Psychodynamic Therapy, Mindfulness Meditation & CBT in Mumbai, India

Inspired by the theory of Ken Wilber, the Integral Approach holistically engages the individual and harmonizes mind, body, soul and spirit, facilitating a deeper engagement with the pluralistic layers of the Self. The Integral Approach works to optimize the four dimensions of earthly existence understood as the subjective (mind), inter-subjective (relationships), objective (body) and inter-objective (environmental, societal) when evaluating a course of therapy or coaching.

Psychodynamic Therapy

Psychodynamic Therapy

In her practice of Integral Psyche-Therapy and Integral Coaching, Sonera assimilates Eastern spiritual traditions such as Buddhism, Vedanta, Yoga and Tantra with Western Psychology and Philosophy.

The Integral Approach engages multiple aspects of the self to create a personalised course of Therapy or Coaching for each individual, while working with the bio-energetic and psycho spiritual-aspects of the Self.

Sonera’s therapeutic repertoire includes :

Address: Flat No 1. Ground Floor, Firdaus, Vitthaldas Thackersey Marg, New Marine Lines, Marine Lines, Mumbai, Maharashtra 400020, Phone:09820023623, Email – sonerajhaveri@gmail.com

Website- http://sonerajhaveri.com

Google Map Location-:

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http://mumbai.yalwa.in/ID_134199959/Sonera-Jhaveri.html

Psychologist,Psychiatrist,Psychotherapist and Counsellor

What is Psyche-Therapy

psychotherapist

I am often asked why do I call my practice “Psyche-Therapy” as opposed to “Psychotherapy?” Psyche-Therapy is a particular orientation some practitioners of mental health have when they work with their clients, where attention is given to the whole person instead of being isolated or reduced to a DSM-V diagnosis.

The word Psyche-Therapy comes from two ancient Greek terms “Psyche” and “Therapeia”

Psyche: is an ancient Greek term which can be appreciated as soul, spirit, life force . . . or more expansively the animating principle of the kosmos. Psyche in modern psychology encompasses both the mind and the brain and the conscious and unconscious aspects of the Self.

The term Psyche has specific meaning in the Greek mythological and symbolic context where it is often synonym for the human soul. In the myth (see links below) Psyche is a human princess who falls in love with a divine God, Eros. The legend is about love, enchantment, betrayal, heartbreak, pain, reunion and everlasting happiness, pretty much the existential journey of life. Metaphorical it is about the soul’s love affair with the Divine and the hardship the soul goes through to realize that union.

http://www.greekmyths-greekmythology.com/psyche-and-eros-myth/

or

http://www.greeka.com/greece-myths/eros-psyche.htm

Therapeia: is another ancient Greek term that connotes healing, treatment, curing . . . Therapy, the modern English term is etymologically derived from Therapeia and encompasses vast fields such as pharmacological therapy to physiotherapy. Therapy then is a generic word that simply underscores a mode or method of working with a field to help catalyze results within the individual that are rejuvenating.

So Psyche + Therapy = Psyche-Therapy= a holistic therapeutic facilitation engaging the myriad conscious and unconscious layers of the Self.

Sonera Jhaveri Psychotherapy for Mental Illnesses & Understanding the Dangers of Depression

Understanding the Dangers of Depression

Types of treatment available for depression

Depression Symptoms

Our lives are colored by numerous textures of feeling ranging from deep joy to being down in the dumps with many shades of grey in between. It is but natural to feel sad at the death of a loved one, or to be melancholic to be leaving a familiar place or to be upset when we have disagreements with people or get laid off from work.

In fact, there are many instances in life where we feel the blues and this is but natural. However, what is not psychologically healthy is to remain in a perpetual state of dysphoria, which could be described as a “profound state of dis-ease, unhappiness and dissatisfaction,” day in and day out.

According to the DSM V, the following symptoms would help you identify Persistent Depressive Disorder (Dysthymia) in yourself or a loved one:

Depressed mood for most of the day, for more days than not, as indicated by either subjective or observation by others
Poor appetite or overeating
Insomnia or hypersomnia
Low energy or fatigue
Low self esteem
Poor concentration or difficulty making decisions
Feelings of hopelessness

If a person embodies having a “depressed mood for most of the day” with two or more other symptoms one can be said to be clinically depressed. Being clinically depressed, in turn, will have negative consequences on one’s health, well being, relationships, work, productivity and bring down the overall quality of one’s life. Research has shown, that high levels of the stress hormone cortisol have been found in the blood stream of people who identified being depressed, this in turn reduces immune function and makes any pre-existing medical disorder worse or may perhaps even create new ones. What we can gauge from this is that depressed people are more likely to be easily stressed and in turn, people who have a low threshold to stress are more susceptible to becoming depressed.

