February 2, 2009 1:33:26 am
Piyasree Dasgupta profiles the 31-year-old woman who helps people cope better with the ebb and flow of life
At 31,when most of us brace ourselves to face what we call the mid-life crisis,Devaleena Ghosh is busy ridding people of their mental agonies and fears,and that too with comforting words and not by chemical placebos.
The founder-director of Kornash,a lifestyle management school she started in 2003,says We live our lives as if we are stuck in some rush hour. So,its not surprising when things go out of control and the mind refuses to keep up with the demands of responsibilities and targets.
Lifestyle management is not exactly regular counselling. Its still a new concept to the city. We focus a lot on preventive counselling,soft-skill training and development, says Ghosh. So,be it professionals clueless about what to wear or college students apprehensive about culture shock when they go abroad for studies,Ghosh has her hands full. And of course,her stint at Kripa Foundation,which works for the rehabilitation of chemical dependants,comes in handy.
While working there,my responsibilities included counselling families of chemical dependants and spreading awareness, she says. It was then that she realised the need to create a stronger mental health among the youth and Kornash happened.
Often,you lead a lifestyle you cant handle both emotionally and physically, says Ghosh,who with her team of experts tries helping a person recognise the deviations that result in a mental turmoil.
I have seen bright corporate employees from middle-class families unable to take all the socialising and networking integral to their job profile. Thats where talk therapy,writing exercises and demonstrations can help,she says. When you write down your complaints,its easy to weigh them objectively and act accordingly.
Ghosh invented the concept of psychodrama at the Saturday Forum gathering at her institute where among 20-35 people,snatches of several lifestyle problems are dramatised and enacted. The script is done impromptu based on discussion that goes on. And somebody who is going through similar problems can look at things with more clarity when they witness the drama, says Ghosh.
The best part of my job is to see clients making an effort to improve the quality of their lives, says Ghosh. But there are hiccups. People still balk at the thought of taking professional help to deal with stress. The society at large associates insanity with any sort of counselling. Its important for people to get rid of the mindset, says Ghosh.
When Kornash started off,there used to be nine to ten people a day enquiring about services. The number,says Ghosh,has gone up to 30-35 now.
Its encouraging to know that more and more people are becoming open to the idea of seeking professional help for problems like stress, smiles Ghosh. The institute also trains counsellors who can pursue independent careers.
In future,we want to do more collaborative sessions and increase awareness about improving your mental health, says Ghosh.
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