Dr. Smita Gouthi
Ph.D ; Psychotherapist ; Psychoanalyst ; Training Analyst ; Supervisor
To begin with let me share something with you.
After completing my PhD in Clinical Psychology, I was looking for how to apply my knowledge most effectively to benefit society. I wanted to treat people from all walks of life for a wide variety of problems including anxiety, depression, trauma and lifestyle disorders. I joined Gujarat Research and Medical Institute in Ahmedabad where most of the patients whom I worked with were not aware of psychoanalysis or psychotherapy even as a concept. But they were aware of their suffering; that something was a block in their life, that something was causing them mental disharmony. They were hopeful that the cause of these distresses could be identified and be resolved to whatever degree. They were in search of knowledge to be happy and in sync with themselves.
Additionally, I worked there with both pre- and post- cardio surgery patients, with counselling for cancer patients and with dangerously ill patients along with their relatives. This remains an enriching experience in terms of treating both mental and emotional illnesses.
After the catastrophic earthquake that rocked Gujarat in 2001, I began to work intensively for trauma and disaster relief. Fear, anxiety, and depression were collectively on the rise in the state. Such disasters don’t come with a warning nor does do they spare our physical and psychological lives. Loss of the beloved, homes, businesses, etc. can leave deep wounds. The prevalence of Post Trauma Stress Disorder (PTSD) called for urgent help and a stoppage of many areas of daily life in Gujarat. I started teaching about trauma relief so more people could come on board to help out.
Teaching became my passion. In the process, I started interacting with lot of adolescents. This stage of life which is like a critical “crossroad” of sorts for every Individual is also full of doldrums. In this rather sensitive life phase, mental health issues are more prone to develop or exacerbate. Having worked with a large number of adolescents, I strongly believe that if the younger generation, who with their higher educational skills, should be able to acquire emotional integration, then they will become drastically more capable to transform their lives and the world at large.