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The following article addresses the lack of counsellors in educational institutions as well as the perils of untrained counselling.

Counselling isn’t a recent concept, nor is it restricted to any particular sphere of life. One may come across counsellors in hospitals, work places, sports complexes and many more fields. With time, the stigma against mental health too has been evaporating appreciably, encouraging more and more people to seek guidance and counselling. However, an area which significantly requires professional counsellors are educational institutions, be it schools or universities.

One’s personality starts developing very early during their childhood. In fact, the most formative years of a person are their childhood. With regard to academic pressure or the need for socialisation in school, every individual responds to their environment differently. Very often, as children, they tend to lack the ability to express their worries to other adults- basically parents and teachers, who may not entirely understand the gravity of their problems. A child requires a safe space to be comfortable and discuss what goes on in his or her life. With schools being the primary environment after their homes, counsellors in schools provide that safe space. It is not just young children but also particularly adolescents who require this outlet for venting their emotions.

The Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) had made it mandatory for all schools to have counsellors in faculty. However, a very small percentage of private schools actually follow this mandate. For obvious reasons, the situation in government schools is far worse. What is even more interesting is how, very often, schools appoint teachers in faculty with degrees in sociology to act like counsellors for students. Now, what they fail to recognise are the serious perils that untrained counselling can cause. Therapy or counselling is not an easy process. A counsellor’s job has a large impact on the lives of his or her patients. They may have pure intentions in mind but in practice, untrained counselling can adversely affect the mental health of vulnerable children for the worse.

Especially among adolescents of the current generation, Gen-Z, with growing impact of social media and societal expectations, the need to feel accepted and understood grows stronger. So often teenagers avoid therapy because of several reasons including lack of trust. It is in these situations where the skills of good teachers and counsellors play a vital role. Teachers in schools should be able to recognise and reach out to “troubled” students, allowing them to understand the severe need for counselling. A good counsellor establishes trust and a non-judgemental platform for venting feelings and learning to cope with them.

Moving on from schools, universities and colleges too are in a dire need for trained therapists. Most colleges, particularly government funded like the Delhi University, have student mental health societies at best. These societies work towards knowledge dissemination and often invite professionals for seminars. While the initiative is highly commendable, the lack of chronic professional help may leave the students helpless and hopeless.

While we have made efforts in establishing the seriousness of mental health among students particularly, it is high time we take action to provide spaces for these students to seek help as and when required. As famous psychologist, Abraham Maslow, once quoted “in any given moment, we have two options: to step forward into growth or to step back into safety.” Let us allow ourselves to take that step forward and not look back.

Featured Image Credits: Nami.org

Aditi Gutgutia

[email protected]


Owing to the increasing cases of deteriorating mental health of the students of  the Delhi University (DU), the varsity has decided to set up two mobile phone de-addiction centres in collaboration with the World University Service (WUS) in the North and South Campus.

Smart phones have eased the communication process. However, it has given rise to a new set of severe problems. A recent study conducted by the Department of Psychology suggests that the increased dependence on the smart phones is leading to severe smart phone addiction and instability in the mental health of the students of DU. In such a scenario, digital detox and counselling of the student community has become imperative.

Researchers have decoded four common triggers for the compulsive use of smartphones which, if addressed, can help shun the screen addiction. The four triggers for habitual smartphone use are: during unoccupied moments, like waiting for a friend to show up; before or during tedious and repetitive tasks; when in socially awkward situations; and when people anticipate getting a message or notification.

Since most of the communication regarding classes and college activities happens through the smart phones, giving up on them is not an option, making them a necessary evil.

Mamta Banerjee, from Lady Shri Ram College, said, “The whole college works on Whatsapp. Everything regarding classes, events and activities is communicated through Whatsapp only. The phone keeps pinging all day and I can’t help but to get addicted to it.”

Another student, who wishes to be anonymous, said, “I wake up to the beep of the cell-phone and sleep with the cell phone in my hand. I always get the fear of missing out and the compulsive urge to constantly check my phone which has increased my dependence on it.”

Professors of the DU colleges have observed the increased use of mobile phones in the classroom, and aggressive behaviour of students when they were called out for it. Dr. Reema Ranjan, a professor commented, “I always ask students to keep their mobile phones in their bags as students tend to use phones during lectures and the attention span of the students has reduced.”

