Saturday, September 24, 2016

Parent-child communication : To know you is to trust you -- By Dr. Pradnya Ajinkya


Case : Amira handed over her keys. Her mother wanted her car keys. She told her mother that all they would find inside her car were her novels and a pair of shoes. Amira's mother describes how she watched her daughter go from kindergarten to all her levels in college. Every minute she would be getting out to look for her daughter. However, recently she watched as her ruin seemed to unfold before her. Her daughter buckled and she was on her knees, sobbing and insisting her mother to trust her. Her mother found her secretly talking to someone in many settings. Her mother was 59 years old. As the volunteer of a classroom programme, Amira was a constant presence with the participants on the campus. But the growing distrust from her mother made her afraid of spontaneity and surprises,” she said. “I just want to be safe.” and "I just want my mother to be safe."

Therapist : In the mother, she finds a master planned city where drugs, alcohol, bars, etc. have been methodically purged. She couldn't bring herself to trust her child. She was not the mom Amira knew. She shared a natural rapport with her. The club house had given Amira's mother a desk at the front office of a counselling care, which provided an up-close view of countless parental melodramas. Amira tried to calm her down. Did she have anything in the car she shouldn't have? No. This is only temporary, her mother explained. She apologized over and over again. She now looked like she was okay with everything. “For the record, my daughter is very intelligent, mature and artistic and has successfully participated in many programmes. She is receiving good grades and has earned many awards year after year. She is not corrupt by any standard. I trust my daughter......,," she said.

We may not be able to prepare the future for our children, but we can at least prepare our children for the future. - President Franklin D. Roosevelt.

STRANGER DANGER- Keeping children safe -By Dr. Pradnya Ajinkya

Case Study : Piyush is a 5 year old boy studying in grade I. His parents feel that he may need special help and  bring him to counselling. Parents report that Piyush appeared so sad and distracted since a few weeks. The teachers alerted the parents about Piyush and his recent isolation and poor school performance. The parents and teachers made several attempts to talk to the child but Piyush has refused to talk to them. He continued to suffer alone and seemed confused and afraid to the extent of asking his parents to stay back home.

Therapist : Request to interview the child alone. When the child came to therapy for the first time he was so embarrassed and fearful of what would be asked and how much he should reveal. However, the child was made to feel courageous and strong rather than weakness and welling up. Then suddenly little  Piyush stood up and revealed the bruises on his back and abdomen.  Asking about his life at home and school, he said that there were no problems at home and school. The child shared that an uncle who lived in the neighboring building yelled at him if he refused to visit him. He further stated that he beat him up and shouted at him  for not listening to him. He also threatened to kill his father if he did not visit him. He denied sexual abuse.

Piyush was being physically, emotionally and mentally abused. As the first step speaking to the parents about ensuring the safety of the child by also having the child stay with grand parents or very close relatives if this is feasible when the parents are away at work for the well being and safety of the child before dealing with the neighboring uncle was important.

Here's the bad news: The uncle pulls the vanishing act. He disappeared without an explanation. 

Preparing our children on how to keep safe both with strangers and people known without filling them with fear and anxiety when they are separated from us for a few hours is very important. Talking about stranger safety will also depend upon the age of the child.  By age 4 or 5, it's good for kids to have at least some exposure to other kids under supervision, not adults who are strangers...

Friday, September 23, 2016

Preparing for a psychological marriage by Dr. Pradnya Ajinkya

Case: Love bloomed between Sukhi and Ben. They exchanged feelings online,  messages, videos, love poems and songs. They seem to be having a terrific time together. They are instantly impressed by each other."I have met the woman of my dreams," .... Ben. "I can't drag my feet with real love," .... Sukhi. They leap into their feelings like there's no tomorrow. They have a desperate and fateful urge to make this feeling permanent. The couple express their intention to marry immediately. They feel marriage is the guarantor of their happiness they are enjoying together. It will make permanent what might otherwise be fleeting. They want to bottle their joy. After seven years of their marriage and with two kids they feel they have bottled the wrong ingredient of joy. 


Therapist: I am sure couples marry to make their feelings permanent. However, there is no causal necessary connection between marriage and this sort of feeling. The feeling was produced online, a time of the day, lack of work, an excitement over love poems, videos and messages. Getting married has no power to keep a relationship at this beautiful stage. Marriage is not in command of the ingredients of our happiness. Marriage can decisively move the relationship on to other different moments like into living together in the same house, a long commute, children, etc. The only common ingredients are the partners. Partners in the marriage face immense challenges while they live together. Given that, when one is in love one feels one has already beaten far more extraordinary odds. With such a winning streak, the gamble of marrying a person seems entirely containable. However, in this case, peaks of life tend to be brief and happiness does not come in year-long-blocks and the partners are frustrated.

