There are people who ask me what do I do as part of the ‘recovery specialist’ identity that I carry. This is just a brief background on what assists with creating that specialization. My work in mental health is informed by three different branches of knowledge, or three different and now-overlapping domains.
The first of these is my experience of bipolar in disorder, which began from Nov 1992 (I was 20 years then) till Nov 2010. Experience does not automatically mean knowledge, but it when we experience something we gain many insights about it, which someone who is reading about it in a university department or for an exam does not. Experience of a long span of anything, and then putting that behind you, means it has gone into the past, due to something that you have done about it.
Nobody’s bipolar disorder can get better, if they do not make an effort for it. A good part of my effort is documented in scores of research articles I wrote about myself. Please check them out on academia dot edu, where you can find me by name- all articles can be freely downloaded and read/analyzed.
The second part of my work comes from the fact that I have been interested in understanding why people recover and why they do not recover. In other words, the ones who recover are doing something that the ones who do not recover ARE NOT. So helping the ones who are not doing what they need to, via counseling is what I assist people with, in my counseling practice.
The third part of my work is of course my ongoing Ph.D. research in which I am working on understanding recovery from psychosis in India and in what circumstances people recover or continue to remain ill.
My counseling work, predates my phd research. I have been working with individuals and families for many years now, and assisted in many not take the psychiatric route at all.
As a result of these three sets of knowledge-s, which come from three different locations, and 25+ years of knowing psychosis, both from an insider-outsider perspective what I offer to someone in counseling is unlike what another therapist can offer, if their knowledge is mostly derived from books they have studied.
I offer the scope for people to understand themselves and be able to take charge of their lives, rather than letting some diagnosis lead them for the rest of their life. This is the only difference in my work- from other’s work. I do not need to tell anyone to take their medication, because I do not believe it works in any meaningful way. I have the bandwidth, knowledge and courage to hold a hand as a person comes to understand their life better and guide them, if need be for the time being.