Dr. Jasmine Vij is Counselor, Psychotherapist & Psychological Trainer. She is the founder of RISE Psychological Services working for the mental health of individuals specifically and for society, at large. She works as a counselor and therapist providing support to clients who are going through emotional, intra/interpersonal and psychological struggles. At a broader level, seminars, workshops and trainings help her to achieve the goal of positive psychology.
WE: Tell our readers a bit about yourself.
JV: I’m a passionate psychologist who works in the field of mental health. After completing my Masters and PhD. in psychology and having undergone several certified trainings and diplomas and further attaining an experience of 16 years in the field of psychology, today I apply my skills and expertise in diagnosing, handling, counseling, and providing support to clients who are going through emotional, intra/inter-personal & psychological struggles. Also, I psycho-educate the general public and train young budding psychologists.
WE: How did your journey as a psychologist begin?
JV: Right from the beginning I was going with my instincts to observe human behaviour, it was very much inborn to have an interest in this area. But I belong to a time and place when only social status was important in career choice and no consideration was given to interest at all. So, students could pursue medical or non-medical after their basic compulsory education. In fact, I was the only one to say openly, when asked by my class teacher in 10th that I wanted to study psychology and was looked at by surprise and scorn. I observed that too!!
WE: Tell us more about the work that you do, the clinic you run and the services provided by you.
JV: I am the founder of RISE Psychological Services. The name itself indicates that the basic motto of my clinic is to make people rise above their issues, problems and ignorance to a level where they can be better adjusted to themselves and to the society or people they live with. My daily works include dealing with people (children adolescents, adults, elderly) who are unable to handle certain aspects of their life and need professional help in that. It includes dealing with stress, mild depression, anxiety, emotional problems, adjustment issues, child behaviour & academic problems, marital counseling and workplace issues. Additionally, I conduct private workshops for training purposes and also indulge in seminars (recently webinars) for increasing awareness on various platforms such as schools, colleges, institutes, organizations and the like. Also, I provide internship opportunities for psychology students in my clinic.
WE: What challenges did you face?
JV: I did not face any challenges as such in being trained as a psychologist because I was born to be one. But professionally speaking, it is just that people need to be made more aware of and convinced of how counseling and psychotherapy works. They have to be told that no magic is going to change them and they will have to put an equal effort. Then there are time and fee concerns which I think most psychologists are facing in India. Such issues can be resolved if the required respect and recognition are provided to psychologists with a proper check on quacks.
WE: How do you think your initiative is helping people who are facing mental health issues?
JV: The awareness campaigns really help to give assurance and strength to people who are unable to seek treatment because of myths or taboos. It gives them an understanding that there is an issue that needs to be resolved in a specific manner with their own inner energies. Moreover, they are given new perspectives which they have not thought of before thereby changing the way they think and behave and making them better human beings. Also, they become open to the idea that many things can be sorted out by talking about it and medicines is not the only solution to mental health issues.
WE: What is your message to mental health advocates and psychologists?
JV: We, as mental health professionals have to be very cautious because what we say means a lot to our clients. We can’t give a passing comment, a general statement, or an over-generalized judgment. Whatever we say matters and in turn shapes our clients’ life, so it is a big responsibility. One should never exercise a particular technique or therapy without proper training and expertise. I have come across ‘so-called psychologists’ ruining their client’s lives. Please do not destroy the basic purpose of your profession and spoil other psychologist’s reputation too.