Therapy tales: Healing and growth with Deepanshi

15 April 2024
Chaithra MJ Written by Chaithra MJ
Chaithra MJ

Chaithra MJ

Chaithra is a freelance content writer with a love for existentialism. She is passionate about...

Click here to know more
ClosePlease login

“Therapists understand that the therapeutic journey is not a linear path; it has its ups and downs. We have to be patient with the patient and trust in their process.”

Seeing people change and grow is the best part of therapy, says Deepanshi Gupta. 

Deepanshi hails from the National Capital Region (NCR) and completed her schooling there; she didn’t initially aspire to become a therapist. Her journey into psychology was serendipitous rather than planned. Unlike many in her field, she didn’t always aspire to this career. She stumbled upon psychology and felt an instant connection. Deepanshi completed her BA (Hons.) in Psychology from Delhi University and her Masters from Ambedkar University of Delhi at Kashmere Gate.

She believes therapy is more than fixing problems—it’s about figuring out how our personal stories relate to the bigger world.

Our discussion explores her therapeutic approach and the journey that led her here.

Deepanshi, what inspired you to become a therapist? Could you share your journey with us?

Therapy tales: Healing and growth with Deepanshi

I was always set on the medical field. I was ambitious. My parents were supportive, too. But over time, as I got deeper into my studies, I found the field too rigid, stuck in an ‘it is what it is’ objective mindset. 

During a chat with one of my school teachers, I shared my hesitations about continuing in medicine. She asked what I saw myself doing and mentioned philosophy or psychology.

She was the one who nudged me toward psychology. I took her advice without overthinking it, and it turned out to be the best decision I’ve made. It perfectly aligned with my vision and what I imagined for myself.

Do you practice any particular modality in your therapy sessions? Any particular methodology you follow? 

I’ve been a therapist for about 1.5 years. My practice is heavily focused on Psychoanalysis. Whatever I do is heavily based on Freud’s psychoanalysis, interpretation, and dream analysis. 

This method delves into a client’s subconscious mind to understand repressed thoughts and emotions that could be causing psychological discomfort.

Exploring dreams is a key part of this method. It involves decoding the hidden messages in dreams, which Freud thought were windows into the subconscious. By analyzing these dreams, we can gain insight into unresolved problems and hidden desires. This approach also involves free association, where people are urged to express their thoughts openly and without filters to reveal connections between the unconscious and conscious for a better emotional and mental state.

How do you stay motivated and engaged in your work, especially during difficult times?

Being a therapist can be incredibly stressful, especially on days when it feels like nothing is progressing. It’s like you’re stuck, unable to make a difference, and the patient feels this stagnation, too. But there are moments of unexpected encouragement, too.

When a patient looks forward to the next session or mentions feeling better after recent meetings, it brings a sense of accomplishment. These small moments offer reassurance that the effort is worthwhile.

How do you deal with challenges like these? When are things not moving as fast as you would prefer?

Therapists understand that the therapeutic journey is not a linear path; it has its ups and downs. We have to be patient with the patient and trust in their process, even when things seem unclear.

During times of uncertainty, it can be challenging to maintain perspective. This is where supervision, training, and support from colleagues can help therapists stay grounded.

Nowadays, mental health and therapy have gotten more awareness than before. What are the myths and misconceptions that you see in mental health?

Influencers in the psychology and mental health field have done more harm than good. People are throwing terms like CBT or trauma therapy without really knowing what they mean. It’s like suddenly everyone thinks they need a specific type of therapy just because they heard it online. 

This creates confusion, making people demand treatments they might not fully understand.

It’s like everyone’s speaking the language of psychology without taking the time to understand the meaning behind the words. Now, when people come to therapy, they throw out terms like “anxiety” or “panic attack,” but the depth of these experiences often gets lost in translation. The leakage of conceptual jargon into common language has made the whole process even more convoluted.

Therapists now face the extra challenge of unpacking these misconceptions before actual therapy can begin. It’s a fine line between increasing awareness and preserving the nuance of psychological concepts. People should just focus more on their personal experiences rather than getting caught up in the fancy terminology they see on social media.

How do you ensure your mental health is taken care of while you’re taking care of everybody else? Do you practice self-help or self-care tips?

Therapy tales: Healing and growth with Deepanshi

I have realized the importance of this question in the past few months. Therapy takes a lot of toll on your physical body. Dealing with intense emotions on a daily basis, listening to challenging stories and feelings from others, and helping patients connect with their emotions can be physically exhausting.

One thing that has personally made a difference for me is incorporating physical activity into my daily routine. Making sure that my body gets some movement in a day.

Therapists are told not to let their own experiences color the patient’s experience. So, how do they hold space and remain objective? 

While I like the word objective, the model I’m trained in says nothing is objective, not when you’re interacting with humans.

What seems objective to me might be completely different for someone else. So, instead of striving to be completely objective in sessions, I try to lean into my subjective experiences and thoughts.

So, for example, if the patient says something to me and I feel something contrary to that, I don’t rush to judge it as a deviation from objectivity. Rather than being critical of the patient or assuming my perspective is the objective truth, I try to understand why I’m experiencing these complex or diverse emotions toward a particular topic or patient. This approach helps me understand the situation better instead of forcing an objective viewpoint.

What is the biggest lesson you have learned as a therapist so far?

I’m just reminded of this statement: Psychoanalysis, or even psychology more broadly, hasn’t fully grasped its own potential or the extent of what it can achieve.

While completing my master’s, I realized that literature and techniques only become valuable when I can apply them to my experiences. This personal connection allows me to confidently say whether something will also work for others. Personally, I still struggle with meditation, so it feels odd for me to recommend it to patients.

Therapy isn’t just about giving advice; it’s really about leaning into the experience, both for the patient and the therapist. That’s been a major lesson for me: focusing on the experience for both sides.

Looking back on your journey, what advice would you give to yourself? What advice would you give to somebody who aspires to be a therapist?

Don’t rush into certificate courses. While they are important, you should take your time. Before diving in, make sure to do your research and put in some effort on your end. Read up on the material before starting the training and inquire about practical applications. Remember, you don’t have to absorb all the content right away. 

If I could advise my younger self, I’d say: Stay curious but don’t feel pressured to rush through things. No matter how many workshops you attend, mastering skills takes time and practice.

Who is Deepanshi beyond being a therapist? What are her hobbies? What does her day-to-day life look like? 

Deepanshi is an avid reader. You can find me reading or talking about psychoanalysis any time of the day.  

What are your top three favorite books?  

Oh, that’s a very difficult question to ask a book lover. 

The book, Call Me Ishmael Tonight by Agha Shahid Ali, is currently one of my favorites.

Coming to Life in the Consulting Room by Thomas Ogden is an academic read. I Never Promised You a Rose Garden by Joanne Greenberg is another all-time favorite, and it has also been made into a movie.

Help support mental health

Every mind matters. Every donation makes a difference. Together, we can break down stigmas and create a more compassionate world.

Disclaimer: MyndStories is not a non-profit. We are a private limited company registered as Metta Media Pvt Ltd. We don't fall under Section 80G and hence you don't get a tax exemption for your contribution.