What lies beneath

Updated: Jul 18, 2019, 14:33 IST | Prutha Bhosle

UK's The Fear Project comes to India for the first time with an aim to address psychological issues and help make better choices

What lies beneath
Sanah Thakur

When Sanah Thakur graduated from FLAME University in Pune three years ago, she couldn't handle the pressure of not knowing what to do with her life. She suffered panic attacks and told her mother that she needed therapy. "When I was growing up, I was enrolled in The School—Krishnamurti Foundation India in Chennai. Krishnamurti, the founder, had a different philosophy on education, which made his schools stand apart. We spent a lot of time engaging in self-reflection; the learner was included in the learning process. We didn't have a nature of competitiveness," the 23-year-old recalls. But, when she started pursuing BA in Pune, things took a drastic turn. "Everybody was competing against each other. I felt like I didn't belong there. I could not deal with the stress. But somehow, I managed to graduate." The Chennai-based Thakurs then decided to move to Doha. Here, a chance meeting with Martyn Stewart, a chartered psychologist with the British Psychological Society, changed the course of her life.

Stewart is an international educator, consultant, author, coach and motivational speaker. Currently the head of psychology at Doha College, Stewart is globally known for creating The Fear Project in 2016. "It has been developed to assist individuals, schools and companies to address issues with mental well-being and psychological health," Thakur, who was interning during that time at Doha College, tells us. "Stewart asked me to participate in one of the project's programmes. By the end of these sessions, which lasted a few months, I began asking myself, why was I scared earlier? I was just living in fear and I had to overcome it."

The Fear Project, an international accreditation that is currently being delivered around the world including the UK, the US, Canada, South Africa, Turkey and Qatar, is coming to India for the first time. Sanation Education, an educational organisation that believes learning starts from within, is collaborating on the project. On July 20, 28 and 31, 'The One Secret to Beat Overthinking' session will be held in Mumbai, Bengaluru and Chennai, respectively. When asked how these sessions work, Thakur says, "The Fear Project is a recalibration programme, designed to rewire your subconscious thoughts and habits that sabotage the way we think every day. It will improve the productivity of your lifestyle, thoughts, behaviour and general all-round wellbeing."

Each session, lasting for about three hours, begins with a trained psychologist delivering a talk. This is followed by an online test that is offered by the UK's largest examination board, AQA, through their Unit Award Scheme. "It consists of six units designed to address anxiety and psychological fear for individuals. The aim is for learners to develop a real and measurable change in mindset and build real-world resilience in all areas of life."
Thakur, a trained psychologist, will be handling the Indian arm of The Fear Project. "We often waste our time over-thinking every little detail in our lives. It is important to do away with such thoughts, overcome fear and take action to build confidence instead. Our aim is to guide you to make better choices and enjoy these choices."

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