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Healing lives

Wednesday, May 02, 2018
By Mona Pereira

Psychotherapist and Counsellor, Ritesh Haldankar dwells on why he loves his profession and provide invaluable advice to those looking to jump onto the bandwagon and help others lead healthier lives

Q: Why did you choose your career:
Earlier on in my life, I realized I needed some help in getting myself sorted. Hence, I took the NLP training certification course. That seemed to have helped me recover and build stronger resilience. NLP introduced me to some startling concepts; the concepts I hadn’t heard of before. Concepts like re-framing, hypnosis – which I frequently use in my sessions, questioning techniques and above all an enhanced perspective of life. This was the fuel that made me learn more about the psyche and language we use to construct our world. Today, I am happy working as part time psychotherapist.

Q-What did you like about it:
One thing, that I particularly like, is the ability to influence people to lead a psychologically healthy life. Every interaction with a fellow human being at this level, gets me closer to understanding me.

Q: How has your education helped you:
MSc Psychology has given me psychometric tools and knowledge to understand the human mind and behavioural sciences. Besides, tools like NLP, Gestalt, & Hypnosis have helped me structure my session in such a way that I am mostly able to bring about resolution and action in 2nd or 3rd sitting. I don’t remember a long session that I have had with anyone. Exposure to various other topics like psychopathology, neuro-psychology, psycho-linguistics, and may like these have assisted in giving me a clear objective perspective in every case; this has further helped me let lose my biases and attend to my fellow human beings in a fashion that promotes well-being and potential psychological homeostasis.

Q: Describe your training days:
My training days were filled with a lot of self-inquiry along with massive amount of reading and presentation.
NLP days: I spent around 72 hours of study and 50 hours of training. This training in fact introduced me to psychology from a different perspective. We had ample amount of practice too; particularly on hypnosis and meta-model questioning with many techniques like Swish Pattern, Reframing, Metaphor, etc.

Q: MSc Psychology days:
This took me 3 years to complete. I had to read, present and study from Freud’s psychoanalysis till Martin Seligman’s positive psychology. There was plethora of topics ranging from General Psychology to Psychopathology & counselling. Not to ignore, I was introduced to around 20 Psychometric tools that ranged from tool to measure memory, retention, & learning to measuring neuroticism. Besides, practical components allowed me to understand normalcy and define actual issues. It exposed me to major psychological disorders both psychotic & neurotic and pathological. Here, due to our latest technology, I was exposed  to relate neurological disorders with psychological disorders. I saw experiments where we could see patches of section brain highlighted for a Schizophrenic patient, alzimers patient, and manic-depressive patients.  

Q: Certified Appreciative Coach & Counsellor:
Here, the focus was corporate coaching, counselling, & performance. Through this I was able to administer coaching plan for people working in corporate setting through helping people achieve their goals at work.

Q: Gestalt Psychotherapy:
This existential and humanistic therapy allowed me to handle the most difficult cases like depression, suicidal tendency, anxiety, etc. The techniques in gestalt, like the empty chair, defining person’s phenemonology, generating physical & psychological awareness have help me facilitate resolution in many of my fellow human beings.

Q: What is your job profile:
I currently work in Willis Towers Watson as an Org. L&D Specialist. My work involves conducting behavioural training & development which includes helping business to provide tools and skills to get their people to perform well.

Q: What investment did you have to make:
I have made around 2 and a half lakhs of investment in all of the training along with time and patience!

Q: How much can one earn as a fresher:
Unfortunately, a fresher in this field usually gets 25 to 30,000 a month or even less. It’s the passion that drives this vocation.

Q: How many years does one take to become a professional:
It takes years with experience. Results define number of years to become a professional. Once the practitioner is able to effectively bridge gap between knowledge and practice, the results look fruitful. However, there are many learnings that erupt like incorrect diagnosis, rigid therapy, and worst of all making assumption about the person.

Q: How much can one earn as an established professional:
There are some that earn really well like around a lakh and a half a month – particularly over 9 to 10 years in practice. Also, it’s patient wise if part time. Corporate pays more.  

Q: What are the advantages in your field:
The top most advantage is that you get to help people come up in their lives. There is a sense of satisfaction you get once you learn that the person you have helped has begun living a healthy balanced life.

Q: What are the difficulties in your field:
The scope of practice. Many don’t want to reach a psychotherapist or a counsellor because most charge around a 1000 rs for 45 minutes sessions. Besides, general medical practitioner and homeopathy doctors also conduct counselling. There is a possibility of getting disheartened when you have no work. Many resort to training or join a an institute where they do psychotherapy & counselling.

Q: What are your plans for the future:
To continue helping people as much as I can and to continue learning. I don’t have many plans for the future. Till now I have got people through word of mouth and I ensure I am able to ascertain in the first session if this the case I can handle. If not, I refer that person to a psychiatrist I am associated with. Honestly, may be 10 years down the line I would like to look back at my life and see all that success I have had.

Q: What advice do you have for those who want to take up your profession?
If you are passionate of helping people live a well-meaning life, take it up. There might not be a lot of money here however, there is plenty of satisfaction. As you become famous locally because of your results, the finances will also start flowing. Keep yourself abrest of latest psychological trends and see what fits you best.

There are many fields that one can take. One should make an educated decision towards taking specialization of choice.

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