Ameeta Sanghavi Shah
Ameeta is certified in Family Therapy from Washington University at St Louis, U.S.A and has a double Master in Social Work from Mumbai University and Washington University, St Louis. She has an NLP Master Practitioner’s and Trainer’s Certification from National Federation of Neuro Linguistic Programming, U.S.A. & has done certificate courses in NLP from U.K. She is trained in clinical hypnotherapy, regression therapy, somatic experiencing and in EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique).
Ameeta has been practicing as a psychotherapist and trainer using the family therapy, cognitive behavioural therapy, rational emotive therapy, neuro-linguistic programming (NLP), meditation, creative visualization and hypnotherapy. She has written a weekly column for Pune Times for over 2 years and was on the Zee TV show Sangini.
She has conducted workshops for organizations on Self Development and Positive Living – adopting a proactive attitude to life and work, Strengthening Motivation, Communication and Interpersonal Skills - Assertiveness, Conflict Management, Managing Relationship Stress, Empowered Parenting, Reducing Co-dependency in relationships, Stress management and Relaxation Techniques.
She shall answer your questions on dealing with the emotional problems of life.
Ask Ameeta Sanghavi Shah
Question 81. Hi Ameeta. What is EFT? Does it help to become emotionally strong? - Annie S On 10 February 2010
EFT is definitely a great tool that has been discovered. It works beautifully as self healing tool. We have thoughts, we have emotions and we have neural pathways that are going through our minds and bodies when we are upset. However we also have energy that is flowing within us. When we are upset this energy flow can get stuck or reversed. So though at thought level we know we need to behave better or let go a feeling we are stuck because of our energy blockages. Recognizing that the disruption of the energy flow is the reason why we are not able to stop our reactions, we can use EFT and restore the energy flow.
When something we want does not happen we need to change our expectations and adjust them to reality. Often this is easier said than done. Or when some event triggers us, we need to heal the memory or change the meaning we attach to that trigger.
Inspite of knowing this we are often unable to adjust or act pro-actively to change our expectations or change the meaning we give to the event.
EFT brings to our attention that this is due to the energy disruption in us. For most people this disruption happens only when something triggers us else we may be fine. For those who have mental health issues of anxiety or depression, the person is affected by many more triggers and for a longer time.
So we can tune into our issue to activate the disruption and then the tapping process can give our energy system a jolt and time to re-organize itself. This automatically makes us think more rationally and cope better with the situation.
Most important of all EFT is easily doable by everyone, it is extremely brief, does not need analysis and over thinking, and is painless even when healing trauma memories and very effective. It can often be used with other tools by a therapist and that can improve its effectiveness even more.
Question 82. I can not speak in public or stage. I cannot speak in it with my parents. What can I do for recovery? - Jayant Kumar On 9 February 2010
Preparing before you talk whether in public or on stage or with your parents can help. Focus first on building rapport with the other person. Rapport can be simple. Comments on weather or the general greetings “How are you?” also work well. Postpone in this way your worry about what you could present or want to present to them. Once you have this rapport – another word is ‘ice-breaker’ where you and your audience are comfortable with each other your presentation is more easily accepted.
Keep your agenda simple and plan to handle only one topic or issue. This can reduce your stress of being able to speak up because you do not have so many points to try to say.
Exploring and healing any past trauma related to not being able to speak up or related speaking up and being put down can help release unnecessary fears.
Attending workshops on confidence building and public speaking can be useful to gain tips and practice in safer places than real life.
Question 83. I have been having real hard life since May 09. My husband and family life is quite disturbed.I am sure that none of us have harmed anyone in our life but pain is unbearable now. suffered financial loss, reputation, job loss and health issues. Is there any way you could throw some light what is wrong? - Ameesha On 8 February 2010
Difficult life circumstances are difficult in and of themselves and you are facing many odds. It makes us lose our morale, the very thing that can help us cope and reach a better place. Sustaining focus and consistent motivation can be your main challenges. You would find one day is efficient and the other you lose focus and then work piles up and sense of not being able to cope multiplies. To maintain morale we need our ‘setback strategies’ so that a setback does not stop your momentum of work. The main reason for job losses and failures are the loss of this momentum. Our motivation becomes on and off. Most successful people have almost the same number of failures you do but they recover faster as they recover morale.
Secondly we can consider ways and means of being less affected by these challenges. Look at what is working for you – even simple things like it seems you and your husband support each other. Sometimes when life victimizes us a remedy of sorts is to recognize also how you are not ‘victim’ and have some luck with you and have your own resiliencies too. Reclaim the faith that there is some purpose to this suffering and that you are healing and moving to better living.