If an individual is in an intimate relationship or has small children their having depression would impact their loved one’s in very harmful ways where there is a diminishing of real interpersonal contact and closeness since the depressed person is no longer present to anything other than overwhelming feelings of sadness. Spouses of depressed individuals report very low relationship satisfaction as depressions gnaws away at the fabric of intimacy where emotional connection, sexuality and simply having fun together is greatly reduced or becomes non-existent Studies have also shown that children of depressed people have a higher risk of being depressed themselves, as well as a vulnerability to having addictions and exhibit behavioral disorders.

It is extremely harmful to the self and to one’s loved ones to ignore constant negative ruminations and feelings about one’s life, as they could transition from being pathological to fatal, where individuals driven by disturbing thoughts and emotions could end up taking their life. Another alarming point regarding depression is that it has a propensity to recur once a person has suffered from it before. Since depression, in essence, is a thinking dis-ease, which is premised on habitual negative thinking, perceiving and evaluating one’s self and the world, this in turn creates neural pathways in the brain, literally grooves in our psyche, which get easily activated when certain triggers are present. Over a period of time, even small mundane disappointments may set off disproportionate feelings of anguish and hopelessness.

Although, ironically, depression is extremely common, with 20 percent of the population suffering from it at any given time; literally, perhaps one in every five people experiences depression, it remains unfortunately, ignored, undetected and untreated. While awareness is increasing regarding the importance of mental health globally, in India, historically and perhaps even to some extent today, psychological issues have been ignorantly stigmatized. Individuals are made to feel ashamed of themselves for having life traumas and upheavals and are marginalized for seeking help. Contemporarily, this is a very unfortunate set of circumstances, as historically in ancient India, dukkha was greatly acknowledged by all philosophical traditions, and especially, highlighted by the ultimate healer and therapist, Gautama Buddha who stated that “Life is Suffering.”

If you or anyone close to you is depressed it is extremely important that you seek professional psychotherapeutic attention, while exercise, yoga, meditation and good nutrition are useful adjuncts and supports, what the depressed person really needs is a facilitation to cognitively re-frame and dis-identify with negative thoughts while developing the ability to tolerate distress and work though disturbing affect, which, unfortunately, does not happen automatically or with family support.

Address: Flat No 1. Ground Floor, Firdaus, Vitthaldas Thackersey Marg, New Marine Lines, Marine Lines, Mumbai, Maharashtra 400020
Phone:09820023623, Email ID- sonerajhaveri@gmail.com

Website – http://www.sonerajhaveri.com/

Sonera Jhaveri is a psychotherapist who specializes in:

Dialectical Behaviour Therapy Mumbai

Somatic Therapist Mumbai

Cognitive Behaviour Therapy Mumbai

Mindfulness Meditation Mumbai

Cognitive Behaviour Therapy

Psychodynamic Therapy

CBT

Dreamwork

Somatic Therapy

Transpersonal Psychotherapy

Mindfulness and Eating

Mindfulness and Eating

Mindfulness Eating

Conscious Eating: Re-evaluating our responses to food

The context of food in our lives

       As the festive season culminates in the onset of the New Year, we might invariably find ourselves ritualizing these transitions and celebrations with food and wine. Food is a necessity for our life and eating is a quintessentially primal activity whose roots lie deep in our evolutionary past. The ingestion and digestion of food is a nonnegotiable activity that is intimately weaved into the very rhythms of our daily lives and is an important arena of gratification where we relate and bond with others.

Food has been articulated as a life giving force in numerous traditions, from Ayurveda, Chinese Medicine to coeval nutritional science. Moreover, a significant number of the world’s cultures and religions have sacaralised the act of eating. From a biological perspective, our bodies need the right type of food to function properly as diseases and compromised health conditions have been scientifically linked with malnutrition.   Furthermore, individuals suffering from diabetes, cholesterol, heart disease, obesity, neuro-endocrinological disorders, digestive issues, cancer, kidney and liver disease all need regulated diets. In such circumstances, paying attention to the act of eating invariably starts taking on more importance than simply filling one’s stomach with tasty bites and is central to our health and well being.