Being ready to appreciate isolated moments of everyday paradise whenever they come our way, without making the mistake of thinking them permanent, and the need to turn them into genuine feelings can encourage the emotional growth statistics and reduce the turbulence in the love life.

Rain and rainbows : Finding comfort in your marriage By Dr. Pradnya Ajinkya

Case: Sunil finds a letter his wife wrote to a friend praising him and saying that  she feels an insurmountable void and sense of sadness when she remembers him and misses him.   When he got home that night and she served him dinner, he held her hand and said that he wanted to tell her something. He did not know how to confront her about the letter but he had to ask her about her feelings towards him. Then he calmly asked her, "Do you want to leave me"? She finds him crazy and depressed. Sunil wonders if this is normal behavior. Sunil wishes everything is better but six months later he finds another letter from his wife written to another friend saying that she feels an insurmountable void and sense of sadness when she remembers him and misses him. He can't wait to see if it really makes a difference in his relationship and decides that she wants to end this marriage. The hardest part of it all is her loving expressions in the marriage and the then her 180 degrees swing praising other men and writing letters to them.

Therapist: Try not to react either way. Seek help to recognize and break free from old patterns within the relationship, and to enhance communication with each other more effectively without causing offence. Writing a letter to a friend has formed a constant background to the depressed persons life. We have to remember that such feelings are all-consuming. On the whole, Sunil who experiences hurt and insult feels as if his life is spiraling out of his control. He feels unable to cope with his  relationship or any additional demands placed upon him. The main thing at this point of time that the partner in concern should want, is to feel better. The woman who had spent 12 years of her life with Sunil had become a stranger. Meghana felt sorry for her wasted resources and energy and wept loudly. Sunil and Meghana were asked to write something about feeling better in their relationship. They both decided that they would enter into a planned exercise and would struggle to live as normal a life as possible. They decided that they would talk to each other and hold each other for a few seconds each day without any discussion on the above topic. The couple as requested for a month's duration did the exercise. The first day they felt clumsy and withdrawn. The second day they felt better. By the seventh day they both waited for each other to talk and they prayed together. The words in the prayer brought a sense of pain in both of them.  Sunil and Meghana looked at each other and realized that they were graying. The responsibilities of the marriage had taken a toll on them. They realized that the everyday workout made them stronger and happier. Finally, on the 30th day she presented him with a closed envelope. It was a letter addressed to him. She wrote that she did not feel insurmountable void and sense of sadness when she remembers him and did not miss him.
Suddenly it hit him... The previous letters were also meant for him but she did not want to bury her pain and bitterness in her heart against him so would address the letters to unknown multiple people. The couple realised how close they were to success and decided they would never give up. “You are never too old to set a new goal or dream a new dream.” ~ C. S. Lewis ...

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Millenials having ‘it’ less? — By Roshani Shinde | Aug 27, 2016 - Free Press

Termed as the hook-up generation, there is a debate going whether young adults are having less sex or more. In the US and UK, studies have claimed that the millennial are having less sex than their parents’ generation. Roshani Shinde speaks to experts about what they have to say about the young adults of India and their sex life…
We are aware that stress, lifestyle and career are on the forefront for the young adults, does that also mean that sex has taken a backseat? Many relationship experts and sexologist of Mumbai clearly deny this. Dr. Pradnya Ajinkya, Psychological Counsellor says this could be true for only 4 couples out of 10. While Dr. Sanjoy Mukherjee, Psychologist and Marriage Counsellor and Dr. Hitesh Shah, Sex Counsellor-Therapist-Educationist, both say, rather today’s young adults are having more sex. “This could be true for married couples, but pre-marital sex and sex outside marriage has definitely gone up,” shares Dr. Sanjoy.
For a healthy marriage, an active sexual life lasts for a decade or two or even more. And yes, this is downsizing. From one to three decades now it has come down to hardly three to four years. Commenting on the same Dr. Shah shares, “adults between the age group of 28 to 35 do have a decline in the libido irrespective of their marital status. But the ones from 18 to 28 are having more sex than their previous generation.”


