In Conversation with Aanchal Narang

Aanchal Narang

Trigger Warning: Abuse, suicide, self-harm

In this video interview, we bring to you a conversation between our lead editor, Jhilmil Breckenridge, and psychologist Aanchal Narang. Aanchal is a counselling psychologist and founder of Another Light Counselling, which specialises in trauma, addiction, gender and sexuality. She is also a queer-affirmative trainer, and does interventions, planning and fundraising for several NGOs.

In this conversation, we speak about several topics, some being how she does not agree with the diagnoses she has received because of how these often ignore trauma. We also speak about the social lens of disability which ignores psychosocial harm when it focuses on what is wrong with a person. Aanchal brings the trauma lens into her work and helps her clients see how certain coping mechanisms in the face of traumatic situations may have been ‘good’. She is very vocal about her childhood, which was abusive, and how that shaped her personality. We also speak of how empathy can be underdeveloped in such a household, which then blurs the lines between survivor and perpetrator.

We also spoke about how queer people often get the label of PTSD. She spoke of why she does the work that she does and what may be needed for other survivors of complex trauma. She spoke with candour about her suicidal ideation and how cutting, for example, needs to be looked upon as a coping mechanism.

Jhilmil Breckenridge is a poet, writer and activist and is founder, Bhor Foundation, an Indian charity, which is active in mental health advocacy. She advocates Poetry as Therapy and is working on a few initiatives to take this into prisons and asylums. She is passionate about creating more awareness about the trauma informed approach, and better rights for those living with psychosocial disability.

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