Hunger: the drive to eat

Getting to know our subjective sense of hunger then becomes an important part in consciously eating. Understanding how we eat, when we eat and why we eat is necessary to correct our unstable relationship to food. Conventionally, hunger is understood as a physiological drive, which underscores an organic void or depletion within us signaled by a fall in blood sugar or a rumble in the stomach, indicating that the body is in need of nutrition. Yet, in a deeper sense hunger is an existential state that drives one consciously and unconsciously to want to eat food and functions on multiple levels from biological to emotional to spiritual.

Today, satisfying the polysemic phenomenon of hunger, in urban metropolitan areas has become increasingly easier due to the 24/7 accessibility we have to food. Over appreciating the value of the instant gratification good food provides us, our post-modern psyche has imbued food with a relevance that goes beyond physiological survival, making it food a principle source of pleasure and comfort We eat sugary, fatty, fried and salty foods not to fill our stomachs only but to help us deal with stress and assuage other disturbing emotions such as depression, loneliness, boredom, anxiety and anger.

Mindless Munching

The experience of stress and the need to de-stress is subliminally played out endlessly in multiple distress- gratifications cycles that seek to balance out an over-activated nervous system, but invariably ends up distorting the natural hunger of the body to a mechanical, unconscious and insatiable deprivation that hijacks the physical response to food. On a more rudimentary level, we “feel bad” so we eat food to “feel good.”

           Eating, as the pursuit of comfort, in a fast paced, hyper stimulated and highly pressured epoch, becomes a coping mechanism to face the numerous demands made on us on a daily basis.  Behaviorally this is more common than not. Have you every sat in front the TV or in the cinema with a tub of popcorn or some other snack and have ploughed through the whole thing in the course of the film? Or been at a cocktail party sipping a drink and chatting with a friend while devouring bowls of nuts and chips? Or polished off a whole bar of chocolate while sitting front of your computer screen trying to make our work deadlines? In such instances we are not realizing how fast or how much we are eating. This is called mindless munching or the act of grinding down edibles with a mind contemplating everything but the food one is eating.

Conscious Eating

An antidote to this would be to mindfully observe and understand our experience of hunger and by that token our relationship to food. By being “mindful,” one pays nonjudgmental attention to the moments when and why one wants to eat, the food one eats and the act of one’s eating. By being focused on how we feed ourselves we can aid a more sophisticated self awareness of ourselves and our subliminal desires and drives that motivate us to eat as well enable a balanced relationship to food and body size. The reasons why we over eat, starve, grow fat, become skinny or on a more severe note become anorexic, bulimic or obese have a lot to do with how we are psycho-emotionally processing our sense of self and the stresses we encounter. Hence it is very imperative to pay attention to the emotional states behind one’s eating habits and working with them if they are disturbed.

For those of us seeking meaningful and healthy ways of being-in-the-world, our relationship to food, (equivalently) along with other quotients of well being, such as spiritual practice, psychological growth, exercise, time spent in nature, nurturing relationships, and aesthetic appreciation, to name a few, is of paramount importance. Below are some guidelines to help restore us to consciously eating:

1)      Before eating do a baseline self- check on your hunger level before eating. Ask yourself where do you feel the hunger? How hungry are you?

2)      Involve all your senses when you eat i.e. really see, smell, taste and feel the food you are eating

3)      Serve yourself moderate helpings of food

4)      Really chew your food and break it down

5)      Eat in a slow fashion to prevent over eating

6)      Don’t skip meals

7)      Avoid all distractions when you are eating

8)      Eat an organic plant based diet as much as possible for yours and the planet’s health

9)      Therapeutically work with yourself or with a mental health professional to reduce your stress, depression, anxiety, anger and boredom levels

Sonera Jhaveri is a psychotherapist who specializes in counselling psychology, individual, family, couples, group and cognitive behaviour therapy in Mumbai, India

Address: Flat No 1. Ground Floor, Firdaus, Vitthaldas Thackersey Marg, New Marine Lines, Marine Lines, Mumbai, Maharashtra 400020
Phone:09820023623
Website-:http://www.sonerajhaveri.com
Email – sonerajhaveri@gmail.com

