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 91. My friend just found out she is pregnant but she is out of wedlock.She has a great job but if they knew she was going to have a baby..she has a high chance of getting fired. However she knows the consequences emotionally of getting an abortion.She approached me on help and asked me "should i get an abortion or not". I am stuck on the issue? - David On 21 January 2010
Firstly, both of you could become peaceful, think through and take the decision in peace, not from compulsion or panic but from practical and fairness related considerations. Next whatever one chooses it is important that the steps one takes to implement the decision are also chosen carefully so that it is done in peace and calmness.
There are mainly 4 possibilities. Marrying and having the baby, or going through the pregnancy and taking on society to have and keep the baby as a single parent, or going through with the pregnancy with leave in last few months to keep privacy and considering adoption for the baby and finally going for abortion. I do not know whether you are just a caring friend or her partner and this is as much a concern of your as hers. If you are just a friend, then the final decision needs to be hers and you can discuss pros and cons of the decision.
If you are the potential father you are more involved in the decision which will be based on the possibilities of a relationship for you both and also the possibilities of managing a child together financially and socially.
Were she to take the decision to marry the potential baby’s father as long as it is a positive relationship, a good company would support the family and let her keep the job. Her assumptions about the job may not be correct. She has to recognize that a company that is not supportive of reasonable needs of health or family is not being fair. The way out is negotiating peacefully and calmly for a win-win solution with the company so they are motivated to adjust for your needs.
Discuss values and beliefs around abortion. Physically doctors consider abortions safe within 3 months. On a ‘life’ plane, an abortion prior to 3 months could again be considered acceptable as the soul has generally not yet joined the foetus fully and completely.
Mainly the decision for abortion can be considered from the place of the heart. You would be doing it for the sake of loving the unborn child, in a responsible way at the appropriate time and not at a late time when it would hurt. You would be doing it so that you are not bringing the child into the world when you are not able to care for the child emotionally and financially. Your heartfelt messages can be conveyed with your intention to the unborn soul and the parting can be accepted in peace too, allowing each to move letting go guilt or hurt.
Question 92. I am a deeply depressed 30 yr old housewife who hates herself and wants to die. My relation with my hubby is at breaking point. Everyone who love me, leaves me. Why does it happen? Why do I feel negative emotions like anger and envy all the time? Please help me. Thanks. - Aruna On 19 January 2010
Presently you have gone into so much negativity that you may be pushing people away from you. Negativity happens of course not because we are negative but we are unable to move on from our misfortunes. We do not realize that not moving on from a misfortune means being inefficient and therefore attracting more misfortunes. Eventually we feel we have bad luck compared to others. In reality every human being has good luck and bad luck. Moving on from our bad luck with new insights and learnings can start changing the cycle and bring in good luck. It is natural that when you are so upset all the time it will affect your husband’s behaviour with you and both of you would get reactive to each other.
What is moving on from bad luck? It means understanding how things happen, stories behind the present story. A parent is ‘mean’ to us not because we are bad but because he has not gotten over his issues. It means releasing negative beliefs of impossibility or compulsion – the ‘have to do’ statements that do not allow you to handle a situation flexibly. It means letting go that things have to happen in an ideal way. It means understanding others’ bad behaviour without resentment or retaliation. It means we can set limits or stop others’ bad behaviour affecting us though we do not try to improve or control the other. It means valuing what in working in our lives and it means guiding ourselves to fulfil ourselves by finding other areas where we can contribute and recieve.
When you feel unable to move on from misfortunes, it will help you to first build a better relationship with yourself and clear your negative thinking. This kind of thinking happens when we generalize from one unfortunate event that everything is going against us. In reality we have exaggerated the negative event and are probably taking for granted our good luck.
Let go big issues for the time being – issues such as why people leave you and how others are happier. Decide to solve this later.
Take the help of therapies to support you. Meditating on all the things in life you are grateful for can help. Physical exercise or yoga or walks can be therapeutic. Connect to and fulfil small pleasures and to nature. Developing small goals and learning small new skills for yourself and having this happen enjoyably can be valuable. Creating a regular daily routine is the first step though that may feel distant from the love or success you want. Believe in the importance of small daily routines like brushing your teeth, eating a good breakfast, watering your plants and greeting your grocer. All these are ways that you are choosing to spread sunshine in your own life as you give importance through this to yourself. And when you believe daily pleasantness with others is important you contribute hugely to others’ happiness too. This way you do things for yourself just as you are – not for success or not for pursuit of great happiness.
Once you do this you will better be able to problem solve the issues and relationships and move closer to larger goals and resolving larger issues.
Question 93. Not a single day after marriage have I been content and happy. I`ve been married for 1 year and 9 months. When will my in laws leave us at peace? Will he always be a puppet? Will I ever be able to lead a happy life?what about kids?I was the most bubbliest of my friends and now i have been completely sulking and sulking at my fate and way things are.I`m desperately looking for help.I shall be very grateful if you can help me with a possible solution and answers to my questions.I somehow feel its all due to past life regression. - Radha On 16 January 2010
This can be due to past life issues yet you need to now find ways to handle the situation in which you find yourself. You have suddenly found yourself in an unfair situation. You are in a place of decision making in a sense. Do you feel good about your husband in other ways even though with his family he remains too much on their side? Then you may make efforts to make this relationship work.
