FAQs on Counseling & Therapy
Inner Space is a mental health platform that was started in 2010. We specialize in counseling, psychotherapy and mindfulness meditation courses. There are several qualified psychologists working at Inner Space who are therapists and are seeing clients in one on one online sessions. Additionally our founder Sadia facilitates both beginner and advanced mindfulness meditation courses for clients as well as anyone who is interested in bettering their mental health
Saying it simply, counselling is consulting with a therapist who is an objective, non-judgmental and professionally trained person, with whom you can share your innermost thoughts and feelings. This helps you to understand yourself better and helps you to address your emotional difficulties in a more adaptive fashion. These difficulties could be something you are facing in day to day life, a situation you are unable to deal with, a decision you find difficult to make, a relationship you find difficult to handle, a past you are unable to get over or emotions and feelings you find difficult to accept and deal with.
Counselling involves a relationship with the therapist, based on trust and honesty from both sides. All interactions you have with the therapist are extremely confidential and in no way will be revealed to anyone, however close to you, unless you explicitly request the therapist for the same. It is obligatory for the therapist to be absolutely honest with you too.
Any emotional problem or difficulty has its roots in our inner nature. Our feelings depend on how we think about ourselves, others and our situations. Often we think in ways that are not rational or we think about situations mistakenly. This is not because we are “foolish” or “wrong” in any way but because we have learnt to think of certain things only in certain ways. Being professionally trained to be unbiased and objective, a therapist is able to help you look at the negative or irrational patterns of thinking, which provides you with some clarity of perspective and helps you, deal with the problem more effectively. In addition, the psychotherapist is able to provide you with tools and techniques to work on those difficulties.
When you expect a magical or a quick fix solution from counselling, there is space for disillusionment. It is a slow process where you first accept that some changes are required within you and you progressively work at making those changes. Expecting the therapist to make your decisions or solve your problems will lead to your disappointment. She does not make your decisions, but helps you make and accept your own decisions and trust in them.
She is a support system for you. In your worst moments, your therapist will stand by you without judging you for your mistakes; however, she will also point out when there are mistakes.
Our therapeutic approach is fundamentally holistic. Our therapists don’t only want to help their clients resolve the present difficulties but provide them with insights and coping strategies that will help them with future difficulties. Our intention is that our clients become emotionally resilient and over time need therapy less and less. That they are able to find joy and meaning in their lives and cope with the stresses that are an inevitable part of life. In order to provide such wholesome therapy we use an eclectic approach that is customized to what an individual client needs. Our core approaches are client-centered therapy, cognitive behavioural therapy, mindfulness-based therapy and somatic psychotherapy.
If you are feeling uneasy about anything over a period of time, it is always recommended that you speak to a qualified mental health professional. It could be that you are feeling demotivated, stressed, worried, anxious or depressed. It could also be that you are dealing with a challenging relationship. Therapy is also helpful when dealing with physical health issues like chronic pain and other stress related illnesses that may have underlying psychological reasons. Therapy can often provide a perspective. It can support you in changing unhelpful patterns of thought and behaviour and embracing healthier ways of being. It can also provide emotional support in times when you are unable to deal with a difficult emotion.
Online counseling requires the client to get in touch with Inner Space through phone, email or whatsapp. The person who speaks to you will need a brief understanding of the kind of difficulty you are seeking therapy for. After that you will be matched with the psychologist who is most suitable for the nature of your difficulty and an online therapy appointment will be set up between you and your therapist. This will happen on a video call.
In the first session, the therapist will try to understand the difficulty you are facing in depth. Thereafter your therapist will be able to help you work with your challenges depending on your needs.
We have found it to be effective and have facilitated thousands of sessions online with various therapists over years. However, just as in face-to-face therapy, the effectiveness of online therapy also depends on regularity of the sessions and following through with the practices and recommendations provided by the therapist.
nner Space, we have found it most useful for us to match the therapist with the client, instead of letting the client choose one of our therapists. We know our therapists and we know the kind of challenges they are able to best address. For instance if it is a relationship difficulty some therapists are more qualified to deal with it, or if it is a trauma or abuse issue then other therapists are more qualified to work with that difficulty. Hence we understand the nature of your difficulty briefly and then match you with the therapist suited best for you.
