Dr. Shaifali Sandhya
Life-Coaching and Intercultural Relationships
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What you did for me and my family - Bob, 70-years old
"I never believed in therapy. As you know I was dragged into it by my children. As a successful executive all my life I also wasn't so hot about the idea of 'opening up.' But you helped our family through a difficult phase. Your honesty and your humor drew me out. You were not afraid to challenge me intellectually and kept me returning through these years and looking forward to our real conversations."
What you did for us - Jake, 49-years old
"We had gone to four or five couples therapists before we chanced upon you. You were the first therapist my wife completely opened up to. With you there was no jargon, you were direct, fair, and yet firm. We were deadlocked in negative spirals: she would go off on me and I felt like I was always walking on eggshells. You kept us accountable and brought us to a point where we could listen to each other. We feel we are in a new phase of our lives."
Our family benefitted greatly - Pat, African-American mom, 57-years old
"We've been seeing you for our daughter's treatment for the last ten years and we met once a week. During this you helped her and our family through many different seasons. Whether it was an emergency session required over Christmas or whether it was a rough patch we were going through, you were always there - a consistent force and a very present guiding light in our lives. Our family has benefitted greatly thanks to you."
What does therapy mean to me? -- Anjali, Indian-American, 32-years old
"Therapy was something that I never thought I would need. Like some, I grew up with the notion that emotions and thoughts weren't meant to be shared, and that I had to figure those things out on my own, because, well, everyone has thoughts and feelings - so what made me so special?
Therapy helped me through the darkest time of my life. When my mother suddenly passed away, I was mentally and spiritually crushed. The pain was so deep that it left me completely debilitated at times. I knew I needed help. Therapy provided me with the courage to confront those raw feelings of loss that are often times so difficult to navigate. It also led me down a path of self-discovery and renewal, and challenged me to re-prioritize my life in a way that I could never do on my own.
So, what makes me so special? Everything. Therapy showed me that I am strong, capable, and my thoughts and feelings that I experience are valid, and that I am valid. Therapy to me means authenticity. Therapy is helping me live my most authentic life, and for that, I am grateful."
How has therapy helped me? -- Catherine, Iranian-American, 30-years old
"Over the course of this past year in therapy, one of the main skills I have learned to develop is how to protect my inner self. We talked about how to protect and celebrate my positive attributes as a growing professional and to look past the insecurities around presenting patients on the wards and attitudes of certain team members towards me. We talked about how to protect my sanity and good spirits and setting more boundaries to physically separate myself from a messy situation when all else failed. My therapist helped me understand how to protect my heart, first while helping me wrestle with the sadness I felt from a breakup. I learned that the disappointments that come from people failing to reciprocate as much excitement and love that I offer are not just another part of life that need to be accepted— they are red flags and need to be addressed. Especially if it is coming from a potential significant other.
Finally, we explored my parents and my relationship to them. This may have been the most emotionally wrenching realization for me this past year as I realize how much I went through as a kid was actually toxic and played a key role in my present-day insecurities. Learning to see my parents as emotionally complex and imperfect people has helped me understand them in a way that they may not want me to understand. Ultimately, I think it is for the best because it helps me understand how to contextualize our interactions and avoid triggering remarks.
I feel like I have become a more patient and loving person towards myself as well as others, in part because of our year in therapy together, but also because of my relationship with my significant other- a relationship in which you encouraged me to be patient when I was sure that I wasn’t going to feel any actual love for anyone. That ended up not being the case at all.
Going forward, I would like to continue to maintain the protection I have built for myself. I would like to work on techniques to continue building up my positive emotional reserve and to shift my viewpoint when I fall into a pattern of rumination. I would like to continue working on being accepting of doubts and letting life guide me towards the answers I seek."
How has therapy helped us? - Couple
"Our conversation in the sessions was challenging, but very enlightening and productive. We are now both putting in the effort to move forward with optimism, keeping in mind what we learned and knowing that only good can come from working through these moments together as a couple (with our incredibly talented and thoughtful professional as our guide). We talked about how incredibly kind and thoughtful you are. We both know and appreciate that you have our best interests at heart (both individually and as a couple) and appreciate you facilitating the difficult - but necessary -discussions that will enable us to be successful."
Maintaining therapy's long-term positive effects - Couple
We’ve been doing so much better so far and really making efforts to put into daily practice what we learned during our time with you. But also trying to have more chill moments to balance the hecticness of our work and stress of where we’re living. We’re so happy to have worked with you and we think of you often when we have reflective moments that remind us of something you said.