Meet the SHEROES - Kalpana Tanwar
Kalpana Tanwar is a trained psychotherapist. She is also part of the faculty at the Srishti Institute of Design. However, this new life of hers came about after her 2nd MA during her fifties.
Let’s read on…
Tell us a little about yourself
I am a trained and practicing psychotherapist and also work as a faculty member at the Srishti Institute of Design. After studying medical and psychiatric social work at TISS, Mumbai, I briefly considered training in psychiatry, but marriage and two sons put all plans on the back burner.
How did you venture into the field of Psychotherapy?
It was the usual story, raising kids, husband in transferable job, needing to work to supplement family income. But I had fun, always ready to try new and different things. I worked in qualitative market for many years, eventually starting my own consultancy.
However, I never gave up my love for exploring and understanding my love for human behaviour. Constantly reading, I came across a book that introduced me to Process Work / Process Oriented psychology (PW /POP) and much to my own surprise I left family, home, career and a comfortable lifestyle to go to Portland, OR, USA and stayed there for 8 yrs, to work and study. My TISS MA made me a qualified mental health practioner and I started working in community health services along with studying PW.
On a visit to Bengaluru, doors opened and today I am working as faculty at Srishti Institute of Design, and have my own private practice as psychotherapist.
What are the biggest challenges you face daily in this line of work?
People are generally nervous of a psychotherapist, they think we face read and know more than we ought to about them. Clients come by word of mouth, and are free to gossip but we have to maintain client confidentiality. Reputation is everything.
What is an average work day like for you?
Paying for therapy is the easy part. For therapy to work the client has to engage deep within and be motivated to change. I encourage, guide and support them through this difficult and emotional process. As teaching faculty I create courses based on exploring creativity, conflict, team work and relationship skills. Here my constant endeavour is to engage in the here and now, challenge how we think, behave and express without really knowing how / why we do what we do. Self awareness is about going below the surface, peeling the layers, and getting in touch with our own unique inner self.
What tips would you give the young, aspiring professional women of today?
Today as a grandmother, I tell young women to walk tall and stand strong. You don’t have to do everything, just because you can! Express yourself fearlessly, live life boldly and remember the love and respect you really need is your own.