healing the feeling by feeling the healing

Friday, July 25, 2014

Shafa Enlightens Delhi University About Social Work In Addiction

On Wednesday 23rd July 2014, four staff members and SHAFA’s director went along to Delhi University to present a short discourse regarding the efficacy of ‘the Therapeutic Community model of treatment’ and how SHAFA HOME generates social awareness of the disease of addiction offering much needed support and guidance to addicts and their families. The event was effectively a chance for SHAFA HOME to give necessary knowledge and insight to the audience of 50 social work students from India and  USA. The event spanned the course of the day in which separate speakers came to give their two cents on different psychological problems and the integral role of counselling within successful treatment programmes.
As the day progressed and different speakers took to the floor to lead the never-ending discussion down different tangents of thought, it slowly got round to SHAFA’s turn to present a well constructed and totally knock-out discourse regarding our alternative to the mainstream approach of tackling addiction problems. Our staff members introduced themselves and leaped into action by explain the different components that comprise the Therapeutic Community and how it allows the individual to disassociate from their deep-rooted beliefs to transform their self-harming behaviours into sensible and self-preserving conduct.

 The Delhi University students were deeply engaged by the presentation and even got a chance to watch some of our documentary videos regarding treatment. Judging by the looks on the faces of many it seemed that they did not expect such a conscientious and reliable supportive force from an NGO in the fight against drugs. People were impressed and inquisitive as to how SHAFA places primary emphasis on behavioural change rather than on only abstinence from substance.  The resounding answer? That recovery lies in a total personality and behavioural shift accomplished by hands-on action rather than empty words promising change. 

SHAFA staff answered the students’ other pressing questions regarding the day’s discourse. Topics dissected by our most senior social worker Ms. Sangeeta and the director included the complex and abnormal cognitive processing within the addict and how faulty thinking is healed and normalised over time by peer-to-peer therapy. The students’ participation and captivated expression gave us hope that our time invested in the event was a fabulous success.

Our staff went home quietly triumphant and wholly contented with the outcome of the day’s event.    We feel it was a true blessing to have shared our humble message of hope, strength and unity in the struggle to save countless souls from sinking further into the misery of addiction. We thank our facilitators at Delhi University for inviting us along to this smashing occasion.  

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Getting Under The Skin Of A Persona With Maheshwari Jani

On Saturday 5th July 2014, Maheshwari Jani, experienced behaviour analyst and master of Neuro-Linguistic Programming, presented her ninth session at SHAFA HOME, Delhi. Today’s session aimed at eviscerating the inner bowels of the human psyche to explore the formation of individual’s multi-faceted personality.
We were asked to consider what ingredients go into the blend of personality formation. From dynamic discussion we learnt how our temperament and behaviours are shaped by various intrinsic and extraneous factors like our environment, our upbringing, social role, our personal judgements amongst a multitude of other factors. We discussed how in active addiction, we had made corrosive and poisonous judgements of ourselves which had a knock-on effect on our personality. Since we rendered ourselves as ‘parasites of society’; we were unable to muster up courage and faith that we could behave positively. Addicts have a “broken” personality; but rest assured this can be rebuilt with self-love, time and dedication to behave differently.
Maheshwari Ji entered and briefed us with the day’s topic. Many residents were obviously quite pleased with the subject. At SHAFA HOME, our personal growth is heavily linked with personality development. Armed with their memories of the past, every resident had a roundabout idea of their working points; the clear majority knew what needed to be brushed up, modified and enhanced. The key question was did they currently possess the discipline, patience and heartfelt commitment to take the necessary steps? Yes, it seemed so!

Ms. Mahi fronted us with a fantastically odd question...were we monkeys, lions or owls? This was the first exercise of the morning. Based on a 1950’s psychological model of behaviour response, this task focused our residents to find similarities of character with the traits of these three animals. The key message conveyed was that an appealing personality type balances and harmonises different contrasting traits The purpose of this task was to consider the strengths and working areas of our current personality in order to acknowledge what areas can be improved.
An effective personality not only works on internal balance and adaptation of personal style. It also works on such principles such as ‘emotional intelligence’. We need to become ‘emotionally savvy’ i.e. being emotionally intelligent to express ourselves without offending others. Individual needs to balance their level of enthusiasm without bordering on hyperactivity, seriousness without bordering on misery etc.
After considering winning personality traits, we were then asked to consider society’s best orators. We discussed celebrities, politicians, actors, authors...and realised that whatever spark Narendra Modi, Chetan Bhagat or Rakhi Sawant seemed to possess inside them, we surely had too. The only issue is that it was simply a matter of rummaging inside ourselves to unearth that pizzazz. Social orators go through daily practise to hone their communicative skills. Ours were a little rusty to be fairly honest...nonetheless; it was nothing that a little practise couldn’t fix!
Roll on the second activity of the morning – The ‘Thematic Appreciation Test’. This test is used by Human Resource personnel in the recruitment process for the military, government factions, world-wide business conglomerations. Our residents viewed a series of six monochrome images depicting different scenes of life and different emotional states. They then individually volunteered to come before the rest of the residents and present a five minute discourse on what they felt was being expressed in the picture.
This fantastic exercise tested our resident’s speaking skills and creative ability. The way some of our boys eloquently expressed themselves honestly blew us away...many of them are astoundingly sharp, intellectual and highly inventive fellows indeed. Whatever they had learned in previous sessions regarding successful communication was certainly incorporated today. Their ability to engage and entertain us all was superb. Hats off to them!                   
From everyone at SHAFA HOME, our ongoing thanks goes to Ms. Maheshwari Jani for presenting another superb session for our residents and staff members!