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Alumni Connect: I believe in living in the present and learning from the past

Having been forced to take up the science stream after boards, against his dream to be in the merchant navy, Bholane has gone through a number of ups and downs that have now led him to discover his potential in the field of psychology.

pune Updated: Jan 15, 2018 15:29 IST
Ananya Barua
Ananya Barua
Hindustan Times, Pune
alumni connect,fergusson college,fc road
Suraj Bholane, clinical psychologist.(HT Photo)

An alumnus of Pune’s Fergusson College, Suraj Bholane never thought he would become a successful clinical psychologist making a difference in several lives. Having been forced to take up the science stream after boards, against his dream to be in the merchant navy, Bholane has gone through a number of ups and downs that have now led him to discover his potential in the field of psychology.

Today, he is the Maharashtra head of Energia Wellbeing. Speaking to Ananya Barua, he expounded on his journey so far.

Tell us about your educational background?

I never thought that one day I wouldbecome a psychologist. After boards, my parents wanted me to pursue my graduation in Science, while I wanted to get into Merchant Navy. I cleared the entrance, but my parents didn't allow me and I had to takeup BSc at the Institute of Science, Nagpur. After a year of failure and a year of average performance, I realised I am not meant for this. I started searching for part-time courses, and got to know about YCMOU and its BA degree. While taking admission there, I selected psychology as a special subject. This is when I found my path and decided to pursue Masters in Psychology at Fergusson College. In the first semester, I was an average student, but as I moved ahead, I went from being an average to a bright student. I completed my specialisation in Clinical Psychology. Later, I represented my college in few national conferences by presenting my research papers. Also, I received an honour of Deserving Student Scholarship 2014-2015 from the Fergusson College.

What happened after graduation?

During my last year of Masters, I assisted professor Anil Sawarkar in his PhD research. This was actually the turning point of my career.During that time, Nikunja , a senior, found the need of an organisation which can help people face challenges of life and make themselves emotionally intelligent. So Nikunja, Kaveri and I started the organisation Emoticons India which is doing exceptionally well in a short period of time. We were then trained in psychotherapy, specifically Rational Emotive Behaviour Therapy (REBT) from Albert Ellis Institute Affiliated Centre. Later, I pursued PGCPC from Christian Counselling Centre, Vellore, Tamil Nadu. After that, I started practising as a psychotherapist in Emoticons India.

Tell us about your journey after Emoticons India?

I was a director and psychotherapist at Emoticons India, which we began from the scratch. After working with Emoticons India for quite a long time, I joined Energia Wellbeing Pvt Ltd as a consultant psychologist to explore myself further. Eventually, I was promoted to a senior psychologist,specialising as a trainer inStructure of Intellect (SOI)which is a scientific programme for identification of roadblocks, difficulties, weaknesses and strengths of a person in order to understand the needs of an individual. Once we identify this, we then work with the individual for the next 100 hours with designed individualised training programme to help them overcome their difficulties. Now, I am the head of Pune and rest of Maharashtra (other than Mumbai), and a senior psychologist and SOI trainer at the organisation.

Tell us about the prominent research projects in the field of psychology you have indulged in?

I wrote a research paper on Effectiveness of REBT as an intervention to deal with anxiety in adolescence. In this project, I did intervention on the students of Class 10 to 12 who were having high anxiety and I found that with the help of REBT we could help these individuals reduce their anxiety. Currently, I am working on a SOI Model of Dr JP Guilford and will soon complete my paper.

What does the future look like?

I am very positive about the future, after all, it is up to you how you manage yourself in any possible situation. So, I keep myself always ready for the worst case scenario and believe on living in present and learning from the past.I firmly believe that I didn't find my destination, but my destination has found me. I am very happy that I am a psychologist and am also aware of the kind of responsibility that I have towards my nation.

First Published: Jan 12, 2018 15:03 IST