Head of the Department of Psychology, DU, Professor Ananda Pradhan said, “The study conducted by the department found out some stark realities about the mental health and digital toxicity in students. Therefore, owing to the welfare of both the students and teachers, we recommended the varsity to setup the de- addiction centres for counselling”.

In light of this, the University is set to opening these centres at the World University Service (WUS) in the North and South Campus and proposes to organise workshops and regular counselling for students in order to facilitate digital detoxification and check the screen time among students.

Disclaimer: Bazinga is our weekly column of almost believable fake news. It is only to be appreciated and not accepted!

Feature Image Credits:  Bagby


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Despite being an important subject, the lack of Honors courses available in Psychology, Delhi University proves that psychology is still not accepted and recognized as a worthy bachelor’s degree.

Psychology as a subject has the power to help you grow as an individual and also help others grow. It is filled with concepts on human beings, stories and examples we can relate to and also interesting topics about which we can talk to with our friends. But what is unfortunate that only eleven colleges in the prestigious University of Delhi offer B.A. (Honors) Psychology as a course and three offer B.A. (Honors) in Applied Psychology.

This restricts the opportunities for students to pursue this subject. The cut offs go very high for the few good colleges offering this course. While, for a male student, this situation is even worse since majority of the colleges offering Psychology are only open to girls, so they have to either compromise on the course or despite having a good score, study in private institutes. According to a source who requested to be anonymous, he scored a 96.75 but still couldn’t get Psychology in Delhi University and is pursuing B.Sc. (Honors) Psychology from Christ University, Bangalore.

Apart from this, most of the colleges are unable to offer Psychology as a General Elective, and when they do, due to the lack of faculty, many times the classes get cancelled. In Lady Shri Ram College, girls who took Psychology as an Elective for the first semester reported that the it was extremely disappointing. A student quoted “We were allotted a teacher somewhere in last August and even this semester we have gotten a guest lecturer who taught from Wikipedia, it was pretty basic and did not feel like a Psychology class.” In Gargi College, Psychology is not offered as a General Elective despite having a department for Applied Psychology.

By lack of Facilities in Delhi University for this essential subject, the University is proving the general discourse prevalent in the society regarding Humanities courses that- “they are courses specifically for girls.” The larger, older and renowned colleges like Miranda House, Hansraj, Hindu and Sri Venkateswara do not offer Psychology at all. It is high time that this course is given the importance and attention that it deserves and the University introduces it in the other colleges as well.

Feature Image credits: The Indian Express

Shivani Dadhwal

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Sakshi Arora

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Across the world, 10th October is regarded as World Mental Health Day. This write-up is dedicated to those, who ideally should have been the loudest advocates of the institution of awareness about mental health, but are quietly complacent.

“Dear Professor,
I wasn’t feeling my best that week, when you were teaching us about anxiety and the numerous diagnosable disorders that surround it. The week before that, you taught us about depression, and how it affects the mental and physical well being of a human being. Next up, in the listing of the syllabus, was a unit on stress. I thought I could confide in you and speak openly about the hypocritical issues with the way we study. But then I came to the slow and painful realisation, that you too, are a contributor to this system, and through your complacence, encourage it and its toxic mode of operation. I realised, that you too, encourage and actively contribute to the venomous environment, which overburdens students to make them thrive. The same system, which so vehemently goes against the subject you preach and love to teach.”
The discussion around mental health is ambiguous because of the fact that its due importance is not explained to us from an early age. The same can be said for many other avenues in society that exercise significant influence on our lives, but are never explained to us. Subjects like sex education, caste issues, sexism, class issues, patriarchy, and many others that are outside the ambit of this letter, but equally important to discuss. The above mentioned letter is not meant to attack teachers or professors of psychology for committing a cardinal sin. It is to highlight the duplicity and pretence of the arrangement of schooling in status quo, to raise much needed questions about the lack of dissent from the stakeholders in this challenging circumstance, namely the academica—teachers and professors.

