Located in Delhi, Psychotherapist Saumya Mathur is dedicated to helping people connect with themselves through movement, conversation, and mindfulness. Saumya Mathur is a certified yoga teacher and mindfulness coach. With the help of platforms like Instagram, Insight Timer, and YouTube, she has been sharing her craft with the world. The platforms provide mental health tips, short guided meditations, and yoga routines. During the daytime, she teaches psychology, and in the evening, she gives meditation sessions.
Here is a delightful conversation with Saumya Mathur on her journey as a psychotherapist and yoga instructor with Icy Tales.
Q) Tell us something about your childhood and what drove you toward psychotherapy?
Saumya Mathur: When I was in grade 7th or 8th, I started reading the health articles in the newspapers; I always found myself drawn toward health prevention and mental health. The more I started learning about the human mind, the more people started, and the more my interest developed. My journey in psychotherapy started as I wanted to know “who am I?” and I think the question is continuing for a lifetime.
Psychotherapy happened because I find people and their stories very intriguing. All the complexity and nuances of the people, whether good or bad, interest me a lot. When I take a session with my client, there is a journey that is happening for them, and the journey gives me learnings as well; that’s how psychotherapy started.
Q) What do you consider your top three strengths and weaknesses as a therapist?
Saumya Mathur: My first top strength that comes through meditation is when I am with a client or a student. I have trained myself to be completely present in the space, which means that I am constantly training myself to listen without being the basis of judgment and to connect with the individual at the human level.
Another strength I feel is that I have a friendly relationship with my emotions of mine and yours. When in a therapeutic space, where the client may be having trouble understanding what they’re feeling, I can tune in to make an informed guess of what might be happening within that seems to facilitate the journey.
The third strength would like to share is that I enjoy going into sessions. I enjoy my work. The cases are magnificent. It keeps me going because I’m more curious about the sessions and human stories.
Talking about weaknesses, I don’t consider them a weakness; instead, I call them a scope of improvement. one thing I need to improve myself is my documentation. It is a constant journey. Therapy is sometimes an invisible field of work because the changes are so small and gradual that I have to be more patient with me as a therapist when I can’t see those tangible changes.
Q) How did you come up with your Instagram id dhyanaa.with.saumya?
Saumya Mathur: Dhyanaa comes from the Hindi word, dhyaan, which stands for meditation. “With Saumya” is symbolic because when I am with a client, during the sessions, I endeavor to walk with you through the journey. You are taking your journey, but I walk along with you as a facilitator or guide.
That’s how the name came, but the vision behind making the Instagram page is to make mental health accessible. To help people create a holistic health experience within themselves by using knowledge from the west and wisdom from the east and helping the individual take charge of their mental health. I talk about prevention and a holistic view on the page. My idea is to put you in the driver’s seat.
Q) How could psychotherapy benefit well-adjusted individuals?
Saumya Mathur: There’s a myth that struggling people only need a therapist and psychotherapy. Therapy is for anyone and everyone who identifies as a human. Who you are and who you would like to be could be two different things. You may be feeling about yourself, but other things are going on in your mind, things you would like to achieve, and you want to grow as a person. A therapist can help you with that.
Therapy is your space; what you choose to do with it depends on your goals and needs. It is okay for a well-adjusted person to go through specific challenges, such as relationship challenges or a job change, even if you are not going through any challenges. Still, you want to come into the therapy space to know more about yourself. A good therapist will help you to facilitate the journey.
Q) Could you give us some tips on how one can befriend their mind and emotions?
Saumya Mathur: To befriend one’s mind and emotion is to acknowledge that you have a mind that is sometimes at peace, sometimes not so much at peace. You have emotions that are sometimes pleasant and sometimes not very pleasant; no matter where you are, it’s okay to experience what you have experienced. The way to befriend your emotions is to sit with yourself and recognize what you are feeling at this moment? We can only befriend something when we stop being afraid of the darkest side that comes with the experience.
Recognize what my mind is speaking to me? If the conversation is not pleasant, can I still choose to be present with myself and support myself in this? What can I do when anxious thoughts show up? When I feel sad, I don’t go and distract myself or the bucket of ice cream; instead, I nurture myself at the moment. It’s time to recognize that your mind and emotions support you, and you need to start listening to what’s happening, both good and bad.
Q) According to you, what is spiritual self-care?
Saumya Mathur: There are two terms here; self-care is learning how to take care of yourself. Something that we are not taught, primarily as women, we are not taught how to take care of ourselves. You will be considered selfish if you start taking care of yourself. Until you take care of yourself, you can’t be available for anyone that is one term.
The word spiritual has different meanings for different people. I want to define spiritual self-care as doing what makes you feel you are at your best. Certain things make you alive and happy within, which is spiritual self-care. Spending time with nature and 30 minutes on the yoga mat makes me happy and alive, which is spiritual self-care.
Q) As people come to you for therapy, there could be incidents that could be very overwhelming; how do you deal with the same?
Saumya Mathur: The nature of my work is recognition and acceptance; sometimes it can happen, people are coming in because many things are going through that are challenging to deal with. With practice for therapy, you learn to be more objective about the situation; unless I am not objective, I can’t help you.
Despite that, people can come in with overwhelming stories, and as a therapist, I might feel overwhelmed for two reasons. First, your story is so moving that something within is wholly moved. I am not sure how to support you. In the first situation, I will go to my supervisor, my senior therapist, to understand how I can support these humans better in their journey.
Second, something that you have shared made a wound within me resurface. If I started to see my struggles in your story, I might feel overwhelmed. This is a good time for me to seek my therapist because something within me has broken, and now I need help.
Depending upon why I am feeling overwhelmed requires sitting with myself after the session and thinking about what happened. I choose what I need to do. Sometimes I need time to spend time with myself, and I like to dance, take care of myself, and share the stress.
Q)Lastly, any tips on how one can prioritize their mental health?
Saumya Mathur: recognize it’s real, you cant see your mental health, but it’s there. We are, so you are used to believing in things tangibly there but start sitting with yourself to understand what is happening within you, and if you need help, do not hesitate to reach out.
If you are struggling, it’s okay for you to struggle, but once you have acknowledged the struggle for yourself, don’t hesitate to reach out for help. You don’t necessarily reach out to talk therapy, and there are many other professionals who you can talk with. There is mindfulness therapy, clay therapy, and mindfulness therapy.
Saumya Mathur is a therapist, a teacher, a certified yoga teacher, and a mindfulness coach. She has been creating awareness amongst the people on social media to take care of their mental health and prioritize it over anything. We wish her all the very best in her future endeavors.
Watch the interview on our YouTube Channel.