All our therapists are qualified psychologists with a post graduate degree in clinical or counseling psychology. We do not hire people with diplomas or short-term training courses. They are all personally interviewed and hired by our founder Sadia Saeed who is a trained clinical psychologist and has been practicing for over 23 years. She not only ensures their qualification but also verifies their therapeutic approach. We believe it is very important that our therapists come from a supportive and exploratory therapeutic approach rather than an advisory one.
Therapy with us costs anywhere between INR 2600 to INR 3500 (this includes 18% GST). This variance in therapy fees is due to different levels of therapist experience with more experienced therapists having a higher fee. These fees are for Indian populations. For people who are settled overseas, the rates are higher and different.
Entering the counselling process is entering into a new relationship with your therapist. Who is to say how long that relationship should last? Since counselling is a means of exploring your self and identifying your inner patterns of thinking, feeling and behaving, which have developed over years, it would take counselling at least a few months to help you understand a different way of addressing them. It is not for the therapist to set a deadline for counseling. It depends entirely on your inner feeling about the positive change you perceive within yourself.
(I have some people who have been with me for years. Initially they saw me once a week but now they come in once in 2-3 months just to recheck whether they are looking at a problem rationally or if the approach they are using to address the problem is objective.
Also some are just happy to know that I am around in case they need me, even though they are doing too well to have to see me professionally.)
With time the online model of therapy is not only evolving but also getting more and more firmly established. The distinct advantages of online therapy is easy availability of appointments as therapists work from home or personal spaces. A good therapist can attend to people even if they are not present at a particular location. Similarly, a client can take therapy even when traveling and so on. Hence online therapy is here to stay. However, face to face therapy definitely does have advantages as it gives a more wholesome feel of therapists presence. We suggest that if you are in a crisis situation such as you are feeling suicidal or have bipolar mood swings where you are under medical treatment, you must opt for face to face therapy, that too preferably with a therapist who is associated with the psychiatrist you are seeing. Alternatively if you have symptoms like demotivation, sadness, chronic worry and anxiety, feeling overwhelmed with stress, a long-term chronic pattern of feeling or behaviour, feeling emotionally stuck, have an eating addiction or even a relational difficulty you can approach an online therapist.
Normalcy is perhaps one of the most hyped myths. There is no definition of normalcy. It consists of perhaps a group of personal reactions and situations that society finds desirable. However, all of us deviate from that standard in some or the other way. Requiring counseling simply means you are perhaps in a situation, which may be an external or internal situation, where you are confused and disturbed and you need help to work with that situation.
FAQs on Mindfulness & Meditation
Mindfulness has become a popular word and most people know it as a way of getting in touch with the present moment. However, what people often do not recognize is the power of such mindful presence. Only the present is real and only right now can one truly observe one’s emotions, body sensations, feelings. Therefore any change that is needed in life can only be made right now, otherwise it is merely a plan or a thought. Hence this present moment or this awareness of right now is a very profound and very deep awareness. Once presence is cultivated through the practices of mindfulness and meditation, this sense of presence can be used to deeply understand oneself, one’s relationship patterns and change any unhelpful patterns or thought emotion and behaviour that have become unconscious habits.
Mindfulness is knowing what is happening right now. Instead of habitually being caught up in thoughts, mindfulness is about being connected to the reality of the body and mind, and of life as it flows by. So yes it is for everyone. Because we are so caught up in thoughts, and because that is the only way we know how to exist, we may be resistant to mindfulness. Just like someone used to eating a lot of unhealthy junk food may be resistant to starting a healthy diet. But mindfulness, just like a healthy diet is certainly much needed for a good healthy life. However, there is never any need to force yourself into mindfulness. Slowly and gently you can make small, easy mindfulness practices a part of your life and before you know it you will be enjoying them.
Mindfulness and meditation are used interchangeably often. However mindfulness is actually the larger umbrella. The practice of being present. Meditation is a technique by which the brain is gradually trained to be mindful. Apart from formal meditation practice other informal mindfulness practices also aid the larger attempt to stay mindful.
