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UnFix: Empowering Individuals to Uncover the Link Between Emotions, Thoughts, and Actions for Effective Mental Health Management

Updated on: 09 October,2023 05:01 PM IST  |  MUMBAI
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Important to talk, share and get help on mental health challenges says Aanandita Vaghani, Founder and Mental Health Counselor at UnFix.

UnFix: Empowering Individuals to Uncover the Link Between Emotions, Thoughts, and Actions for Effective Mental Health Management



Having the right words to describe our emotions not only helps us identify others’ emotions but also helps us in recognizing and regulating emotions within ourselves recommend Vaghani

Attributed to Aanandita Vaghani, Founder and Consultant at UnFix 

1. Can you shed some light on the pivotal moments that led you to champion the cause of mental health?

A) Growing up in a society where mental health is seen as a weakness; I experienced moments of personal discomfortthat made me wish there was someone I could speak to- and speaking to a therapist changed my perception of myself to a great extent. Since then I’ve hoped to one day start my own clinic, offering a safe and empathic space for clients to learn and unlearn patterns of thoughts and behavior that could then go on to change their lives!  

2. How do you envision breaking the deeply entrenched stigmas associated with it in our society?  

A) Brene Brown, who is one of my favorite researchers on vulnerability, shared that shame grows in quiet places. The more we are told to hide things, the more shame we feel associated with them. By taking the steps to talk, share and get help for our mental health challenges, we are walking the path to transformation. It is high time that we be brave and use our voice for everyone who is living with a mental illness. We need to learn and teach self-compassion. By spreading out knowledge, we can make others feel safe and work towards reducing the stigma attached to mental health.  

3. What is Cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) and what makes CBT stand out, and how have you leveraged it to make a difference in the lives of your clients?

A) Cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) is an evidence based, goal-oriented therapy. The basis of CBT is that thoughts, feelings and behaviors are connected - and challenges occur because of maladaptive thought patterns. In my time as a professional CBT therapist, I work on changing my clients’narrative that is the stories they tell themselves about events. Rewriting the story is empowering, facilitates behavior change and helps empower clients especially because low-self esteem is a key factor of many mental health challenges. 

4. Could you share the core philosophy behind the name UnFix, and how it aims to reshape the conversations around mental health and provide tangible solutions?

A) I’ve always been interested in how humans rush to find a quick ‘fix’ for their emotions through partaking in mindless scrolling, overeating and binging. I find that interesting because our emotions and the use of the right vocabulary can help us find our way back to ourselves. Having the right words to describe our emotions not only helps us identify others’ emotions but also helps us in recognizing and regulating emotions within ourselves. The core of UnFix is this very idea and that translates to how I try to help clients identify the connection between emotions, thoughts and behavior and equip them with coping strategies that last them beyond our time in the therapy room.

5. What are the symptoms that one should look for , to consult a therapist?

A) I believe that therapy is essential for everyone because it helps us tap into our unchecked behavior patterns that we may not even be consciously aware of. Even so- some of the sure signs to go see a therapist include distress that impacts our idea of self-worth, our sleep, hunger, productivity and executive function. Turning to therapy provides a safe, non-judgemental space to process and explore the root of these challenges, and assist with coping skills. 

6. What role does stigma play in preventing people from seeking help for mental health issues?

A) Stigma is one of the main barriers when it comes to seeking help. In a culture where we are so absorbed with what people think of us, stigma can be frightening enough to internalize our challenges rather than speak about them. Sometimes, clients who feel the impact of stigma also report physical symptoms of mental health challenges such as a headache, stomach ache and breathlessness rather than the psychological ones. Eventually, as physical symptoms get ruled out, they tend to seek help from a mental health professional as a last resort. But as a society, we should work towards ensuring that each and every one of us fosters an environment wherein no one should feel stigmatized to seek help for their issues. 

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