Services

dialectical behaviour therapy mumbai
somatic therapist mumbai
cognitive behaviour therapy mumbai
mindfulness meditation mumbai
cognitive behaviour therapy
psychodynamic therapy
cbt
dreamwork
somatic therapy
transpersonal psychotherapy

Understanding the Dangers of Depression

Understanding the Dangers of Depression

Our lives are colored by numerous textures of feeling ranging from deep joy to being down in the dumps with many shades of grey in between. It is but natural to feel sad at the death of a loved one, or to be melancholic to be leaving a familiar place or to be upset when we have disagreements with people or get laid off from work.

In fact, there are many instances in life where we feel the blues and this is but natural. However, what is not psychologically healthy is to remain in a perpetual state of dysphoria, which could be described as a “profound state of dis-ease, unhappiness and dissatisfaction,” day in and day out.

According to the DSM V, the following symptoms would help you identify Persistent Depressive Disorder (Dysthymia) in yourself or a loved one:

  1. Depressed mood for most of the day, for more days than not, as indicated by either subjective or observation by others
  2. Poor appetite or overeating
  3. Insomnia or hypersomnia
  4. Low energy or fatigue
  5. Low self esteem
  6. Poor concentration or difficulty making decisions
  7. Feelings of hopelessness

If a person embodies having a “depressed mood for most of the day” with two or more other symptoms one can be said to be clinically depressed. Being clinically depressed, in turn, will have negative consequences on one’s health, well being, relationships, work, productivity and bring down the overall quality of one’s life. Research has shown, that high levels of the stress hormone cortisol have been found in the blood stream of people who identified being depressed, this in turn reduces immune function and makes any pre-existing medical disorder worse or may perhaps even create new ones. What we can gauge from this is that depressed people are more likely to be easily stressed and in turn, people who have a low threshold to stress are more susceptible to becoming depressed.

If an individual is in an intimate relationship or has small children their having depression would impact their loved one’s in very harmful ways where there is a diminishing of real interpersonal contact and closeness since the depressed person is no longer present to anything other than overwhelming feelings of sadness. Spouses of depressed individuals report very low relationship satisfaction as depressions gnaws away at the fabric of intimacy where emotional connection, sexuality and simply having fun together is greatly reduced or becomes non-existent Studies have also shown that children of depressed people have a higher risk of being depressed themselves, as well as a vulnerability to having addictions and exhibit behavioral disorders.

It is extremely harmful to the self and to one’s loved ones to ignore constant negative ruminations and feelings about one’s life, as they could transition from being pathological to fatal, where individuals driven by disturbing thoughts and emotions could end up taking their life. Another alarming point regarding depression is that it has a propensity to recur once a person has suffered from it before. Since depression, in essence, is a thinking dis-ease, which is premised on habitual negative thinking, perceiving and evaluating one’s self and the world, this in turn creates neural pathways in the brain, literally grooves in our psyche, which get easily activated when certain triggers are present. Over a period of time, even small mundane disappointments may set off disproportionate feelings of anguish and hopelessness.

Although, ironically, depression is extremely common, with 20 percent of the population suffering from it at any given time; literally, perhaps one in every five people experiences depression, it remains unfortunately, ignored, undetected and untreated. While awareness is increasing regarding the importance of mental health globally, in India, historically and perhaps even to some extent today, psychological issues have been ignorantly stigmatized. Individuals are made to feel ashamed of themselves for having life traumas and upheavals and are marginalized for seeking help. Contemporarily, this is a very unfortunate set of circumstances, as historically in ancient India, dukkha was greatly acknowledged by all philosophical traditions, and especially, highlighted by the ultimate healer and therapist, Gautama Buddha who stated that “Life is Suffering.”

If you or anyone close to you is depressed it is extremely important that you seek professional psychotherapeutic attention, while exercise, yoga, meditation and good nutrition are useful adjuncts and supports, what the depressed person really needs is a facilitation to cognitively re-frame and dis-identify with negative thoughts while developing the ability to tolerate distress and work though disturbing affect, which, unfortunately, does not happen automatically or with family support.