Matters that need to be highlighted and brought to the forefront are often hushed because talking about them is inconvenient. This deliberate silence brands these sensitive concerns negatively and discourages any discussion that surrounds them. Breaking the glass ceiling, in this scenario, seems impossible due to the very fact that it is the institution of education that holds the power to build generations, as it has been intended to do since the academic concept originated. In our country, the system of edification has innately transcended into a trap, rather than an open and liberal space which allows one to learn, grow, and facilitate the development of an individual. Well-to-do middle and upper-middle class families have access to resources using which they can attain access to an education that offers insight into global values and meets international standards.
These students are more or less enrolled into a “second school” where they gain knowledge about things that the existing structure fails to teach. But establishments in rural areas (where awareness about such issues is of utmost importance) lack the vocabulary and supplies required to materialise a fruitful teaching about mental health. If you go to a remote village or a small town in a corner of the state you live in, and ask locals to speak about mental health, they would probably deny even the existence of such a phenomenon.


Bhavya Banerjee

[email protected] 


Psychology Honors is a degree which allows you to find meaning everywhere. One can relate to these psychological theories, question them, and observe their relevance every day.

Did the 1991 film The Silence of the Lambs kept you at the edge of your seat? Did Psycho change your life forever? Do you wish to help people struggling with mental health issues and emotional difficulties? If you wish to understand people, their conduct, and the relationships between them, Psychology might just be the right subject for you. “What pushed me to study this subject was The Psychosexual Theory by Sigmund Freud, though after gaining more knowledge I have a disagreement with this theory now”, says Ananya Tripathi, a second-year student from Shaheed Rajguru College of Applied Sciences for Women.

The University of Delhi offers Honors in Psychology in many of its colleges like Aryabhatta College, Bharti College, Daulat Ram College, IP College for Women, Jesus and Mary College, Kamala Nehru College, Keshav Mahavidyalaya, Mata Sundri College for Women, Shaheed Rajguru College of Applied Sciences for Women, and Zakir Husain Delhi College.

The previous year cut-off for general category students was 98.5% to 88.5%, for OBC it was 97% to 69%, for SC it was from 96.5% to 60% and for the ST it was 96.5% to 57%.

Psychology (H) covers many psychological and scientific principles. The core subjects under it include Introduction to Psychology, Statistical Methods for Psychological Research, Biopsychology, Psychology of Individual Differences, Development of Psychological Thought, Psychological Research, Social Psychology, Understanding Psychological Disorders, Applied Social Psychology, Understanding and Dealing with Psychological Disorders, Developmental Psychology, Organizational Behavior, and Counseling Psychology.

Psychology helps you become wiser with words and develop your communication skills. It hones your listening skills which a lot of people lack. It makes you non-judgmental. It helps to develop empathy too. “Empathising just doesn’t mean understanding the other person but understanding it from the other person’s view, putting yourself in their place and understanding”, says Kaveri Sehgal from Jesus and Mary College. “You start understanding the dynamics of your relationships with others on a deeper level and try to avoid conflicts as much as possible”, adds Aditi Roy Choudhury, a third-year student from IP College for Women.

The future prospects of a Psychology graduate are tremendous and exciting. One can work as a counsellor in school/college. One can also venture into HR, research, advertising, market research, social work in NGOs. It offers students to become a psychotherapist, sports psychologist, fashion psychologist, a developmental psychologist, child psychologist, clinical psychologist, or chartered psychologist.

Overall, Psychology is a vivid subject, one must go to depths to develop interest. Once you start reading it, things would start making sense which would help to provide an explanation for a lot of things.

Feature Image Credits: MAA Montreal
Disha Saxena
[email protected]

The Psychology Department of Daulat Ram College, University of Delhi organised its First National Conference on 18th and 19th January, 2018 on the theme ‘Psychological Applications and Interventions: Reaching Out and Making a Difference’. The Inaugural function was graced by Chief Guest, Prof. Devesh K. Sinha, Dean of Colleges, University of Delhi and Dr. Savita Roy, Principal, Daulat Ram College. The esteemed dignitaries released a book of selected papers presented at the Conference, edited by Dr. Preeti Kapur and Dr. Pooja V. Anand, Convenor and Organising Secretary of the Conference respectively.

The Conference involved participation from over 250 delegates across India in various paper and poster presentation sessions as well as workshops in diverse domains of psychology. Participants were undergraduate, postgraduate, doctoral students as well as teachers from Psychology departments from various educational institutions all over India. The Conference provided a platform to the delegates to present their innovative research papers as well as facilitated exchange of ideas on various topics as enhancing hope, emotional intelligence, resilience, self-esteem, gender issues, developmental issues, body image, health, and well-being to name a few. Since most papers were authored either by students alone or a student-mentor combination, the Conference illustrated how mentoring students helped in realising the immense research potential in students. The two days of deliberation helped in instilling a scientific temper and a thorough understanding of concepts, theories, and research methodologies. This allowed students to go beyond classroom teaching and understand the applications of Psychology in the real world. The Conference involved various events as a panel discussion on the Conference theme, paper, and poster presentations and workshops on Arts Based Therapy, Depression, and From Personal to Interpersonal Effectiveness.

