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 166. I am addicted in drugs, every time when I can`t cope and I take cough mixture. I am going through hardship with my finances and relationship. I need advice and wisdom. - Sameer Zond On 18 May 2012
It is great that you have come to a place of taking responsibility for making your life work. People
who get addicted mostly do not recognize their own self sabotage and keep blaming their luck and
the lack of support in their life. Whilst it may be true that a person has had a tough destiny, it does
not mean that one needs to abandon oneself which is the path that an addictive person takes. They
abandon their life responsibility escaping into drugs or substances and thereby abandon themselves.
Naturally things don’t work and one’s own health suffers then one feels worse and needs more of
the drug to escape this reality.
To turn this situation around you may need to daily follow a routine of spending a few moments in
the morning on waking up and before sleeping to recognize what you appreciate and feel thankful
for about yourself, and your life and the people in it without taking anything for granted. It works to
put faith in prayer which is nothing other than seeing the divinity or spirit or morale or power within
oneself and knowing with full faith this divinity exists. Turn to it and intend and pray to live that day
well doing the right things as a responsible and fair person to yourself and others.
To keep yourself on task you need to keep expectations from life and yourself smaller. Though you
may want big things focus on keeping the discipline in small chunks such as the next two hours and
then the next two hours. Be sure to appreciate each two hours that you spend well. Coping doesn’t
happen with big bites, trying to get bigger results without first getting the small steps done. So
reduce your larger goals to the present moment next two hours. For example if your accounts are
not in order, list out all the steps you would need to take and then work on the one you will do for
next two hours. In this way you can see yourself as a coping person.
You will also benefit from strengthening your emotional management, and communication skills and
approaches that can help restore your relationships. Mainly everywhere you may need a slowing
down in concluding that something is not working by focusing on getting more information about
the person, task or relationship at hand and then thinking not ‘who’s to blame and who’s failing” but
thinking “what’s possible here? What can I do different and what else can I do? Whatever I choose
to do, how should I do it so it works out?” Give yourself this time to think through and problem solve
without judgment. We can either judge or focus on possibilities. The judgments may be true but
they are immaterial compared to focusing on doing what can give possibility in an ongoing manner.
Counselling can give you support in all these steps and using therapies for sub conscious mind
programming for yourself away from drugs and towards more positive activities can definitely help
you become drugfree.
Question 167. My husband speaks lies wen the matter of his family comes in b/w.he speaks 2 them in my absence in office hrs & deletes all the call logs & messages sent/received to/by them.Ours is a love marriage & its been 3 yrs of our marriage & i m struggling with my in laws.wen i approach them they dont seem 2 b interested in my problem & come offensive evrytime that they are not at fault.I feel they dont want to keep relationship with me but are creating situation that the blame of spoiling the relationship comes on me.Suresh though sometimes acknowledges my issues n concerns but do not do anything to resolve amicably.In turn he fights with me & abuses me.
I dont want to be taken for granted.He doesnt understand my feelings & is always carried away with his families feelings & issues towards me. - Purvi Joshi On 13 May 2012
It is always a difficult situation when there are stresses of not being accepted and not being
included. Since you have mentioned call logs it seems they are not living with you in the same
home. That may at least give you some possibility of space of your own with your husband. In a
home where the son is close knit with the family the daughter in law is treated as the outsider.
Each person does not want the new person to displace their importance in the life of their family
In any case you have to accept you can’t fight this. Ignore this part where they exclude you and
tell your husband that you are leaving it to him to share conversations he wants and others he can
delete or hide. You focus on having a good time with him without bringing in this issue. Though you
may not like these secrets, by accepting and not bothering and allowing them to feel they are closer
to your husband you can actually have your own private close moments with him. At the same time
accept that you are outsider for their relationship and it does not matter too much as you have some
goodwill with each individually.