Sonera is a psychotherapist who specializes in counselling psychology, individual, family, couples, group and cognitive behaviour therapy in Mumbai, India

Address: Flat No 1. Ground Floor, Firdaus, Vitthaldas Thackersey Marg, New Marine Lines, Marine Lines, Mumbai, Maharashtra 400020

Website: http://www.sonerajhaveri.com

Phone:09820023623

Email – sonerajhaveri@gmail.com

Health Psychology- Mind, Body, Stress & Anxiety Disorder

Health Psychology

The term “health psychology” pertains to our emotional and psychophysiological responses to our personal conditions of health and illness as well as thoughts, emotions and  behaviours  that either contribute to or hinder our well-being.

Often in the  Cartesian world of conventional  bio-medicine, individuals are split up as bodies and minds, implicitly  implying that the mind and the body are separate entities and not connected. This is because whatever the ailment whether it is cancer, auto immune diseases, irritable bowl syndrome, obesity etc.  the physical body is always treated with surgery and pharmaceutical drugs but the mind or rather the psyche is often left out and rarely given therapeutic attention.

Health Psychology

Health Psychology

This is unfortunate on two accounts, firstly,  people have very strong emotional reactions to their illnesses and physical disabilities,  which need to be treated as individuals could spiral into clinical depression, severe anxiety, anger or frustration in relation to not “feeling well,” which could hamper their recovery.

Secondly, our bodymind is an integrated system whose reciprocity needs to be acknowledged. Today, illnesses  such as fibromyalgia as well many neuro-endocrinological disorders are all pointing towards psychogenic causes of these conditions, as is the whole field of psychoneuroimmunology which emphasises the inter-connections between the psyche, nervous system and immune system.

The role of stress and anxiety in the cause and proliferation of illness ranging from cancer to coronary disease to diabetes  is getting highlighted, as last year in the US alone more 300$ billion dollars were spent on stress-related medical ailments. It is interesting to note that in contrast to conventional western medicine,  nonwestern medical systems such as Ayurveda and Traditional Chinese medicine have always given importance to and have inquired into the subjective states of those who were sick and have underscored a deep connection between the mind and the body.

Drawing from Eastern philosophical  systems of understanding the psyche-sensorium, I often work with people who are suffering or surviving from cancer or have recently recovered from heart attacks or those who have had Bariatric surgery with mindfulness-based cognitive therapeutic interventions. Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy helps  facilitate my clients to regulate their disturbing emotions regarding their physical conditions and enables them to tolerate  distress with more ease. Accepting and working with our emotional reactions to dis-ease has a huge impact for our recovery and ongoing maintenance of health. While not a substitute for medical attention, health-oriented psychotherapeutic attention is a very important complement and adjunct.

 

Address: Flat No. Ground Floor, Firdaus, 1, Vitthaldas Thackersey Marg, New Marine Lines, Marine Lines, Mumbai, Maharashtra 400020
Phone:09820023623
Email – sonerajhaveri@gmail.com

Website- http://www.sonerajhaveri.com

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Tips To Beat Exam Stress

Tips To Beat Exam Stress

Tips To Beat Exam Stress

As a student, one is very palpably aware of one’s thumping heart and butterflies in one’s stomach just before an exam. At times, these sensations are compounded with muscle tension, jitteriness and nausea. These physiological symptoms are often complemented by anxious  ruminating thoughts that give one an overall sense of edginess and dis-ease as one’s examnears.

Exam stress or performance anxiety causes havoc in the lives of students and those who live around or with them. If we break down what ‘exam stress’ is, we see that exams are tests of our knowledge and understanding of what we have learnt, while conversely our subjective sense of stress bespeaks of a perception of not knowing or coping with the demands that are put before one.

Correlating these two points, ‘exam stress’ signifies the fear of not being able to cope with the pressure and challenge exams put before us. Often, this is related to our sense of achievement, ambitions for the future and sense of self-esteem. It is a feeling of being ‘out of control.’

Up to a certain point, from an evolutionary perspective, anxiety and stress keep us motivated and on our toes as it helps get things done but there comes a point where our concern of how we will do turns into a catastrophic fear about our existence. In such cases, exam stress starts becoming pathological, as we are in a nutshell, overreacting. Troublesome thoughts about the questions that we might be confronted with in our exams spiral us into full blown panic accompanied by depression and a sense of hopelessness.

