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Cornell Student Articles on Topical Affairs

Reinventing Psychotherapy: Making it More Personal with Naya Clinics

After having swept mental health problems under the rug for the longest time, our society’s rude awakening was long overdue. Although recent years have seen a continuing surge in the outbreak of mental health issues and problematic behavioural patterns, yet our ways of dealing with them still fall short of the expected standard. Mental health disorders and trauma affect almost every sphere of the person’s life, starting from workspace productivity and confidence to personal relationships. And yet the stigma surrounding compatibility issues and such disorders seems to trump the need for proper counselling and treatment every time. It is a shame that more people don’t seek help and life coaching lessons, feels therapist Sam Nabil because they often help resolve deep issues and somatic responses.

Sam-Nabil-licensed-professional-counselor-black-white-photoThe advent of online therapy and counseling options has still helped in making the process a simpler one. For starters, booking an appointment online is nowhere near as nerve-racking as doing so in person. Moreover, first-timers find it extremely emotionally draining as it is, and anonymity and privacy are some factors that they are fiercely vehement about.

However, finding efficient and competent therapy online is a challenge in itself. Tools of a bygone era are often outdated and don’t work well with today’s problems. Come to think of it, the breakneck speed at which the world is advancing often suggests that most of these problems have their origins in the marriage of life and technology. There is hardly any time for the little things, for actual contact and self-reflecting meditation. Sam Nabil feels a newer approach is paramount. His company, Naya Clinics has been groundbreaking in dealing with issues ranging from depression to marriage counselling. Nabil believes it is their PET approach (Positive Existential Therapy) that is at the heart of their success.

To understand PET we have to realise that the problem with our society today is that we have it both easy and very difficult at the same time. Because, we don’t live in times of imminent physical threat, our mental disorders require minute attention of another kind. To help with the imbalance of a familial life or to help a person grow out of their bad childhood, the existing ideas of psychotherapy developed in the erstwhile world warera cannot really be used. There is also the added guilt associated. Why should we have a problem if we are privileged enough to not be living in a war-ravaged land? But, saying one has it easier than someone before does not really help. To each his own pain is overwhelming and thus every pain and problem deserves the requisite attention. Nabil says that at Naya clinics this has been decisive in finding an approach that ditched the old harsh and impersonal Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. “I was convinced that those who sang praises of CBT day and night, would steer far away from it if they needed counselling themselves or for someone they loved. And so came the birth of my personal approach to counseling.” Positive Existential Therapy as he calls it, is avant-garde in this field.

The merging of deep insights, humanity and wisdom of existential methods, with carefully curated and clinically tested elements of positive psychology is basically what PET is all about. In this way is created a counseling approach that is born of our new circumstances and conditions, and that is designed to reinvent therapy for the 21st century. But, such advanced approaches are not just stumbled upon. They are learnt through intense hard work in varied fields and years of testing and trying. “I spent 20+ years studying and working with human behavior, human performance, and organizational behavior. My work experience spans half a dozen countries, varying industries and disciplines from counseling and business to marketing and sports”, says Nabil. A lifetime of treading the dark recesses of the human mind, one might say.

‘Personal’ is an operative term when it comes to handling people’s problems through therapy. Comparisons are often false and degrading. Every couple has its own problems, every anxiety-ridden person his own triggers. The common strand interweaving all of these is a basic need for respect, attention and sympathetic care. Yet managing these on one’s own or expecting one’s family or friends to take the headache of it is sometimes selfish, but mostly ineffective. People disregard counselling thinking it to be basic communication that can be provided by every tom, dick and harry. “It is just talking!” And, yet nothing could be further from the truth. Sam says only 5% of the people who apply to work at Naya Clinics get selected. “When selected, each new therapist goes through a rigorous training and curriculum that is equivalent to a post graduate diploma.” It is only fair, since they aim to impact almost every sphere of a person’s life. Based in Cincinnati, Indianapolis and Columbus, their life coaching services deal with relationship and marriage, therapy, online coaching and even alternative healing methods. And so far they have left their clients extremely satisfied and even managed to be featured in the likes of The Boston Globe and Thumbtack’s Best of 2016.

The times have changed and we need to realign ourselves to a path that is healthy, both physically and mentally. One cannot ignore the human condition for the sake of catching up with this era. And while our wants might be constantly changing, what we are in dire need of is a proper system that can provide medical help as and when required.


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