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Bangkok Faces: Anita Barot, Licensed Family Therapist

Your Name: Anita Barot
Job Title: Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, Lotus Psychotherapy

What is your nationality and background?

I am American and was born in the States and have lived in India, U.S, and Thailand. I have been living in Bangkok for the last year and a half. My parents were born in India, while I grew up in Orange County (California), so I grew up in the States, I would face confusion as I was Indian, but I was also American as both values were important in my upbringing.

What is your profession?

I help you if you are having difficulties with your relationships and if you would like to improve the way you communicate with your family, friends, and co-workers. Many times, we fall into patterns because we were raised a specific way and we don’t know anything different. If you want to experience a new way of being, we can work on what is difficult and how you can experience a new way of viewing life. Clients have come to meet me for relationship difficulties, depression, anxiety, women’s issues, adolescent problems, and stress management.

What are the key skills and responsibilities of this role?

I listen to you and ask you questions about how you have lived. I provide feedback and help you understand patterns that have made things difficult in your life. I provide you a different experience of how life can be and then you can have more choices. By allowing you to have a space to express your feelings, you are able to feel more freedom in making changes and understanding how you have limited yourself.

How did you get involved in your profession?

Post college, I first chose business because I did not want to let my dad down as he had a software management company. When I went travelling to India, it became clear to me that my passion was psychology and that I wanted to go to graduate school for counselling. When I spoke to anyone about what I loved, it was being able to help people and all the jobs I ever had were working at mental health clinics, group homes, hospitals, and schools. As soon as I came back from my travels, I enrolled in a graduate program and been working as a therapist ever since.

How does your role enhance the wellbeing or experience of children?

I work with adolescents who are experiencing transition and having difficulties with their families in their communication. Sometimes, children act out because they want your attention while parents may think the children are not interested in them. It is actually the opposite-the child wants you to spend time and they are trying to get you to understand. Children’s feelings matter and by being empathic to their pain, you are letting them know they are valuable and their experience is important.

What challenges do your face in this role?

The biggest challenge is getting out there and having people know who I am and what I can do for them. I also think that there is such a stigma about therapy and it prevents people from making the call and getting help. Sometimes, it is a way to reboot your relationship, manage your relationship difficulties, or explore adolescent/child problems.

What do you hope to achieve within your industry?

I would like to see more acceptance for individuals to be able to ask for help.

Who or what inspires you?

Stories where individuals have dealt with adversity and gotten past it. I feel inspired by children who have gone through difficulties but have been able to work through it and be successful. Inspiration to me is not one specific thing, but it is those life changing moments that make a difference in your life and after that, you are a changed person.

Only a Bangkok local would know…

That you need to learn the numbers in Thai — otherwise no taxi cabs or tuk tuks understand where you are going!

For more information, please visit the website of Lotus Psychotherapy.

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