You are trying to get your husband to speak up to them to be better with you. You are also trying to
get your in laws to make your husband behave better with you. Both these are a mistake, as neither
your in- laws or husband are going to go against each other. Even if you may be logically trying to
point out things to this family or your husband they are not going to accept your point of view. Don’t
expect them to solve your problems with him or him to solve your problems with them either. With
both your in laws and husband, you need to tactfully manage your way without needing the other
party to manage them for you. Don’t expect your husband to speak up to your in laws on your behalf
or vice versa. It makes it a visible competition where if they think you are winning in getting your
husband to your side they will do double to get him on their side. Naturally they will win as theirs is
a 20 or 30 year relationship – yours is only 3 years.
In fact you can tell your husband and your in-laws of the difficult behaviours of the other but you
can let them know not to worry as you are coping with the situation yourself and that overall you
are happy with them. In fact let them know you want them to keep their good will and not speak up
for you which could spoil their relationship. Use non blaming communications yourself even with
the unfair behaviours of theirs with you. This way you keep each person informed of the unfairness
of the other or their unfairness with you without sounding blaming or like you are creating a
disturbance. When they see you want them to keep their relationship and you are not stopping it
they can be relaxed about your presence as non-threatening.
You need to create your own way of setting limits with your husband or in laws and at the same time
creating rapport and goodwill. In any relationship we need to do both – be assertive and be friendly.
Working in this paradoxical way of not fighting to be included you may have more harmony and
possibility. You may need support to manage this. Consult a family therapist if necessary.
Question 168. My fiancé broke up after 5 long years of intense involved relationship. We did had some differences and we did fight on them but never thought that situation will go so bad. Off late she was fighting a lot based on her some insecure feeling and wrong inputs people gave to her about me. Out of frustration I got close to a friend just to discuss my problems. She used my crisis and dragged me to go physical with her. . I realized my mistake and I told my fiancé about this. After this she started hating me. I am in deep depression. I want to re-build my lost trust and relationship with my fiancé I have love her a lot and cant think of going away from her. What should I do? - Kapil Pal On 27 June 2012
This is a tough predicament and a very high stress situation. It would benefit from healing for the
relationship and for both of you. Since there is so much emotional overload trying to communicate
your regret becomes difficult. It can be useful to write a letter expressing your regret over your
actions, the fact that you immediately realized you had slipped and so came forthright about it and
you desire to re build the relationship. You will slowly need to re build trust and often be patient
with the cross questioning she may put you through. You could demonstrate that you are cutting
all contact with that girl. Also instead of asking for forgiveness and insisting she comes back to the
relationship you may instead respect her anger, rejection and let her know this. You can let her know
you are ready to wait till she thinks through and will accept her response. If she does after this reject
the relationship, you may let her know that you are still waiting for her and will wait for a 2 or 3 month
period in case she is able to put it beyond her. Meanwhile taking therapy will help and if she is open
you can do couple counselling. This often helps to bridge the gap created and heal and release all
the intense emotions and feelings that have come up. Therapy can help exploring how to eventually
strengthen and restore the relationship. Both can introspect how an outside relationship can be a
symptom of a disturbed relationship and how to handle such disturbances in future so they never lead
to such a situation. People betray their relationships in different ways be it by an outside relationship
or by threats or cut offs. All these point to needing to sort out the patterns that are destructive in the
relationship. Even if she is not ready for the therapy, you will still benefit from it for both personal
peace and to be able to communicate more clearly your feelings to her.
Question 169. Hi, I`m 26 year old, single, female.
Ever since I have had difficulty in socializing & connecting with people around me.
For this reason I have had very few, or no friends & found it myself lonely in school, college and now at work place.
Can my social aptitude be improved? Could you help? Why cann`t I bond with people like others? - Payal S On 30 June 2012
Your social aptitude can definitely change and be strengthened. Observe people and you may get
clues. Sometimes ask a few people who know you for honest feedback. They can give you some
small tips. Socializing and connecting needs us to keep up with the times and keep ourselves well
groomed and neat in dressing, have skills of conversation that are a mix of taking interest in the
other and listening, knowing about current topics by reading about these and having some opinions
to share and also being a person with their own interests and hobbies. Each person is social in a
different way. Some are social by being more listeners, others by being more jovial and talkative.
