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Lending a Helping Hand

Harsharan Kaur is not just another counselling psychologist in Tricity. She is different because of her empathetic approach towards this noble profession and her indomitable will that continued to be undaunted despite the difficult circumstances that she had to encounter.

COVID-19 took away her husband from her, and the grief that she went through was enormous. She was shaken, but this irreparable loss led her to think of others who go through the same trauma when someone passes away.

She has set an example for all of us by starting grief counseling for those who suffer the loss of someone close to their heart. So, Tricity Scoop spoke to her about her journey that wasn’t that of happiness, but surely of bringing a lot of difference in the lives of others.

In happier times: Harsharan Kaur with her better half.

Tell us about your journey as a counselling psychologist. What encouraged you to venture into this domain?

Initially, I developed an interest in Psychology when I was working with children at Sri Aurobindo School, Chandigarh. But the true inspiration in this field came after I lost my husband due to Covid during the second wave. There was an unbearable pain within, which many people who lost their loved ones due to Covid might have also experienced. It was the pain of not being next to our loved ones during the final moments of life. I would often feel immense sorrow for not being next to my husband in the final hour and not even getting a chance to hold his hand in those hard moments. One day when I was into this feeling, a guiding voice within me said,’ Why do you feel so sad and regret for not holding one hand, there are still many hands who are in pain and are seeking comfort, go to them and hold their hand, treat every hand as if it was of your husband, do the best you can in the present moment. This is the new mission of your life.’ This is where I got encouraged to start contributing towards mankind in a more profound way and my journey as a grief counsellor initiated from within.

Your Consciousness-Based Approach (CBA) is seen to be very effective amongst your clientele. Tell our readers about it.

CBA is an approach that I use with my clients to help them deal with mental health and life-related issues. Using this, I can cater to the different needs of my clients according to their various levels of awareness. This not only aids me to customize the therapy sessions but also makes the clients comfortable as they are guided to revisit a well-known part of their being which can be emotional, physical, mental or spiritual.

There is another very significant aspect to CBA.

Consciousness according to me is much more than awareness. It is one’s sense of the soul. Keeping this as the centre of my therapy, I devise ways to help my clients to connect to the spiritual aspect of their being so that they can become a better version of themselves and contribute towards making the universe a better place to live in.

Tell us about a challenging case in which you facilitated a positive outcome.

The most challenging case which I came across was that of a lady in her late fifties, suffering from blood cancer. It was a very challenging and tough time for her and the entire family. She had been a healthy woman throughout life, so accepting the disease was the most difficult part. I had to break the news sensibly when the diagnosis was confirmed and support her psychologically, emotionally and spiritually. She finally passed away very peacefully with inner poise. The family could also accept the whole situation gracefully. After her death, I could share my knowledge and experience with her daughter and son, and guide them not only to cope with grief but also how they could transform it to redesign their lives in a better way.

Tell us about your latest endeavour ‘Non-Profit ICC Hospice Services’.

Within a year, I saw three deaths in my family. I was actively involved in each of them, and they had a great impact on my heart and soul. Since all of them died due to terminal illnesses, I also experienced and felt the pain and agony of the patient and the family members. The idea of starting these hospice services germinated from there. We are a team of three and provide supportive therapies, bereavement counselling, psychological thanatology, spiritual assistance and support to caregivers and family members of the terminally ill patients, free of cost.

Three mental wellness tips for our readers?

  • Never miss spending time with yourself, however busy you are!
  • Practice mindfulness and bring awareness even in the most ordinary activities.
  • Close your eyes and take a deep breath when you seem to run out of options and become restless.

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