There are days, many of them when we don’t feel like getting up from the bed and going on with our regular lives. And days when we feel the need to vent our dark emotions but prefer to leave them suppressed and neglected. Taboos surrounding mental health are still a prevailing issue and Bansi Modi decided to stand and fight against them. Bansi is a Counselling Psychologist, Therapeutic Movement Facilitator and a mental health advocate and the Founder of SoulTaal. SoulTaal is a venture for Mental well-being and mental health advocacy. It believes in holistic development and holistic well-being. They offer individual and group counselling services, Dance Movement Therapy as one of the intervention styles, and much more.
Have a look at this interview with Bansi, where she talks about various aspects of mental health, the daily hustle of life, and how SoulTaal came into being.
Questions and answers
You mentioned that SoulTaal came into existence after your experiences with Dance Movement Therapy. How were you first introduced to it?
When I was interning at the Counselling Centre in my school, I got an opportunity to attend the first conference on Movement Therapy by the Creative Movement Therapy Association of India (CMTAI) in Delhi. The experiential journey led me towards pursuing a career in the same and made me take up a course to get trained in Dance Movement Therapy. The journey I went through, inspired me to create “SoulTaal”.
Mental well-being is often compromised trying to tackle the daily hustle of life and the modern lifestyle. What would be your message to such people?
The daily hustle of life and the modern lifestyle are in fact some of the major reasons why one should not compromise on their mental well-being. I would say that taking care of yourself and your mental health will make you efficient and happier. All we need is to talk about mental health with some openness and acceptance. It’s time now that “mental health” receives some sunshine.
What kind of study and research did you undertake before your venture into the movement for holistic well-being?
My passion for theatre and dance can never die and I wanted to make a career in the field of psychology. So, the best option was to combine both and so I took up the Dance Movement Therapy course and did a Masters in Counselling Psychology. Before starting out “SoulTaal”, I interned at various places to understand the dynamics between psychology and culture, community, age, etc, and every aspect commonly led to the importance of “holistic wellness”.
Can you tell us about some of the most memorable client experiences that will remain with you forever?
Well, just as a teacher never forgets their students; a therapist would never forget their clients. My favourite age group to work with is kids and adolescents. And I clearly remember this one incident that I shall always carry with me. A child around 6-7 years old was to see me. The first sentence he spoke was “I think my heart is yellow while my friends have a red one. Can you please help me fix it?” Now, this one sentence touched me in so many ways and I was stunned after meeting that child. I am still amazed to think that the child had such a different and innocent perception. There was nothing right or wrong it was just different.
Why, in your opinion, mental health is so neglected and blown off and how can we get rid of the public prejudices against seeking therapy?
Mental health is neglected because there is no instrument to measure it. Diabetes, blood pressure, everything can be measured. But there is nothing tangible to measure mental health. A fracture is visible but a heartache, equivalent to ten fractures is invisible. Public prejudices against seeking therapy can only be overcome by spreading awareness about mental health and well-being. We need to educate people regarding the importance of mental well-being, its impact on their physical well-being, and the repercussions of it if neglected.
Do you believe that attainment of inner-peace through dance therapy somewhat resonates with the idea of Chi?
I believe every culture and every ethnic group has the same thing to say. The propaganda and the message always remain the same, just the journey and the technique changes. So yes, somewhere the concept of Dance Movement Therapy does resonate with the idea of Chi and everything in the universe resonates with it. All of it is encouraging us to take care of ourselves physically and mentally to attain peace in life.
SoulTaal provides an opportunity window for all age groups to participate. Why do you think it is important that all age groups should have a change at self-healing?
Every age brings with itself different challenges, experiences, a new perception, attitude, and a new way of life. Our mental age doesn’t always match up with our biological age and the human mind keeps taking in infinite thoughts and experiences. At every age, self-healing and holistic well-being are of utmost importance. SoulTaal provides that safe space to not only share the troubles and challenges but also express oneself the way they feel and release themselves from the burden of words.