. Therefore, it further affirms my objective of making our society more progressive by providing psychological help to the common mass that make the majority.
Majority of my classmates from my Masters Program did not pursue Psychology professionally due to the prevalent farce that it is mandatory to have a PhD or an MPhil to be able to work as a Professional Psychologist. Contrary to the popular thought, the Rehabilitation Council of India, mandates an MPhil or a PhD if one plans to work as a Clinical Psychologist, not otherwise.
Diverse career opportunities
As a Psychologist, trained in Clinical Psychology, I furthermore feel the need to advise potential Psychology students that Psychology is vast and dynamic in its approach and not restricted to the Clinical field alone and as the future of our country, they should challenge this fallacy by pursuing training to in various fields of Psychology- Psychotherapy, Industrial Psychology, Psychology in Sports, Health, Culture, Social, Counselling, Para Psychology, Animal Psychology, Consumer Psychology and so on and so forth. Careers in such fields are essential to our wellbeing as a community and they make potential lucrative career options.
A revolution is what we need apart from simply spreading awareness, creating mental health campaigns and catering to the rehabilitation sector.
Related Article: Careers in Clinical Psychology
I find purpose in empowering everyday people by helping them manage their emotional difficulties, it broadens the horizon and perspective of Psychology, not just to me as a mental health practitioner but also to the common mass across various socioeconomic backgrounds and boundaries simultaneously, which further empowers me, therefore accelerating my larger objective of making Psychology, a Revolution.
The author is a Certified RECBT Practitioner, AEI, New York, MA (Clin. Psy) P.G.D.P.C.