Prominence to career, changing lifestyle, no specific eating and sleeping patterns are the prime reasons for the decrease in the libido. Technology and multi-media does not allow the couples to share their lone time. They act as the haddis in the kabab. Apart from the poor work-life balance, Dr. Pradnya Ajinkya believes, the match-box apartments of our city curtail the privacy essential for a couple thus decreasing the desire over the period. She further adds, “With both the partners working and forever living in a rushed schedule, the sexual appetite might vanish in the thin air within few years.” Love-making forms an integral part of a romantic relationship. “One has to understand that sex is just one part of the marriage or any romantic relationship. Focus needs to be on how satisfying the love making process is than how frequent it is,” states the Psychological Counsellor Pradnya.
A satisfying sexual act is beneficial for physical and mental wellbeing. It improves immune system, boosts self-esteem, and burns calories. Studies have also suggested that regular sex makes a person look younger and fit. If this holds true then burning out of the passion will have its setbacks as well. According to Dr. Sanjoy, the damage is more on a woman’s emotional health. While Yoga Guru, Shilpa Anjara says it results in bad mood, spoils the hormonal balance which further aggravates other health issues like diabetes, thyroid problems, obesity and much more. “Less sex – more stress, more stress- less sex,” Dr. Shah in a precise manner sums up the hazards of low activity in the bedroom.
In order to break down this vicious circle and reignite the flame one can take help of Yogasana. Not only yoga but any physical activity enhances the urge. The Yoga Guru advices to practise meditation for reducing the stress levels. The sex-stress equation applies to sex-sleep balance as well. For the same, she encourages to have milk with a pinch of nutmeg for sound sleep. Seconding her suggestions, Shammi of Shammi’s Yogalaya says, “Pranayam and meditation promotes internal and external balance of an individual’s health. In the process sexual balance is also maintained. Baddha konasana heightens fertility. Suryanamaskar targets each and every area of our body, so following the same regularly can be of great advantage for overall health.” Even Shilpa Anjara names few asans which mainly targets the belly portion, and aids in increasing the sperm count for men, they are Utkatasana, Sarvangasana and Halasana.
Spending quality time, verbalising love for each other, expressing the feeling of being cared and wanted can built up a fine romantic relationship. The impact on the sexual life will be visible gradually. “The married couples should take a cue from the unmarried couples. Being romantic is intrinsic for a woman, treating her like a queen will do wonders in a longer run,” shares Dr. Mukherji.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Healing and renewing marriage relationships By Dr. Pradnya Ajinkya


Case: Amaira has been yelling at her husband. It doesn't matter about what she would like to communicate. He feels threatened when she picks up a conversation. After being together for eight years, Bose feels as though he is dying inside. He has seen his parents yelling, his neighbours yelling and now his wife. Bose is upset about his wife's behavior. Bose and his wife are talking about having kids, but Bose is afraid that she will yell at the kids too. He loves her immensely but he does not understand her given way to handle conflict. Amaira is asking Bose to seek psychological help since according to her, she is able to externalize her feelings but Bose she feels suffers from more agitated depression that makes him moody, irritable and blaming.... 

Therapist: He has no idea what he said, but he could see his wife's face tense up and then snap. Pretty much every time they were together, she would fly off the handle and the fights would end with her screaming, crying and abandoning him. He would keep apologizing , lest he be forced to walk on eggshells all the time. For a while he started to think carefully about his own behavior to see if he may have done or said something to cause his wife's behavior. He really internalized this and thought he was a bad husband. After some more experiences he realized that she was not logical and a reasonable person and that he was held hostage by her intemperate emotions. No matter how deep the psychological problems and the way the couple feel, identify effective and ineffective ways to communicate. No matter how deep the trouble we find ourselves going through, we can still find much for which to be thankful...Thessalonians 5:16-17, Always be joyful! Always keep praying! 

My wife screams -- non stop for hours By Dr. Pradnya Ajinkya

Case: Reshma and Bhola feel their marriage has gone to hell. It is Reshma's second marriage and according to Bhola his wife is sad and gloomy for the majority of their marriage. Reshma often revisits an issue from the past  and discusses the issue for hours at a stretch. She also tells her family and friends about how horrible her husband is a  long with the parts they want to hear about him. They all hate him. He feels alone and horrible. 

Therapist: Let us examine a case where X has a nasty encounter with his colleague. The words echo and echo and echo in the brain and X cannot hear his own thoughts, only the words. These words rattle in the head for weeks. How can X help his brain to let these words go. The brain is artificially hanging on to an experience and this can drive X mad. X and Y simply can't live this way. Her husband Y along with X will have to review few response styles to enhance positive thinking, problem solving, social support, instrumental behavior. You can love each other anyway. You will get through at some point.

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