The Conference aimed to create awareness about the scope of Psychology in various domains of life. It helped in understanding how knowledge from research in Psychology should not be limited to textbooks but can be applied to find a solution to various issues ailing individuals and communities, and, finally how the knowledge of Psychology can be applied for reaching out and making a difference to the society.

Credits to Dr. Preeti Kapur & Dr. Pooja V. Anand
Department of Psychology, Daulat Ram College

Smartphones and increasingly convenient apps have made it very easy to connect with long-distance family and friends. However, texting or calling them regularly can worsen things.

Mobile phones have now become as routine a gadget like any other. A product that was once deemed as luxury good has become a basic necessity over the years. The good and bad about this gadget is often debated upon. The one good thing which everyone might agree upon is that it helps us connect with family and friends anytime. However, recent studies suggest it might not be the case.

An article published on the Business Insider consisted reports of a study conducted by CHARGit which showed that out of 2000 participants, 65% claimed to feel anxious when they are low on battery, and 42% felt vulnerable if the battery is zero.

Consistently talking to friends and family makes us more dependent on contacting them and this transfers our coping skills from the self to someone else. We have access to friends and family 24/7 which means that we can share our highs and lows whenever we want to. Being able to talk to our loved ones makes us feel accompanied and helps us to lighten the burden by sharing it. The problem comes in when we look for their support in order to fight our battles. All they can do over the phone reassure us which makes us feel better. And because we are in desperation, we find solace in their words, but we miss out on two things here. One, we still have a situation to sort, and two we lose the will to handle things on our own. The loss of the latter trait is deadly in the long run.

Everything, when done in excess, is harmful. The tendency to share our problems and the need to talk to the people we love in order to feel better soon becomes a habit. And as a result, we are in more need to talk to the people we love, and ultimately we have a greater urge to use the cell phone. Talking to our friends and family after a certain point becomes our only coping skill. It’s no surprise the aforementioned study showed so many participants feeling vulnerable and low.

However, by no means does this mean that we shouldn’t text or talk to our loved ones. After all, it is very necessary to talk when we are away from home. It’s no less than a boon to be able to share our problems and to have the support of our loved ones in times of need. But we are here to live life our own way, and we need to fight our battles and cope up with our struggles all on our own.


Feature Image Credits: Association Adviser

Karan Singhania
[email protected]


Bingeing means having a period of excessive indulgence towards an activity. Today, the term is most frequently used in terms of eating and watching shows or movies continuously for a period of time. Let’s explore why we binge…

Till recently, the term “bingeing” had little use in daily life. It is psychologically associated with Binge eating disorder, where the patient eats excessively in order to cope with negative feelings. However, the word has gained currency after being used in the context of excessive T.V. watching, brought about by the rise of streaming services like Netflix.

T.V. shows that are downloaded via torrents or streamed, allow users to watch episodes without waiting another day or week. There is continuous consumption, much like with binge eating. But why does either take place? Or any kinds of excessive behaviour, like shopping needlessly? Bingeing takes place with activities like eating or watching a show one likes, which leads to happiness. This releases dopamine and serotonin, which are chemicals that result in a high feeling. By continuously watching a show or eating junk, there is a simulation of being joyous. Often, just as Binge eating disorder patients run towards food upon feeling stressed, depressed, or anxious, T.V. show watchers or compulsive shoppers run to their familial place of comfort upon the onslaught of negative emotions. Bingeing of any form is basically a kind of avoidance, a delusion of happiness. With easy access to T.V. shows, food delivery at our doorsteps, and the lack of restrictions for most of us encounter as we enter the supervision-lacking world of college, it comes down to us to develop self-control. While people generally report feeling happy while indulging in bingeing, the end of the whole episode (pun intend) leads to feelings of guilt and shame. Not just that, but overindulgence of anything is harmful to one’s physical and mental well-being.

