UN Psychology Day Celebrated in Nepal

United Nations Psychology Day was celebrated for the first time in Nepal. It was a concentrated effort of the students and the professionals of Psychology to promote psychology in Nepal. The program saw a participation of about 60 people mainly from the Psychology field. The program started at 4:30 PM at Maitighar Mandala and ended with the rally and assembly at Shanti Batika, Ratnapark.

This is the 10 th edition of Psychology Day observed by the UN with this year’s theme: ‘Promoting Well-being in the 21st Century: Psychological Contributions for Social, Economic, and Environmental Challenges’, although, it’s the first time Nepal observed the day. The program concluded with the gathering at Shanti Batika where several speakers talked about Psychology in Nepal and its importance as a whole and the need to get united for the betterment of the field.

group picture of the participants of the event
group picture of the participants of the event (Photo credit: Mitesh Shrestha)

The key speakers included the psychologists Dr. Narendra Thaguna, Mr. Padam Raj Joshi, Mr. Basu Acharya and Mr. Gopal Dhakal.  Dr. Narendra Thaguna said that the programs such as this should happen regularly in Nepal and he showed his personal commitment to take the initiative to improvise the program the next time. Mr Padam Raj Joshi, lecturer of Psychology, said that the future of Psychology in Nepal was very bright and emphasised on the need to train our body through our mind. Mr. Basu Acharya told the psychologists first to increase one’s competitiveness to make psychology practically applicable in everybody’s lives. And lastly Mr. Gopal Dhakal emphasised the importance of policy and the national campaign to increase the awareness on psychosocial issues.

The program was confluence of the young and old generation of psychologist as the program was heavily participated by the students of Masters from Central Department of Psychology, Trichandra College and Padma Kanya Campus. Likewise there were some students of bachelors level and also the professionals working in several organizations. Other notable personalities in the program were counsellor and lecturer Tara Adhikari and Clinical Psychologist Sujita Baniya .

Marching together for Psychology
Marching together for Psychology

From the younger generation, the newly elected CAPS (Central Association of Psychology Students) president, Ms Sandhya Khatiwada spoke about the need to continuously engage in the psychological issues by the younger generation. Mr Amardeep Guragain  voiced his concern to include the spiritualism and the domain of organizational psychology in the mainstream of Psychology in Nepal. Ms Kripa Sigdel and Mr Sujan Shrestha collectively emphasised the need for the young psychologists to get united in one front to put moral pressure on the older generation to form one authentic umbrella organization of Psychology in Nepal. The program was jointly hosted by Ms Kripa Sigdel, Mr. Suman Sharma Poudel and Mr. Piyush Gautam.

The biggest takeaway of the program was the realization by the young psychologists to get united in one front leaving their personal egos aside. This program  has been successful to initiate a culture of collaboration among the stakeholders of psychology as this program was not organized in the banner of one organization or institution but in the love of Psychology.

Some of the pictures from the program ( photos credit: Mitesh Shrestha) :

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Psyhbigyaan Kurakani with Renuka Rai (January)

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January 3 , Sunday

Teku , Kathmandu

Renuka Rai speaking

The fourth edition of Psychbigyaan Kurakani was successfully held on January 3, in ihub Teku. This time we had Renuka Rai working in the field of psychology and behaviour sciences. The topic for the session was  ‘Use of Arts in the Trauma Work : Focussed in Children who survived in the aftermath of Earthquake”.  The event saw more than 20 participants.
Group work

The speaker of the program shared with us the relationship between art and trauma . The session was started off with practical work in which the participants were divided in three groups and gave them the simple task to  answer about the characteristics of the children and the effects of trauma upon them .  The topic was contextualized with the recent earthquake. The group then presented with their answers . While talking about trauma, Mrs Rai opined that we tended to focus on the major event of the trauma but overlook the culminating small events after the big event of the trauma that might contribute to the trauma.

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Mrs Rai  then talked about art and its efficacy in trauma. She talked about some simple stages in the art in trauma works  and gave the practical demonstration how the art works in the children. She had a case study from Srilanka  which was demonstrated and explained to validate her points.

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The session lasted for about 1 hour 30 minutes with Q&A session at last. After the end of the formal event the speaker and the participants had tea and cookies and had socialization among themselves. Before departing all the participants took the group picture with the speaker of the event .

