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narrative therapy india

A space to share stories of our work using narrative practices with children, adults and families in the Indian context

The Community Mental Health Training Program 2016-17!

We are super excited to announce our Community Mental Health Training Program (2016-17). The course is  a 1 year part-time course which explores Narrative Ideas and Practices in Hindi. The program is for social workers,community health workers, teachers and any other professional who works with communities.

If you are interested or know any organisation who might be interested please contact us on the  information given in the flyer below.

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A Journey of Lens-Shift About Trauma

Narrative ideas and practices views an individual as someone who has multitude of stories to himself/herself – as someone who is great at math, loves rock music, also as someone who always has a neat desk. These stories often get masked by a problem story and seemingly blanket the person into it entirely. Narrative ideas then locate the problem outside of the person by externalizing it with a “linguistic shift” and throwing staccato lights on the skills the person is already using to deal with the problem, even when they are often doing so without being aware. The Narrative idea also believes that people are making their own meanings of experiences and therapy then becomes a journey which explores people’s preferred stories, makes them more visible and available, and supports people in renegotiating their relationship with problems as well as constructing a preferred sense of self.

Psychological First-Aid is an intervention that was developed to minimize the effects of a disaster and with a hope to prevent post-traumatic stress disorder. The intervention aids people caught in such situations by protecting them from any further harm through listening, offering coping strategies and providing social support. In my three-month old journey with Narrative ideas, it never ceases to amaze me, the lens-shift that has occurred in me of viewing people with an underpin of Narrative ideas. My meaning and picture of a traumatic experience is a grey-black hooded figure, who gradually gulps the person who has had a traumatic experience. A month ago, having had an opportunity to interact with a woman living in a sheltered home, who had been a victim of human-trafficking and was rescued, I began the conversation with the same idea in my mind. It was a conversation where many tears were shed but also one where her lips were curling to a smile occasionally. She was employing skills to control her anger towards her fate and that made her feel close to her mother, who never was angry and always had a serene face. The grey-black hooded figure was not so grey-black anymore.

To think of incorporating Narrative ideas into Psychological First-Aid, intrigues me particularly because the ideas and practices guide counselors to empower individuals to use the skills they already possess. In this sense, narrative practices believe that every individual is psychologically resilient and every person is responding and active in their circumstances. As a counselor, we look at ways to uncover how people are responding and the skills they are using in the face of traumatic experience. These skills are also “gaps” in the problem/crisis story because they serve as openings to other stories of people’s skills, their values, their meanings. The gaps surely get detected by Double Listening – listening to the problem and these gaps.

Linking lives of people who are affected by the crisis situation is another way of empowering individuals and this can be done through working in groups. The idea behind this is to link lives of people with similar experiences, allow them to feel accompanied in their healing and for them to contribute to a list of skills-set that can be shared.

Lastly, I like the playfulness and non-expert stance of the narrative. I recall how my supervisor spoke about consciously not taking the big-red chair in the therapy room, leaving it for the client and taking the small one. For him, it is a way to indicate that he is no expert in the room and that it’s a collaborative relationship. During a crisis situation, I imagine, such a stance from the therapist would diffuse anxiety, if any, from thoughts of being tested, diagnosed or intervened with.

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Picture Courtesy: Diane Murrell, Texas Children’s Blog

 

Written by- Yashna Vishwanathan

Junior Therapist, Ummeed Child Development Center

 

 

 

Sheetal Vinod Bhange: A Storyteller at A Room Full Of Stories

 

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Sheetal Bhange has a Bachelors in Arts and a Diploma in Special Education. She has been working as a Special Teacher at the Jai Vakeel School for 12 years.

Jai Vakeel Foundation and Research Centre is one of the oldest and largest Not-For-Profit organizations in the country, serving children and older individuals with mental challenges and other related disabilities. Unfortunately, this group, especially those from the low-income group families, are often considered a curse or are completely neglected for lack of options. Their motto, “build on their ability, do not focus on their disability” is lived every day by all those who work in the institute.

Sheetal’s work includes working with children, families and women. Sheetal has graduated Ummeed’s Community Mental Health Training Program in 2016 and will be sharing her work and experiences at A Room Full Of Stories.

Please feel free to contact Ami for queries and registration for The Room Full of Stories: International Narrative Therapy Conference.

Ami Damani: +91993055519 or at ami.damani@ummeed.org.

To know more about the conference you can check out the website

http://www.narrativeconference2016.in

Stories, Hopes & Dreams,

Mental Health Team

Prashant Shivam Dodke: A Storyteller at A Room Full Of Stories

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Prashant Shivam Dodke graduated junior college and has been working for the Akanksha Foundation for the past 10 years.