It has been suggested that bingeing can be controlled by setting strict limits on consumption and getting better at self-monitoring. If you understand why you’re running to something and find out its root cause, then maybe you can work on eradicating the cause, rather than continuing on with the vicious cycle of bingeing and feeling low. It’s necessary to gain control because only that can save us from the attractive world of delusion.


Image Credits: Herb

Rishika Singh

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In a recent study, it was proved that hope protects our brain from anxiety and expands our understanding.

Hope is defined as a feeling of expectation and desire for a particular thing to happen. It has been a stimulator, a motivator, and at times, the only positive force left in us when we are going through our bad times. Just like any other feeling, hope is intangible and unseen, yet it has been ever-present in us. And its presence has finally been identified by science.

In a recent study, Chinese psychologists found out that hope protects our brain from anxiety and expands our understanding of things that are happening as reported by Big Think. Defining hope as an important term in positive psychology, scientists conducted a survey on 231 students and found out that hope trait was related to the brain region that is involved in the reward-related procession, motivation production, and goal-oriented behaviour. “ Overall, this study provides the first evidence for functional brain substrates underlying trait hope and reveals a potential mechanism that trait hope mediates the protective role of spontaneous brain activity against anxiety” the researchers quoted as per the website.

Anxiety has long been the cause of our mental struggles. Anxiety disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder, hypertension, and so much more, it is anxiety that has aided these diseases. Not necessarily as a disease, but people suffer from anxiety in various situations. In all those times when we were helpless, when we could feel that chill down our spine, when our mind was contemplating scenarios we feared to face, or creating illusions that demoralised us – we hoped. We simply sat there and hoped that things would be fine. We hoped that we would not have to endure the trauma, the stress, the pain, or the anxiety for long. We hoped that someone, somewhere, somehow could save us from all that was happening, or was about to happen.

Turns out, we were “the one” we were looking for, and hope was “the how” that protected our brain. The positive force that we clung on to in anonymity was actually helping us survive our mental battles and shielding us from all the negative forces trying to let us down. Science recognising hope as the protective force justifies all the endurance that we made all this while. This study proves that being hopeful protects our brain from harmful thoughts. It proves that we have a positive force within us that helps us combat all the negativity and gives us the strength to keep going. We should take this research as a benchmark and be ready to face whatever comes our way for all of us know that we have what it takes to wade through deep waters.


Feature Image Credits: ThinkingWords

Karan Singhania
[email protected] 

On 5th October UGC released a letter that suggested the universities to adopt new model Psychology syllabi at B.A/B.Sc, M.A/M.Sc and PhD levels.

The letter sent and addressed to vice-chancellors of all universities said, “It had been noticed that Psychology, as taught in institutions of higher learning was neither keeping pace with the recent developments in the discipline nor fulfilling the societal needs. The prevalent course contents commonly taught in the classroom were not rooted in the national ethos. UGC, therefore, constituted a Committee of Experts to look into different aspects of teaching and research in Psychology besides drawing upon the considerable work that is underway for the purposes of developing vibrant model syllabi for different levels.”

Letter issued by UGC
Letter issued by UGC

Further, it added that the new curriculum made by the Expert Committee took the latest developments in the field of Psychology into consideration and new syllabus has given special relevance to the Indian context of discipline.

The brief letter did not mention who the members of the Expert Committee are which raises many questions. Such as who are the committee members, what were the selection criteria, and on what basis did they conclude that the prevailing course content is unsatisfactory.

While talking to DU Beat, Dr Gayatri Arunkuma, a Psychology professor at Indraprastha College for Women, denied the claims of UGC and asserted that “The current CBCS syllabus has a lot of Indian perspective on psychology in both theory and practical papers. We also refer to several research publications and textbooks focussing on the Indian perspective in Psychology Honors course in DU. So, our curriculum is, in fact, rooted in national ethos as we are teaching a new updated in 2014 syllabus.”

She further added, “UGC being an important institution could perhaps initiate a more democratic exercise on Psychology syllabus revision, where all psychology faculties can email their views n issues.”

The commission has asked affiliated colleges and universities go through the new syllabus, which is available on the official website, and introduce it in the current course. However, as of now, there is no new syllabus published on the UGC website. We tried to contact Mr.P.K. Thakur, Secretary and Financial Assistant of UGC who also wrote the letter on the commission’s behalf, but all our calls to his office remained unattended.

Picture Credits: The University Grants Commission
Niharika Dabral
[email protected]