You can be comfortable with your own style. People will accept you for a variety of reasons – either
because you listen well or you are jolly or you are creative in your life and they like to hear about that.
So you can work on developing a little of all of these. Making eye contact, smiling, or matching one’s
facial expressions to what is being shared helps the other know you are paying attention. Yes I can
definitely help in individual sessions or when you attend courses I conduct. You can read books that
share with how to bond and mix with people. A well known name through the years on this is Dale
Carnegie and his book “How to win friends and influence people” gives many insights and ideas. You
may also benefit from psychotherapy and healing as issues such as this indicate some past episodes
contributing to the issue.
Question 170. Hello Madam. My problem is i always dreamt of becoming doctor. As i did not get good rank in medical i took engineering. Now I am without job am not at all getting job in engg. field. I am frustrated i feel like committing suicide. What can i do. I m lost, I cry everyday. - Sakshi G On 11 July 2012
It is most disheartening when one thing does not work out, we adjust with so much hurt
towards life and then the next thing does not work out. A sense of hopelessness takes over and we
feel like we have failed. We forget that failure or a closed door is a stepping stone in our life’s ongoing
journey. At one step there is a success and at the next step a failure and then at a next step some
success. Some experiences are mixed – part failure and part success. We have a choice what to
focus on and keep ourselves motivated. Feel your grief, and frustration, then let it go and focus on
learning and possibilities. Don’t let one phase in this journey of life define you in a way that you need
to give up or lose value of yourself. Every person is valuable and a support system for many others
around them and suicide can become in a way a selfish act without consideration for what others
have done for us. So keep hope alive by have mental strategies for handling these loss phases of
one’s life. Believe me every person goes through such moments and staying the course slowly comes
out a winner. I do not know your financial condition. However if you have basic financial support then
you must remember you have time to find the job that surely exists for you. However you may need to
do a few things in the meanwhile till we reach there.
We need setback strategies. These are nothing other than how to think of this failure. One such
strategy is to see it not as final but as a temporary step in the forward direction only.. The success
step is the one getting us rewards of money and recognition and the failure step is the one showing
us that we need to do something differently. We may think through - Is our resume well written, are
we good with interview skills, are we applying to jobs in many places, where are we being choosy
and can we be more flexible or do we need to add any other skill to get a job. The second step is to
discover what the marketplace in our field needs. Sometimes places that have refused you may let
you know why they did not choose you when you ask. That will give you an idea what you should train
in and what is missing. You can now work to add to your knowledge, skills or attitude or presentation
of yourself – you may find many books, workshops or courses or online information that you can do
these through. When one does not get a job don’t waste time, see it as a time to add more skills to
yourself through self study, online study, by volunteering or through doing short or long courses.
Sometimes start with the smallest thing to keep yourself productive though you may not get the job.
This means being useful around the home, helping your parent, or volunteering at an NGO or using
your hobby to create. This though it may not give you livelihood, will give you satisfaction and people
around you can be supportive as you are not staying sad and instead being helpful. Read philosophy
and read how others have coped with their down times. This will give you ideas.
Nothing stops us from enjoying nature keeping ourselves healthy and keeping ourselves loving in
our behaviour to others. Then our next step is to get creative. To get the job or the income a person
needs to think of some creative applications of their knowledge and skills. Where else are my skills
needed other than an engineering job, in which sectors? Open up to people in a constructive way not
in a helpless way. Ask for ideas and meet lots of people. This networking helps. Sometimes consult
a life coach or a therapist to brainstorm such possibilities. One person, who could not get a job, did
a voluntary job in his field and that experience and the contacts through it gave him a job opening
almost 6 months later. He had to keep his spirits through this phase. Another person was not getting
a job and did a short course on project management. She still did not get a job so she met people to
get ideas of what she could do, started getting pocket money with tuitions and then eventually whilst
doing a part time MBA got a good job. Sometimes we may shift our field too and a few years later
return to our field of study. Keep your spirits and focus, continue on the journey without giving up till
you reach the goal, persist with learning and creativity.