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Emotionally Yours

Psychologist Varkha Chulani stresses the need to have emotional education made part of the school curriculum...
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About Me

Some common questions are listed below. In case you do not find the answers you are looking for, email at varkha@varkhachulani.com.

How do I know if I need therapy?

When you are unable to solve your day-to-day difficulties for a significantly long period of time and find yourself blocked in reaching your goals you may consider professional help. If you find yourself experiencing emotions that are self-destructive or are unable to get along with significant people in your life for too long again you may consider professional help.


What is the difference between psychotherapy and counseling?

There is no difference. The terms are synonymous. Click here to learn more about this.


If I go in for therapy, will I have to take medication?

That depends on the kind of problem. If the therapist believes that there is also some chemical cause to the emotional distress he/she may refer you to a psychiatrist so that both medication and therapy conjointly work together for alleviating the distress. Some problems may need therapy alone. Some problems may need more medication than therapy.


How long does one generally need therapy?

That is an individual matter. It is similar to learning a language or driving. Some take a few weeks to pick up a new language or to drive a car. Some take longer. It purely depends on how long you will take to learn and apply what is being taught in therapy.


Can a psychiatrist also be a therapist?

Some are. Most are not. Look and ask for the Psychiatrists qualification in therapy and ask which school of therapy he/she practices and whether he/she has any accredition of it.


How do I know if I need a physiatrist, psychotherapist or counselor?

It may be difficult as a layperson to judge that.  A good professional (with no ulterior motive) will guide you to the required person (therapist or psychiatrist) depending on his judgment of the problem. Seek out a qualified person and ask them what is best for you.


Is it better for a child to go to a specialized children’s counselor?

Not necessarily. If a person is qualified in a system of therapy he/she will mostly be able to address any difficulty – child or adult. Though some professionals prefer specializing in specific age groups there are no hard and fast rules to only seek them out. And usually we find that problem children have problem parents or that there is a dysfunctional pattern of parenting that could be causing the child’s difficulties.


Is it better to work with a therapist who specializes in the problem?

Again a professionally qualified person would at least have a basic theory to treat and correct different issues of emotional distress. Of course there are some who specialize only in a particular facet – say learning disabilities – in that case it is better to seek that person out since his/her sole focus would be in that area.