The Akanksha Foundation is a non-profit organisation with a mission to provide children from low-income communities with a high-quality education, enabling them to maximize their potential and transform their lives. Akanksha works in the field of education, initiating school reform through The School Project, and providing a supplemental education through the Akanksha centres. Currently, Akanksha reaches out to over 6500 childrenPrashant’s work is diverse, he has worked in 4 major communities in Mumbai city for 6 years. Following that he has spent 3 years working on a project involving education and schools. Prashant is multi-lingual and speaks Hindi, English and Marathi. His hobbies include dance and drama. Prashant  graduated from Ummeed’s Community Mental Health Training program and will be sharing his work and ideas at A Room Full Of Stories!

Please feel free to contact Ami for queries and registration for The Room Full of Stories: International Narrative Therapy Conference.

Ami Damani: +91993055519 or at ami.damani@ummeed.org.

To know more about the conference you can check out the website

http://www.narrativeconference2016.in

Stories, Hopes & Dreams,

Mental Health Team

Dr. Anuradha Sovani: A Storyteller at A Room Full Of Stories

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Dr Anuradha Sovani is a Psychologist, Psychotherapist, Professor and a Head, Department of Psychology, SNDT Women’s University, Mumbai. She has formerly headed Department of Applied Psychology, University of Mumbai and is a Trustee and  a Consultant for the Institute for Psychological Health, Thane, Maharashtra.

She has a M.A., M.Phil., Ph.D. from University of Mumbai and is a Chancellor’s Gold Medallist at a Masters’ level. She has been a recipient of various scholarships and awards, including the UGC Research Fellowship, the National Talent Search Scholarship, the Mankar Prize of the University of Mumbai, a recipient of the best research paper award of the Indian Psychological Association, the award for the best paper published in Disabilities and Impairments and best book award for Children’s literature awarded by Maharashtra State. She has successfully guided ten Doctoral students. She has authored ten Marathi books, including a popular new series called “Maanas-rang” as well as over 65 research papers in national and international journals, and book chapters in National and International publications.

Dr.Sovani is currently working on a Sage book proposal in the field of psychology and cognitive neuroscience, a Springer book proposal on Personality Disorders and several book chapters. She is working on a Shastri Indo Canadian Research Grant project with University of British Columbia and has completed a collaborative study with University of East Anglia.

She has served as Consultant to National and State level bodies like National Institute for the Mentally Handicapped Secunderabad, Rehabilitation Council of India, IGNOU, HSC board , the Maharashtra State Mental Health Authority, Yashada, Pune, Institute for Vocational Guidance and Selection, Maharashtra, and the Thane Police cell for Women’s welfare, the Saamajik Suraksha Kaksh.

Her interest areas include community awareness about mental illness, mental health of women and children, mental health interventions particularly REBT and CBT. She currently serves on Core Committee for Rehabilitation, Department of Health Services, Maharashtra State, and Rugna Kalyan Samiti (patient welfare), Regional Mental Hospital, Thane, Maharashtra. Dr. Sovani will be sharing her ideas and experiences at A Room Full Of Stories.

Please feel free to contact Ami for queries and registration for The Room Full of Stories: International Narrative Therapy Conference.

Ami Damani: +91993055519 or at ami.damani@ummeed.org.

To know more about the conference you can check out the website

http://www.narrativeconference2016.in

Stories, Hopes & Dreams,

Mental Health Team

Jill Sanghvi: A Storyteller at A Room Full Of Stories

 

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Jill Sanghvi has been with Ummeed Child Development Center since 2009. She a currently a counselor and training manager at Ummeed. Jill has a Masters in Psychology from Mumbai University and a Masters in Mental Health Counseling from Pace University, New York. Jill has been drawn towards narrative ideas and practices since she started working at Ummeed. Jill engages in therapeutic conversations with young people and families experiencing disability. She also enjoys teaching in the various mental health training programs offered at Ummeed with a particular interest in working with communities in the local context. Jill leads the Community Mental Health training program which involves training community workers in narrative ideas and practices to provide mental health care in the communities they work with. Jill also engages in group conversations with people and practitioners from the community experiencing burnout, violence and trauma.

In 2014, Jill with her best friend and colleague Raviraj Shetty founded Happie World, an organization which creates a platform for young people who are experiencing difficulties to come together and get involved in fun activities such as cooking, photography and dancing. Jill is also on the resource committee of Forum for Autism, a parent body for people and families experiencing Autism. Jill is currently a PhD student at Vrije Universiteit Brussel exploring discourses and the social construction of Autism as a part of her research.

Jill is an integral part of the Ummeed family and continues to work and expand her professional portfolio!

Please feel free to contact Ami for queries and registration for The Room Full of Stories: International Narrative Therapy Conference.

Ami Damani: +91993055519 or at ami.damani@ummeed.org.

