HAPPENINGS @ FLAME

The latest happenings in the FLAME Community

Every individual needs enough room for thought and contemplation before coming to a decision that is both wise and works long-term. This is what we believe every student at FLAME must leverage for their growth when it comes to selecting the right subjects to pursue in their career.

FLAME alumna Drishti Goenka has experienced this very freedom with the opportunity to think freely among the subjects that suited her best. Identifying her inclination towards psychology happened gradually in her second year at FLAME. Drishti's liberal education at the university provided her with the chance to choose a subject, from which she chose the unique combination of Psychology and Theatre. In the process of studying a multitude of subjects, she developed the mindset to critically look at any situation from a diverse set of viewpoints. Her ability to look at circumstances and surfacing situations helped her see things for what they truly were and make informed decisions accordingly, both personally and professionally.

While pursuing her minor in Theatre, Drishti had the opportunity to travel across India, Sri Lanka, and the UK. She cherishes the times she was able to spend and interact with people of diverse backgrounds and cultures. She has permanently etched in her heart the distinct adventures of traveling in general class to perform on the streets of Nasik, while also performing in a room full of people in Manchester. It was a journey that was humbling, and a time that helped Drishti deeply identify herself.

Furthermore, her journey at FLAME University was a significant focus-shifter from solely dealing with the exams to dwelling more on ongoing learning. Therefore, Drishti was able to truly acquire in depth knowledge as she worked upon writing papers, making presentations, and participating in group projects.

Going further, Journey Matters is Drishti’s venture that was started to design and manufacture social emotional learning tools for children. The tools are designed to teach kids social-emotional vocabulary. So far, two products have been launched in the market: feelings flashcards in English and a bilingual book of feelings in Hindi and English. At present, children in their early stages of childhood are addressed. Her mission is to instill and condition emotional literacy in schools and at home with the help of physical and digital products.

Her work as a consultant in the field of mental health for seven years has been nothing short of insightful. Over the years, Drishti has explored different age groups actively, realizing that she is more inclined to work with students.

That said, she does confide that working with children is both rewarding and challenging. A lot of the time, their social and emotional concerns stem from their home environment. Additionally, it is tricky to get parents to think at the same level of comprehension with regards to what their child is experiencing. However, Drishti has been able to successfully put the child’s concerns at the forefront and advocate for their needs to an extent. Even if that means being in conflict with the parents, it’s worth the effort. 99.9% of parents agree that this approach has worked wonders for Drishti, while 0.1% of parents have a difficult time accepting the fact that they might be the cause of their child’s concerns.

Furthermore, there is the increasing concern of destigmatizing mental health in society across all regions. She claims there is a serious need for a systemic intervention to destigmatize mental health across all regions. Having said this, she believes that mental health professionals have come a long way in mental health advocacy. While there is a long road ahead, she shares a vibrant optimism about the future of mental health and how it's perceived.

Her take on mental health with regards to the pandemic is quite perceptive. She revealed that people were better able to appreciate and visualise mental health in "normal people". It was a time where almost every individual was forced to reckon with living indoors, reflecting on one’s life and value system. To put it simply, it got real and intense as living indoors led people to face their inner struggles with no option of being distracted by the world outside. As a result, Drishti’s caseload tripled, which was the case with mental health professionals everywhere.

Drishti believes in making sure that she is always in the right state of mind and approach for her work. Her Masters training has helped her design and apply self-care till date. She attends therapy and regularly attends supervision to ensure that she gives the best to her clients in the most productive manner.

In conclusion, her advice to those getting started with or about to pursue this psychology is to keep that explorer alive within. She advises getting the right training, seeking supervision and mentors to guide one’s direction, and always keeping an open mind.