We occasionally spotlight therapists on Mental Health Match. Nirmeen Valiani is a Houston therapist specializing in social and performance anxiety, stress management, parenting, and multicultural issues. She often uses mindfulness to help entrepreneurs and working moms explore ways to keep work-life balance. View Nirmeen's profile here.
I go to the Centennial Gardens across from the Houston Museum of Natural Science. There are so many plants and flowers, and the constant growth happening there feels symbolic because I am constantly working on my own growth. There are a few small trails between trees, which can be hard to find in Houston. I also like to do a mindful walk up the spiral. I pay attention to the way my feet touch the ground. I touch the plants and make feeling a part of the experience of walking to the top.
The Jung Center. They have so many different types of classes, lectures, discussions, and interactive workshops. Some are free, and all are very affordable. Some people think mental health means going to a very clinical space, but The Jung Center helps people think about it in a different way. They show how it can be about growing, wellbeing, self-compassion, and taking care of yourself.
The approach I use is a combination of Insight Therapy and Mindfulness. Not only do I help people gain awareness into what is causing the issues they experience, but after we figure that part out, we focus on practical, everyday lifestyle skills. I like to give people something to practice, something they can do on their own. A lot of our habits are engrained, and to undo them, we have to create new habits.
Ask around. My clients often tell me how surprised they were to find out someone they know also goes to therapy. We shouldn’t feel shame about asking for help. Ask the people around you about therapists they may know and be specific about what you are looking for.
You will feel supported and comfortable opening up. You will feel like you are connecting with a real person who is listening and not judging you. You should be able to let your guard down because you feel safe to express what you’re truly feeling. Most importantly, you should feel like your therapist genuinely cares about you, and that they are competent in dealing with the specific issues you are experiencing.