To know more about the conference you can check out the website

http://www.narrativeconference2016.in

Stories, Hopes & Dreams,

Mental Health Team

 

 

Daisy Daruwalla Bhathena: A Storyteller at A Room Full Of Stories

 

 

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Daisy Daruwalla Bhathena is a Senior Therapist and Training Manager at Ummeed Child Development Center. Daisy has been a part of the Ummeed family since 8 years. She has a Bachelors in Psychology from Jai Hind college and a Masters in Clinical Psychology from SNDT university. Daisy conducts Intelligence Quotient (IQ) testing for children and adolescents and supervises the testing team. Daisy is a trained counsellor and uses the Narrative ideas and practices while working with children and families through individual and group counseling sessions. She has presented her work at the South Asia International Autism Conference in 2015 on the Use of Externalizing Conversations with Children and Adolescents with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).

Daisy has run groups for parents of children with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. She has also been actively involved in planning and conducting workshops and short term trainings for several organizations / schools like Action for Autism, Anchorage, Aangan, Teach for India, Rotary Club, Euro Kids, J.B Petit High School, Bombay Scottish etc.

Daisy has been part of the core team that conceptualized, designed, implemented and supervised long term training programs like the Mental Health Training Program (MHTP) and Community Mental Health Training program (CMHTP). These programs train professionals and community workers in the application of narrative ideas and practices in their context. Daisy heads the year-long Mental Health Training Program.

Daisy’s work is not limited to the Mental Health team, she has also been part of the Ummeed Outreach Project, which was in operation for over three years. The project involved working in close collaboration with several schools and NGOs in Mumbai and training counselors, teachers and offering one-one-one and group counseling services to children and adolescents.

Daisy has been the force behind A Room Full of Stories – The International Narrative Therapy Conference 2016 and has been the lead in organizing and executing the entire production!

Along with all of this, Daisy is a chocoholic, she enjoys almost all types of chocolate! A lover of travel and a phenomenal mimic Daisy is one of Ummeed’s shining stars!

Please feel free to contact Ami for queries and registration for The Room Full of Stories: International Narrative Therapy Conference.

Ami Damani: +91993055519 or at ami.damani@ummeed.org.

To know more about the conference you can check out the website

http://www.narrativeconference2016.in

Stories, Hopes & Dreams,

Mental Health Team

Prachi Sunil Karekar: A Storyteller at A Room Full Of Stories

 

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Prachi Karekar is a  physiotherapist who has devoted her career to working with children with disabilities. Prachi has a Bachelors in Physiotherapy from D.Y. Patil college and has been working at the Jai Vakeel school for the last 4 years.She recently graduated from Ummeed’s Community Mental Health Training Program in Narrative Ideas and Practises.

The school was started by Mr. & Mrs. Hormusjee Vakeel for their daughter Dina who was born with Down’s syndrome. The ‘school’ started in 1944, with 2 kids from their house and by 1949 there were over 75 students. Today the Institute caters to over 700 people annually and serves as a ‘one stop shop’ for all the needs of a mentally challenged person with ‘associated disabilities’ e.g. Epilepsy, Autism, Cerebral Palsy etc.

Prachi is an avid reader and enjoys watching detective television shows likes The Mentalist and Sherlock. Prachi believes that children no matter what their disability do have responses to their surrounding and that working with them is a privilege.

Prachi will be sharing stories from her journey with Narrative ideas in her work as a physiotherapist at A Room Full Of Stories.

Please feel free to contact Ami for queries and registration for The Room Full of Stories: International Narrative Therapy Conference.

Ami Damani: +91993055519 or at ami.damani@ummeed.org.

To know more about the conference you can check out the website

http://www.narrativeconference2016.in

Stories, Hopes & Dreams,

Mental Health Team

Raviraj Shetty: A Story teller at A Room Full Of Stories

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Raviraj Shetty is a mental health worker and an occupational therapist. Raviraj completed his Bachelors and Masters in Occupational Therapy from Seth.G.S.Medical College and K.E.M.Hospital, Mumbai.  He is a Senior therapist, Supervisor and training lead at Ummeed Child Development Center and consultant at POSAT foundation both ngo’s which work with children, young people and families. At Ummeed, Raviraj has initiated and facilitates diverse programs like The I’m-perfect Fathers group, The Pen-pal project and The Identity Project..

Raviraj along with his best friend and colleague Jill, co-founded Happie World, a space for young people with diverse needs to express through arts. He along with his colleague Jehanzeb are writing a book called ‘The Special Something’ which is a collection of stories of ‘little’special things parents do with their children. Recently his work using narrative ideas within the context of handwriting training was published in the indian journal of occupational therapy. Raviraj along with his thought partner Jehanzeb have been interested in exploring narrative ideas within the diverse context of supervision, organisation, teaching and parenting.

Raviraj enjoys his identity as a teacher of narrative ideas and practises for professional and community health workers across India. He is also part of Ummeed’s early childhood development and disabilities training program for community health workers.

Please feel free to contact Ami for queries and registration for The Room Full of Stories: International Narrative Therapy Conference.

Ami Damani: +91993055519 or at ami.damani@ummeed.org.

To know more about the conference you can check out the website

http://www.narrativeconference2016.in

Stories, Hopes & Dreams,

Mental Health Team

 

 

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