Thirdly many of the physical events and health conditions in life can be related to suppressed stresses and self destructive patterns of relating that produce more anger or helplessness. For example being too much of a helper and ‘being too good’ can make you accumulate bitterness when those you help do not help you back. Further you may cover up this bitterness saying you don’t care because you just like to help. Then you are in a trap of helping and not being able to stop yourself helping even when people take you for granted. We need to take feedback about where helping someone is used against you too and be able to stop helping without feeling like a ‘bad’ person. Or you help someone else so much that your own study or work suffers. This too creates problems and we begin to feel unlucky that in spite of being ‘good’ we have been unable to progress.
Fourthly with an over load of stresses, focussing and time management become important. Keep a diary to note down tasks that come to mind so that you do not get distracted from completing the task on hand. To be less affected by these challenges some steps you can take are to reduce time wasters and increase time savers. Reduce chores to a minimum and identify support systems for routine tasks. Being perfectionist does not help.
Finally our problem often is our expectations and our actions do not match. Our expectations are way ahead of our actions. We may lack the discipline to focus on priority areas and get distracted into petty issues and perfectionisms. We get bogged down with our fears. We need to have the capacity to take the risk of focusing in on priority areas and let other areas go. This risk is both psychological – ‘after so much effort for my main passion I may reach nowhere’ stops us from going all out and saying ‘no’ to the small tasks. There is the economical risk of whether you can let go current tasks or you have a space for your project or you have family to support. So respect your risk taking ability, keep expectations smaller and think of smaller plans that can accommodate these.
Question 84. My girlfriend became pregnant even if we used contraceptive. We both are working and in the fear of society, family etc. we were forced to choose abortion with proper medical supervision. It was a very tough decision and it shattered us. We are still scared and nervous (if there are any side effects). We can`t share this situation with anyone. I had never thought of such a phase of my life and I still break down with severe guilt feelings. Please help us. - Parvesh On 7 February 2010
Respect your decision and know you made a holistic decision regarding the pregnancy. Until you both are settled you could not have managed the responsibilities of a child. This would have caused more harm to the child if it were born. Intention is important and it is possible to sit quietly. Calm down. Feel the sincerity of your intention. Send your good wishes to the unborn soul that may have chosen to be born with your girlfriend’s pregnancy. Let that soul know you wished well for that soul and so did not want to bring it to the earth life unless conditions were suitable. With this prayer and intention release all guilt and let go. Your guilt can interfere with the unborn soul too. So you need to let go in peace trusting you acted responsibly and in good faith.
Consult a gynaecologist in confidence and know there is no damage for future pregnancies for your partner. Rest your mind in this way and then with emotional balance for both of you physical healing is also better.
If you feel this risk of pregnancy and of going against society align yourself keep your relationship within the boundaries that do not cause you fear. Till then exercise the self control that keeps you eventually more relaxed. Then plan systematically towards making the relationship more stable and accepted socially so you have nothing to fear.
Question 85. Hello, I am suffering from severe OCD from past 1yr,improved a lot but also very frightened of catching it again,not able to giveup that thoughts which I have gone through.
- Kiran Agarwal On 3 February 2010
Congratulations on making progress in managing your anxieties. OCD is nothing but an anxiety disorder. We compensate for the uneasiness we feel in how to face uncertainties. We want guarantees that all will remain well. When we accept that things can go wrong and that there will some ways to at least make it better our anxiety is resolved. One can know that “I will have my own resilience(spirit) to bounce back. I will have other support systems that will come up or I can create or I can reach out for support.” Have a list created to update how you are different today from yesterday. The same worry yesterday would have got a different response from you than it would if it happens now. See how you handle uncertainty differently in your thoughts and actions.
Anxiety is also about performance – being able to do as well as one wants. When one can focus on process towards the wanted resulted and not on the result this helps. We can detach from the result and know we will be resilient with any result. Having focussed on the process or tasks towards the wanted result there is all likelihood that we will do fairly well. Another approach is to know there is no failure, it is only information. This way all failure can be studied with “What can I/ we do differently?” and point us forward in our next efforts. Anxiety about performance also comes when we believe that my success should come from luck. Actually it always comes from disciplined and directed effort. Even lucky people need to be hard working and disciplined to sustain luck. Due to false media messages and lottery cultures sometimes people feel sorry for themselves when they have to work hard and feel anxious about having the bad luck of needing to work!
When you have better approaches to uncertainty and to performance expectations from oneself anxiety is reduced and OCD does not manifest. OCD is also better once one can know better attitudes and communications skills to get along better with people. This enables us to enjoy with company and relax. It makes us feel supported in our efforts to face life and pursue success.
Further strengthen relaxation training, breath training and work to balance all aspects of life – work, relationships, physical health needs and entertainment. Feel a higher purpose to your work than just making money or earning status. All this can reduce anxieties vastly. Abstain from the action that is the compulsion and use other relaxation tools to prevent getting caught up in the OCD cycle.