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To listen the full program , click the following link:

Manojigyasa Episode 7

manojigyasa poster

This is the podcast of the radio program Manojigyasa which was originaly broadcasted from Ujjyalo 90 Network. Manojigyasa is a program based on Psychology and Mental Health. This was originally broadcasted on January 2, 2016.

In this episode, we have dealt with:
1. The psychology of protest
2. Depression
3. Psychbigyaan tip to strengthen your mind

Here is the link to the podcast:

Manojigyasa Promo

Manojigyasa is our weekly radio program  exclusively  on the topic of psychology and mental health. This program is presented by Psychbigyaan Network Nepal with the support of US Embassy and GPYC Nepal. It airs every Saturday from 5:15 to 6:00 from Ujjyalo 90 Network.  The program is prepared and hosted by Sujan Shrestha and Kripa Sigdel.  It probably might be the first program of its kind in Nepal.

How do I put off the fear of the earthquake?

It’s been nearly 4 months of the earthquake.  But frankly the remnants of the fear are still lurking in my mind.  On top of that the frequent jumpy aftershock reinforces the fear.  I guess people are slowly coming to the terms of the earthquake and want to dump it into their sub-consciousness as  best as possible.  But it seems the scar of the earthquake is to be here for some time in the people’s mind.

In this article I would like to share my own experience. I didn’t experience the major earthquakes because I was outside the country. In that sense I might be lucky. But the ripple effect of the earthquake definitely touched my mind. After 18 days of the earthquake I came back to Nepal. It was very much disheartening to see the fragile mental condition especially of my family members and the people. It is true that fear is contagious and this constant anxiety of the people and the uncertain nature of the earthquake have made the environment fearful.  That fear has somehow sipped inside me as well.  And aftershocks are there to make the matter worse.

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The peculiarity of my anxiety is that at day time the fear doesn’t come in but at the night-time when I lay on the bed to sleep then slowly my mind ruminates about the questions such as what if the earthquake is to come while I’m sleeping.  And the thought spikes the fear. The fear slowly replaces the sleepiness. Even the dogs barking begins to bother. Initially I have found this to be very much distressing as I didn’t have any ways to solve my fear. But aftersome time I learned to trick my mind.  As soon as the fear starts to creep in then I close the door of my mind and get myself immersed in my fantasy and wonderful imaginations. I would like to call this fantasy and imagination as ‘mental storytelling’. It is like telling a story to your mind, feeding your mind with escapism. And the next thing I would be waking up not knowing when I fell asleep the last night.  I try to make my imagination and fantasy as exciting as possible. For example one time I fantasized about receiving Nobel Prize and becoming famous in the world.  In another instance I imagined to be a rich person and what I would be doing with the money. Like this I fantasize which doesn’t let the mind to fall prey upon the fear. This method has proved its worth to me and has given me a good sound sleep.

Mind should not be let to be your commander but instead you should able to control and manipulate to your own benefit. The mastery over one’s own mind empowers the person.  Sometimes our thoughts get distorted and we might think in the wrong way. This happens to everybody but we should be able to manipulate our mind to make it think in our way to diffuse the distortions.  This strategy of mine follows the same classic example of cognitive behavioural therapy.

We don’t necessarily have to seek help from others all the time. Often the times we are equipped with enough resources to solve the problem on our own. For that we have to acknowledge it as a problem, the problem of faulty thinking then channelize out thought to its rightful course. The wonderful thing about mind is that it can trick you or it can be tricked by you. The choice is yours !!

( The writer is the president of PNN and chief editor of psychbigyaan blog)

Experiencing bipolar disorder

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Jagannath Lamichhane writes about the person’s experience suffering from Bipolar disorder in today’s The Kathmandu Post. Bipolar disorder as characterized by mood swings oscillating between mania and depression is very damaging to a person’s mental health which is portrayed nicely here in the article through personal conversation. We all should know the prime importance of mental health as the person with bipolar disorder rightly puts , “Throughout my life, I have learnt closely
that there is no health without mental health.”

To read the full article click on the link below:
www.ekantipur.com/2015/04/03/oped/matters-of-the-mind/403600.html#.VR4Da5B5tJY.twitter