Mindfulness is for everyone young and old irrespective of social, economic, and cultural background. As it is a mental state and a practice that has no religious connotations, people across beliefs and faiths can experience mindfulness.
As humans we get pushed and pulled by life, relationships and circumstances which we attempt to manage in our own way. Mindfulness is just a way to perceive and authentically stay with what is happening within and outside. An attempt to put aside the solution focused mindset just for a little while and experience with openness and acceptance what we are going through, what each and every one of us is going through.
Mindfulness needs to be practiced without an achievement mindset. Mindfulness is not a linear skill. Yes you do get better at being mindful with practice, but that is not the goal. Unlike learning a sport where your final intention is to play very well, mindfulness is about just being in the here and now. To whatever extent that awareness gets cultivated is helpful but there is nothing to achieve or see in terms of results.
Most mental health issues arise out of an unhelpful ways of thinking, feeling, unhealthy beliefs or actions that are result of our learnings from our past, our life situations, our role models, how powerful or powerless we felt, our trauma and so on, as well as a genetic, family history and bodily disposition towards mental health issues. Mental health difficulties may take the form of depression, anxiety, eating disorders, sleeplessness, addiction, relationship issues and many others and range from severe to mild. In most of these conditions, over time unhelpful messages are given to the body by the brain, things are perceived through a biased filter by the brain, similar neurotransmitters are increased or decreased and slowly the symptoms join together to become a disorder or a habitual wiring pattern in the nervous system. Now the brain works on its own and even if we do not want to have certain thoughts or feelings, we continue to do so, even if we do not want to binge eat or give in to our addictions, there is an internal push. It feels like all this is out of our control.
Mindfulness can help to change this habitual wiring. This is due to one feature of the brain called neuroplasticity. The brain is always changing and learning. Just as overtime it has learned unhelpful patterns, with mindfulness, focus and meditation it can learn different and more helpful patterns. However, just as it has taken time to learn such unhelpful patterns and to develop into a mental health condition, so it will take time to learn a new pattern to get out of the mental health condition. Some improvement in symptoms is rather quick and can be seen even in a few weeks of regular mindfulness practice. However, complete resolution may take time. Also mindfulness meditation are ideal for mild to moderate mental health conditions. Severe conditions, where self-harm or extreme symptoms are involved, may need a combination of medication and psychotherapy as a treatment of choice. Even in severe situations, mindfulness may eventually be introduced when medication and therapy have helped stabilize the individual. In such cases mindfulness is beneficial for long term recovery as it involves changing the way one relates to ones thoughts, feelings, beliefs and emotions.
Mindfulness and meditation (also one way of attaining mindfulness) are seen primarily as spiritual practices, because of which there is resistance, both by people belonging to different faiths and by people who believe that thinking and reasoning through a situation is the only way out of it. The truth is that they do not require you to take any leap of faith or believe in something that you cannot experience or change your religious affiliations. In fact mindfulness is a most logical, rational practice for it says only the present for now is real. The rest is a product of our own mind which stimulates itself by staying in the past or the future or in weaving stories about our lives-stories in which we have immense faith. But what truly can be experienced in reality and not in imagination is only what comes in through all our sense organs in the ‘now’, in the ‘present’.
Mindfulness in fact can make you more present and more aware of your life as it unfolds now. It can open up an appreciation of the little joys of life. Although it can make you less attached as you give up controlling your environment and relationships, all to your own benefit and the benefit of people around you too.
Mindfulness does help you to feel relaxed but it can also make you more restless when you sit for meditation initially. It allows you to see the connection of your mind and body. A restless body reflects a restless mind. As you make this connection repeatedly , you start to realize the mind body sync. As you stay more and more present to life, the restlessness of both your mind and body decrease over time and you start to relax better. So it is more a relaxed way of living than a momentary relaxation training.As humans we get pushed and pulled by life, relationships and circumstances which we attempt to manage in our own way. Mindfulness is just a way to perceive and authentically stay with what is happening within and outside. An attempt to put aside the solution focused mindset just for a little while and experience with openness and acceptance what we are going through, what each and every one of us is going through.
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