A friend in need!

A father requested me to talk to her daughter who after joining her college in Delhi from Orrisa is crying constantly over the last month and is vomiting on a daily basis and growing weaker day by day. He said she doesnt like the hostel food, hostel room, etc…etc..He said she has got admission in a good college and she needs to just continue her studies without worrying about other things.

I agreed to counsel her and she called me this morning.

I spoke to her. I was doubtful if she would open up to me as a stranger. Her father was too, but he had no option than to recommend me to her.

I told her that I am a counsellor and I am here to help her communicate her situation to her parents and do something about it or to help her raise above her challenges, if any.

She went complaining about the hostel things and I listened.

She then went on to say how much she misses her mother and feeling lonely. She doesn’t have anything to look forward in the day and doesnt want to wake up in the morning, but happy to go to sleep in the night as finally the day ended.

She can’t accept this new life without her parents. I asked her what made her parents so special? She started crying and saying that her mom was always there to listen to her when she was back from school and she would talk in detail about everything that happened in school.

We went on for 20 minutes, but I figured out that this part of the conversation was the core of the issues. That she is missing her only company and her school friends in this new premises.

We discussed various ways forward and figured out that she wanted to stay but she is very anxious about the future without her parents around.

I asked her how she felt talking to me. She said very good. I know listening and understanding some one’s world is such an important need for every one, especially during those vulnerable times.

This is the fourth college kid that I am counselling in the last few months.They are all catching up with the real world after the covid break and it has taken different forms of challenges with each person.

Some one who was angry with the teacher, who didn’t reward him for his homework. Some one who was lonely and didn’t want to go out of home, as he felt unsafe.

I am so happy that I was able to talk to them and listen to them and slowly explored breaking some of their beliefs about their world and helped them move forward.

One of the father asked me if I can record and send our conversation for his learnings. I denied and told him that I will pass on any inputs that I find valuable for him. He agreed.

Anyway, Coming back to this girl, we decided that I will speak to her in 2 days and she promised to call me if her anxiety becomes too much for her to handle. I told her that I can help her cope with her emotions during this transition period and help her to make good friends in her college.

I only put one condition that the gap between our talk days has to keep increasing every time…like 2 days, 3 days, 4 days, till she doesnt need me. She agreed.

I explained to her father and he was very relieved. I told him that she may need 5 calls and she may become independent after that and for now, I shall speak to her after 2 days. I have to be her friend, till she finds her friends in the college.

I wish there was a counsellor in every college…in every organisation.

I had worked with two organisations earlier training their employees, where I offered the same advice that they need to have a counsellor to talk to for their employees and that would vastly boost their organisational productivity. One organisation said that they have the HR who is supposed to do this job. Another organisation said if I had ever come across any organisation, where they had external counsellors for their employees. I said I haven’t come across such an organisation, yet.

The other day, one of my friends called me to ask me if I can be recommended to a school which is looking for a counsellor to visit their students twice a week. I said okay. She came back saying the school didn’t want me, as they are looking for a lady counsellor. I told her that I can go in a parda!! 🙂

Counselling has become an important necessity in the post covid world from preschool kids to college kids to organisational employees!!

Training can be a more pro-active approach and counselling is more a reactive approach and I think we have tilted from pro-active world to a reactive world, which is quite unfortunate post covid.

I hope the focus moves back to pro-active approach sooner and every one of us turn as a counsellor to those in need with a listening heart and a sound mind!

– Ashok Subramanian

(Whatsapp : +91 9446 174 009 for your counselling needs)

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