Sonera a psychotherapist in mumbai, likes to refer to her practice as Psyche-Therapy.Integral Psyche-Therapy facilitates the integration of mind, body, soul and spirit.

For More Detail Visit Our Website-:http://www.sonerajhaveri.com/about/

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Mind Your Food & Mindfulness and Eating

Mindfulness and eating

Mind Your Food

Food is a necessity for our life and eating is a quintessentially primal activity whose roots lie deep in our evolutionary past. The ingestion and digestion of food is a non-negotiable activity that is intimately weaved into the very rhythms of our daily lives.

 

 

Food has been articulated as a life-giving force in numerous traditions, from Ayurveda, Chinese medicine to coeval nutritional science. From a biological perspective, our bodies need the right type of food to function properly as diseases and compromised health conditions have been scientifically linked with malnutrition.

 

 

Furthermore, individuals suffering from diabetes, cholesterol, heart disease, obesity, neuro-endocrinological disorders, digestive issues, cancer, kidney and liver disease all need regulated diets. In such circumstances, paying attention to the act of eating invariably starts taking on more importance than simply filling one’s stomach with tasty bites and is central to our health and well-being.

 

Hunger: The drive to eat

Getting to know our subjective sense of hunger then becomes an important part in consciously eating. Understanding how we eat, when we eat and why we eat is necessary to correct our unstable relationship to food. Conventionally, hunger is understood as a physiological drive, signaled by a fall in blood sugar or a rumble in the stomach, indicating that the body is in need of nutrition. Yet, in a deeper sense, hunger is an existential state that drives one consciously and unconsciously to want to eat food and functions on multiple levels from biological to
emotional to spiritual.

 

Today, satisfying hunger in urban metropolitan areas has become increasingly easier due to the 24/7 accessibility we have to food. Over appreciating the value of the instant gratification good food provides us, our post-modern psyche has imbued food with a relevance that goes beyond physiological survival, making it a principle source of pleasure and comfort. We eat sugary, fatty, fried and salty foods not to fill our stomachs only, but to help us deal with stress and assuage other disturbing emotions such as depression, loneliness, boredom, anxiety and anger.

 

Mindless munching

 

We “feel bad” so we eat food to “feel good.” Eating, as the pursuit of comfort becomes a coping mechanism to face the numerous demands made on us on a daily basis. Behaviorally, this is more common than not. Have you ever sat in front the TV or in the cinema with a tub of popcorn or some other snack and have ploughed through the whole thing in the course of the film? Or been at a cocktail party sipping a drink and chatting with a friend while devouring bowls of nuts and chips?  Or polished off a whole bar of chocolate while sitting in front of your computer screen trying to reach work deadlines? In such instances we are not realizing how fast or how much we are eating. This is called mindless munching or the act of grinding down edibles with a mind contemplating everything but the food one is eating.

 

Conscious eating

 

An antidote to this would be to mindfully observe and understand our experience of hunger. By being “mindful,” one pays nonjudgmental attention to the moments when and why one wants to eat, the food one eats and the act of one’s mindfulness & eating. By being focused on how we feed ourselves, we can aid a more sophisticated self awareness of ourselves and our subliminal desires and drives that motivate us to eat as well enable a balanced relationship to food and body size.

 

The reasons why we over eat, starve, grow fat, become skinny or on a more severe note become anorexic, bulimic or obese have a lot to do with how we are psycho-emotionally processing our sense of self and the stresses we encounter. Hence it is very imperative to pay attention to the emotional states behind one’s eating habits and working with them if they are disturbed.

 

Guidelines to eating consciously:

 

Before eating do a baseline self-check on your hunger level. Ask yourself where do you feel the hunger? How hungry are you?

 

Involve all your senses when you eat i.e. see, smell, taste and feel the food you are eating.

 

Serve yourself moderate helpings of food.

 

Really chew your food and break it down. Eat in a slow fashion to prevent over eating.

 

Don’t skip meals. Avoid all distractions when you are eating.

 

Eat an organic plant-based diet as much as possible for yours and the planet’s health.

 

 

Therapeutically work with yourself or with a mental health professional to reduce your stress, depression, anxiety, anger and boredom levels.

 

(Dr. Sonera Jhaveri is an Integral Psyche Therapist attached to Nanvati Group of Hospitals, in Mumbai, India.)

 

Do You Have The Singleton Gene?

