1. HOW LONG HAVE YOU DONE THIS? I WANT TO KNOW IF YOU ARE EXPERIENCED.
In March of 2017, it will be 14 years since I saw my first client! My experience is important for you to know about, just in case it helps you feel safer and more secure. I began practicing in India and then moved to the United States , where I studied and practiced some more. I have graduate degrees from both countries.
2. ANY FANCY DEGREES?
One undergraduate degree majoring in Psychology, a graduate degree specializing in Child Therapy, another one specializing in Couples and Family Therapy(and relationships in general) and most of a doctoral degree that I am currently on sabbatical from.
3. DO YOU LEAD THE SESSION OR DO I HAVE TO?
You will quickly see that our sessions, at best and at their simplest, are dialogues. We go back and forth. Sometimes I will ask questions to help move us forward and other times, I will respond to what you ask/bring up. No matter what, we collaborate, consult and brainstorm together.
4. WHAT KIND OF THERAPY DO YOU PRACTICE?
The fun kind. Ha! While that may seem cavalier, it isn't unusual for clients to step out of our sessions laughing. Not always, because life is sometimes hard. But we will find some humor in it all. I practice a style that incorporates not just what a person thinks, feels and does but also includes how a person is influenced by family, friends, other relationships, society, politics, culture etc. It is a form of therapy where we identify the influences that play a role in your current life, recognize what you may be believing about it all based on those influences and then find ways to change the stories/beliefs as well as the influences based on how you prefer to live!
5. ARE YOU MORE DIRECTIVE OR MORE LIKE JUST LISTENING TO WHAT I SAY?
It entirely depends on what you would prefer. I have some clients who will snooze through a session if I am not offering directive feedback, others who much prefer and gentler and deeper conversation that is listening and consulting based. I do both. I don't, however, direct those who prefer consultation and vice versa. I match you, not the other way around.
6. HAVE YOU BEEN IN THERAPY YOURSELF?
My goodness, yes. I cannot imagine doing this work without knowing what its like to be in your shoes. I, like you, am human...and when human-problems get too big or messy, I am all about getting support for myself. Not only is that helpful for me, but it helps me help you better too!
7. WHAT INSPIRES YOU?
Human beings. Sounds abstract but its true. I find we as people to be deeply intriguing...what makes us cry, laugh, smile, choose one thing over another, prefer one flavor of icecream over another (Strawberry for me, please) What do we do when we are scared, angry or hurt? It ALL inspires me.
8.WHAT DO YOU OUTSIDE OF THERAPY?
I write, I watch my favorite shows, I read, paint, workout, cook and take naps. I also volunteer my time co-leading a community of 4000 therapists from around the world and supporting the California Innocence Project with pro bono therapy services!
9. WHERE ARE YOU FROM?
An over crowded and beautifully diverse city called Mumbai, in the country of India!
10. IS "NAM" YOUR REAL NAME?
Kinda. Well, my name is Namrata. "Nam" was born when a friend I went school with said "Nam" while struggling to pronounce my name accurately. It stuck and now I love it! Its what everyone calls me.
11. WHY DID YOU CHOOSE TO BECOME A THERAPIST?
Partially because of how deeply I love people and all things human and partially because I had first hand experience of how lonely it can be to go through a hard time in your life, without adequate support.
12. HOW DO YOU WORK THROUGH YOUR OWN ISSUES?
I talk about them. I am 100 percent the cliched "talk about your feelings" person. I also journal, work out, read, ask questions to those who have been through what I have and I do my best to take good care of myself!
13. I HAVE TO SHARE ALL THESE SECRETS IN SESSION. CAN YOU TELL ME SOMETHING ABOUT YOU THAT IS A SECRET?
I used to be deathly afraid of cats. Kittens included. I could never tell what they were thinking and that would freak me out. I had to work on this much like anyone else has to work on any fear. Except...try telling someone at a dinner party that their adorable wee kitten is about to make me, a grown woman, pass out in fear. Yikes!