Seek counselling to find ways to cope. Difficult people are insecure. Essentially your in laws are insecure. When insecure they cannot let anyone else take away the limelight or get more powerful. You retaliate in some way at some times – directly or by being non-co-operative and this will make them only more hostile. Neither should you be overly pleasing as that will set you up to be more resentful along the way as they will never be more than briefly appreciative. Instead you may find them putting you down and critical of almost all efforts.
It is more important with insecure people to know that they cannot love, accept or appreciate. So you need to get your positive strokes from elsewhere (your parents, your friends, working outside the home in either voluntary social work or in one’s profession and even from yourself) and not rely on their approval. Know it is nothing to do with you, it is their limitation. This is all about developing one’s mental and emotional muscles.
Develop tactful and firm non aggressive ways of assertion. Give them some appreciation in neutral topics. Keep them secure that you are appreciating them and accepting they are most important people in their son’s life and you are ok to leave it that way. You can pamper their ego but not stress yourself with too much laborious ways of pleasing. Develop your relationship with your husband invisibly as they will not be able to see this without getting insecure and therefore mean. Get your break from the family keeping yourself busy out of the house at least for one or two hours in a day as that can refresh you.
Don’t expect with such dominating in laws that your husband can take your side without getting put down by them or without a fight breaking out. Instead keep your husband informed of your difficulties privately and let him know you are coping and do not want him to take up for you. Remember when he takes up for you, it means that he is leaving them for you so they will get more insecure and therefore more mean. Since you are keeping him informed you get his goodwill with you privately. Since you are tactful with your in laws they behave a bit better with you. Since you are taking steps to get your approval needs met elsewhere you are in a happier place. One needs to move with the reality and not get stuck to one’s expectations. Just because your expectations are not met it does not mean you cannot be happy. You have to reinvent your map and the places from which you will seek approval.
On the other hand if this is too unbearable for you, then your mental health comes first and you may consider separating. Separation still involves the loss of the dream of being able to have a good loving relationship. Keep up hope and know that you will have other possibilities in life. You will heal as you reconnect to yourself.
Question 94. I would like suggestion from you for treating Depression and negetive thinking person from EFT. - Madhava Murthy On 8 January 2010
EFT is definitely a great tool that works on our emotions and our energy. It works beautifully as self healing tool. EFT tells us that the true cause of our distress is the disruption of the energy flow and is the reason that we are not able to stop our reactions. Negative thinking is a result of this energy disruption which when restored will make the thinking balanced once again.
Either 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 some event triggers us, we need to heal that memory or change the meaning we attach to this triggering event.
Thus suppose we have failed in something in the past and then a present situation not being able to do something triggers the same low feelings. Healing the failure memory is important. And recognizing that the present event does not mean we are not capable. The meaning we can give to the failure is that it is giving us new learning and insights. However sometimes 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 fine. For those who have mental health issues of anxiety or depression as you are experiencing, you are affected by more triggers and for a longer time. So you may need more work with the EFT tools. EFT techniques enable you to connect to your issues one at a time to activate the disruption and then the tapping process can give the energy system a jolt and time to re-organize itself. This automatically makes a person 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 95. I am a very emotionl person.Very much emotionally insecure at times.I am very much insecure of losing relatons and therefore i get hurt very easily.How can I make myself strong, strong enough to resist such polarities of emotional mood shifts. - Sangeeta On 7 January 2010
To protect yourself from such mood shifts, cultivate your self esteem and self confidence. Treat praise and criticism with a pinch of salt. Take feedback by connecting to your own views, evaluating whether you agree with what is said or not. Believe in your own assessments of yourself so you are not swayed by what others say. To remain centered when people praise or criticize you, think of the criticisms and praise in terms of behaviours to keep or improve, instead of qualities to keep or improve. This makes us less egoistic and more watchful and grounded.
Build up your resilience to handle rejection and ‘no’ s from people when they do not agree to do what you want them to do. We need to understand a person’s ‘no’ without taking it personally. Taking it personally happens when you feel you are the target of what is being said. You conclude in a generalized way that if someone said ‘no’ that means you were never valued by that person or that they don’t love you or that they are taking advantage of you.
Instead train yourself to think of these things as differences. See that people can say ‘no’ and still be valuing you. See that when they say ‘no’ either they may have changed their thinking or lifestyle along the way. The relationship they had with you before was valuable to them in a genuine way before. If you think they are taking advantage of you, do less for them too as this is their map – there is difference here of how intense a relationship they want and you want. If you keep doing more for them they may not necessarily want to do more for you. They may believe more in independence and each does their own thing. Of course if you keep doing too much others can take you for granted and use your services because they think you have the time and energy. So instead of trying to control them to become as big givers as you are, you need to tone down how much you give so you are less controlling.
When you become hypersensitive you sound insecure and clingy. Others know that with you they cannot get their time alone or their privacies. They find it difficult to have to keep explaining things to you that they did not mean to hurt you. So instead of all this they begin to avoid you. When you are generous to people being a bit inconsistent, it helps you to be more accepting and less fault finding with them. You give others a benefit of doubt and know they are in their own preoccupations and it is not that they are rejecting you. You respect the closeness or distance a person wants without taking personal implications. This way, people feel relaxed around you and keep up the relationship.