Do You Have The Singleton Gene?

Eternally single? Perhaps you have the singleton gene. Or maybe you need to seek some answers within before you seek out your partner, says Dr Sonera Jhaveri, Consultant Integral Psyche Therapist attached to the Nanavati Group of Hospitals. You’ve met your perfect match. Someone who makes you laugh, shares your dreams and hopes, interests and goals…someone who could possibly be a potential…

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Do You Have The Singleton Gene?

Psychiatrists

Do You Have The Singleton Gene

Eternally single? Perhaps you have the singleton gene. Or maybe you need to seek some answers within before you seek out your partner, says Dr Sonera Jhaveri, Consultant Integral Psyche Therapist attached to the Nanavati Group of Hospitals.

You’ve met your perfect match. Someone who makes you laugh, shares your dreams and hopes, interests and goals…someone who could possibly be a potential partner in future. And yet, when it comes to making a long-term commitment, you back off and run without looking back.

If this is a pattern in your life too, then you probably have the singleton gene to blame. Is it possible that your interest in socialising with a person of the opposite sex, and your ability to commit to a relationship is determined by genes? Experts have debated this topic extensively. “Yes, to a certain extent, our social behaviour and interest in socialising is determined by our genes. Human temperamental factors, like our need to seek new or novel things, and our dependence on rewards, actually motivate people to form relationships and maintain them. And these, research has proved, are determined by your genes. People with certain psychiatric conditions like schizoid personality and borderline personality disorder are known to have frequent relationship problems, and these disorders are known to have a genetic basis,” says one expert.

But, to claim that one’s DNA or genes are solely responsible for our relationship status would not be accurate, feels Dr Sonera Jhaveri. “Socio-cultural and psycho-emotional elements play a very important role in informing one’s sense of self and others,” she says. There are other factors such as developmental trauma, and individual attachment styles that influence one’s connections to others. “But if a person has schizoid and narcissistic features, chances of the person developing or sustaining a long-term relationship are low,” she admits.

So, eventually, it boils down to the age-old conundrum of Nature Vs Nurture—the subject of intense research across the globe. “Some studies suggest certain behaviours like novelty-seeking have around 9-10 percent inheritability, while certain eccentricities associated with schizophrenia have around 40-50 per cent chances of being inherited by future generations,” points out yet another expert. This means, genes do play an important role in determining at least your desire to be in a relationship. “However, evolution is a very complex phenomenon and is not driven solely by the genetic factor. So, one should be careful not to take a biologically reductive approach in understanding human behaviour,” says Dr Sonera Jhaveri.

For instance, your upbringing, social and family circle, relationships of people around you, the kind of childhood you had, your dreams and aspirations, long term goals, all of these play an important role, in addition to your genes, in determining whether you will remain eternally single, or will go forth and find your mate.

But, before you begin to despair and wonder if you are a ‘carrier’ of the eternally ‘singleton’ gene, here’s some good news. Psychiatrists aver that it’s possible for all individuals to have healthy social relationships. Modern psychiatry has done a lot of progress over the years, and today there are newer and better psychotherapies, counselling techniques and newer medicines, which change pathological behaviour and decrease the commitment phobia, helping individuals with a problem to form healthy and long-lasting relationships.

Agrees Dr Sonera Jhaveri, “Yes, it is possible for people with whatever attachment style or genetic makeup to be able to get over their fear of intimacy. Of course, this does not happen automatically. Individuals who are commitment-shy are often very defensive and also sometimes lacking in interpersonal skills, and may therefore need therapeutic attention. “A healing relationship with a professional psychiatrist/confidant can help the individual let go of the defenses that block intimacy and connection. Often, children who were brought up in abusive households have issues with bonding as they don’t feel safe in intimate situations. This is because their trust was broken by an abusive parent, who was actually supposed to be caring for them,” says Dr Sonera Jhaveri.

While the debate and the controversy rage on as far as the existence of the ‘singleton gene’ is concerned, it is a fact that a combination of genetic makeup and outside factors does affect an individual’s personality, which in turn determines whether they will pursue and commit to a relationship or not. So, if you are single, blame the singleton gene, but at the same time, delve into your mind, try to find out the kinks in your personality and surroundings that make you wary of relationships. Eliminate them and you will find your soul mate waiting just around the corner.