Simran Chandwani is a professional psychologist and a digital entrepreneur. She is an independent woman who believes in breaking her comfort zone to help people. In this post, we will know the inspiring story of Simran Chandwani and what hurdles she faced, and how she overcame that. Let's start with the interview,
Question-1: Tell us something about yourself?
Answer: I was born and brought up in Gujurat, and I pursued my graduation in psychology. After that, I followed my master's in Delhi.
Then, I worked in Mumbai for two years as a clinical psychologist and specialized in art therapy and transaction analysis. With that, I indulged in theatre and acting. So, psychology and theatre always gave me a perspective of human behavior and human nature.
So, I was very keen and interested to know why we behave in a certain way and why we do the things we do.
That was how I started taking an interest in it. Then because of lockdown, I had to leave my job in Mumbai. So I started freelancing as a therapist. Besides, I started my startup, named Self and Beyond, a digital startup available on Instagram and YouTube. It aims to help people by creating content about mental health and motivational topics.
Question -2: How does society react to your profession?
Answer:Due to the pandemic people are suffering from Mental trauma and because to the increase in mortality rate, everyone was under mental and emotional pressure as everyone feared losing their close ones. This negative thinking not only impacted them psychologically, but also it affected their daily life negatively. It became slightly easy to handle this emotional trauma when they shared their feelings and emotions with a mental therapist.
Due to recent incidents, people started focusing more on mental health, but people still had stereotypical thoughts. They need to understand that mental health is equally important as physical health. People need to overcome those stereotypical thoughts as it will make difficult to save an individual live.
Question-3: Tell us about your first experience as a psychologist.
Answer: When I was in Delhi, I was interning at a Rehab. For the first time, I saw differently-abled people who were very different from us and were suffering from significant mental health and IQ challenges. It wasn't very comforting to see the lives that are very different from ours. But after seeing them, it made me a better human. It made me understand that we can have so many differences and still be reasonably compassionate. It makes me very sympathetic when you see so many problems in the world. You feel that we should be there for each other and help each other. Those made me very compassionate. Looking at my age, I was right out of college, and I was intimidated because I hadn't seen such big problems ever, so it was a good experience for me.
Question-4:As a psychologist, you get to meet many clients who have faced a lot of negativity, so how do you manage to keep yourself positive?
Answer: I don't think those problems were adverse, primarily because there is nothing negative about it. A person who feels happy can also feel sad at the same time because that is generally human nature. So there is nothing negative about it. However, it can be harmful because most people refer to a psychologist to share their problems. No one approaches a psychologist to share their happiness, so a therapist needs therapy too. Even I take such treatments. I indulge in a self-care routine, which is very important to keep yourself balanced and stable because no matter how much educated a person is, he will still be a human. We face problems in our daily lives, so I need to build a self-care routine like meditation, movement, some art form, acting in theatre. Therefore, I need therapy for myself, and it is very typical.
Question - 05: As a human being, you also have personal problems, and how do you make sure that your clients do not get affected by that?
Answer: A therapist will be as efficient to their client as efficiently they have managed their personal life. So when I am gloomy, or when I am going through any problem, I make sure that I take fewer clients. Because it's not fair that you would be in pain while resolving others' pain. Sometimes it works, but sometimes you have to give yourself a break, and I do the same. And more than that, I maintain my self-care routine. When I am not at work, since I have responsibility for others, I surrender my problems. I can very well departmentalize my concerns and my profession. When a regular person goes to the office despite having issues at his home, he still focuses on the work. So, I focus on the job for that time, and I devote my attention to my work and not myself.
Question 6: In this pandemic, many people have lost their close ones. So what message would you give to such people?
Answer: I know it's a huge loss when you lose your close ones. I also admit that in such conditions, no motivational message or story would work. But the thing is, in our society, death is a great taboo. It is even more significant than a mental health taboo. We may talk about mental health, but how many times have we talked about death? We never teach our children that life has a limited time. There is an end, which arrives suddenly. Due to that, whenever anyone dies all of a sudden, we get shocked by that.
Therefore, let's accept death. Before the pandemic, we had not witnessed deaths at this rate because we acted as if it was an awful thing. So let's start talking about it, and we should embrace it a little more gracefully. No one wants to accept that. They keep thinking that life is forever. I have a limited life, you have a limited life, and everyone alive today knows that one day, they will die. But everyone likes to think they will never die. So I think that it's high time we accept the concept.
Question-7: How to convince parents if they are not supporting their daughter/son to what they want to do?
Answer: Parents and children have come from a different generation, which I feel is the biggest challenge in understanding each other. It was the biggest blessing for a child when their parents support their decision. A family works as a team. It goes way more ahead rather than walking alone. We should always have a team spirit. We should always keep communicating our interests than our family's interests and what they want.
Even if there is a disagreement, I think at a reasonable age of 24-25, the children need to stick to what they believe in and prove to their parents.
I think children sometimes don't work enough to prove their capability in front of their parents. So I believe that sticking to the goals means sticking to values. It's not like that 'you will depend on drugs and all'. But you have to stick to something meaningful, anything on psychology, acting, etc. When you are so dedicated to it, things change, and action speaks louder than words.