Stress Management Session for MBA students

Invitation for Stress Management for MBA Students of NITIE:

I was approached by final year students from a renowned MBA college in Mumbai, Nitie to conduct a short 1.5 hour session on stress management before their placements. Stress being a vast topic, to cover it in one session was next to impossible. So I thought it best to narrow it down to what exactly in the given situation they perceive as stressful. As we all know any situation is experienced stressful if we do not have adequate coping mechanisms to deal with itstress-management-mba-students-negative-thoughts

Feed Back sheet prior to the session to assess stress inducing factors:

Given the short notice, I felt that the best way to begin with was to seek feedback on stressed the students the most. So a short questionnaire, in the form of a checklist, about issues that they perceive as being stressful was sent across to the students. The results of this questionnaire were collated and we decided to tackle the top two which were haunting the MBA aspirants viz


  • Negative thoughts, andstress-management-mba-students-negative-thoughts-demons
  • Mismatch between the aspirations and job profile


Pre session discussion on issues surrounding placement:

On the day that we conducted the session what I discovered while chatting up the students (prior to the session) was that the general environment surrounding the job market was extremely grim.


  • Fewer companies were coming to campus for recruitments


  • Pay packages were being revised downwards


  • Students were disenchanted with the job profiles being offered
  • What’s more, a sizeable proportion of the students had left high paying jobs to pursue the full time MBA course with the expectation that an MBA would fast track their careers.


This disillusionment coupled with the sour economic scenario led to additional burden from

  • the finance strain from educational loans and high course fees
  • time investment in the 2 year MBA, and
  • social and peer pressure from
    • not getting the right job profile,
    • insignificant jump in salary or having to work for equal pay or less than their previous job

Apprehensions about future prospects a reality or mental fabrication?

Their fears were real and not a fabrication. So given the limited time at my disposal I thought the best was to work on the top two identified factors. I decided that the best course of action to relieve their stress was to


Sessions activities and the logic behind it?

  • Work on their self-trust to counter the negative thoughts, and
  • Through an exercise that would make them self-aware of their leadership qualities and hence better their chances at the personal interview and group discussion stages undertaken during campus recruitments.


Both these issues were dealt with through activities using group dynamics (group of 9-10 students) to maximize learning and sharing during the session.

Activity 1:

The first activity catered to rediscovering their inner strength and the positivity arising from self-trust in times of stress and difficulty (after all, self-help is the best help) and the second activity was a role play which would bring to the fore their leadership skills which were then analyzed.

In the first activity the group was blindfolded and they were asked to perform certain tasks using only their feelings as a barometer to achieve success. At the end of the activity the group was pleasantly surprised that just on the basis of their feelings and relying on themselves they knew exactly what to do and do it well.


Second Activity:

The second activity was a role play where the group had to make decisions on which member should be allowed to stay on board and who should leave. The purpose of the activity was to identify one’s personal strengths and weakness using group dynamics. The second activity highlighted the strengths and weaknesses of each individual in his / her interaction with the other. This would then give them the ability to choose any action irrespective of the given emotion.


During times of stress it is safer and more reliable to draw on your strengths rather than spending energy trying to control the environment or worry about future. The later draws you into the spiral of negative thoughts, reactive behaviour and drains you out of any possibilities, whereas the earlier option will help you to remain calm, composed and in a free mental space to be able to accurately evaluate and choose your action steps. This freedom to be able to choose any action without spending energy to change the emotions or outcomes helps people to stay focused on the given task (placements in this case) without getting stuck in future anxieties (job profile or financial logistics) is the power of self-awareness.


Key to success lies in self-awareness:

This kind of insight and awareness oriented work is possible only with psychotherapeutic understanding and by and large remains untouched during soft skills taken up by most colleges and corporates. Insight oriented awareness when worked along with soft skills has proven to be more effective in bringing about positive results during interviews.


Empirical evidence on first impressions being a primary factor driving to choosing a candidate for the job:

A lot of research has been conducted on what is the basis of choosing a particular candidate. What strikingly comes across is that most of these decisions are based on first impressions rather than logical evaluation of the individual. Though it may seem unfair for a hiring manager to make a character judgment within the first seconds of meeting a candidate, record-breaking application volumes in the job market right now mean that hiring agencies don’t have the time or resources to move forward with job prospects that don’t impress them out of the gate.


In order for candidates to best prepare themselves for such a high-pressure situation, it is valuable to understand the psychology behind first impressions, how that opinion is generated and how it can be used for strategic advantage. These researches served as the basis of our first activity. Given below are some of the links to some researches on first impressions:


Other interesting reads:



Dimple Shah,                            

Director founder of Revival.Life, a Therapeutic Aids and Resource Centre.

I am a Consulting Psychotherapist, Play Therapist and a Work life Consultant of over 18 years.  I have worked extensively with Psychiatrists, educational institutes, corporates and NGO’s conducting individual sessions, group therapy sessions, workshops, lectures and training programs across Mumbai and Pune.

At we offer consulting services for clients and organisations and training programs for aspiring psychotherapists/ counsellors both online and offline. We believe in substantiating our work by complimenting it with extensive research.

Our expertise extends from working with children, adolescents, adults, couples, families and organizations.

Contact details:

Mobile # 91+9960900363

SMS / Watsap # 91+9960900363

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Depression Treatment Options

However the client should be aware of the treatment options so that he /she can discuss with the consultant. Broadly speaking, the treatment of depression rests on two factors Medication, and Psychotherapy or Counselling.

  • Medication is required for moderate and severe depressive disorder cases.
  • Counseling and psychotherapy serves as an edge in treating depression and need to be started simultaneously along with medicines.
  • You should continue the full course of psychotherapy even if you are feeling better to prevent a relapse.
  • Suddenly stopping antidepressants can precipitate a relapse. Medication needs be tapered gradually under your doctor’s supervision.


Varsha Bhosle’s Suicide….A psychological perspective

Warning bells for depressed clients:

Person turns recluse
Shows little or no interest in the on-going activities / personal care
Has a history of previous suicide attempts or talks about wanting to end life
Has recently met with disappointment or failure
Has lost a loved one or moved away from a loved one
Changes in food and / or sleep habits
Increased physical complains
All the above mentioned signs were present in Varsha Bhosle. With a series of disappointments and failures in her life, losing a close friend and associate might have been the last straw which led her to end her life. However how does a caretaker determine in such a long standing case history of a depressed individual and repeated suicide attempts, when is she most likely to commit suicide? Often it so happens that the people around them take their depression as a routine and do not find anything unusually wrong in their behaviour that particular day.


Surviving Cancer

For all cancer patients, life after recovery is never the same. Although they step out of the shadow of cancer physically, many remain tied to it mentally for the rest of their lives unless they make a conscious effort to get out of it. The words ‘cancer survivor’ is inspiring during the treatment and boosts up your spirits at the end of the treatment however do you really want to be labelled a cancer survivor for the rest of your life? Ever wondered why other terminal illnesses (hepatitis C or Asthma or diabetes or cardiac arrests or other traumas such as earthquake) haven’t got such survivor name tag to them? Pause and think before you go any further….What is actually the role of the patient here in the recovery? Apart from the physical pain and mental trauma, managing the illness is the work of a doctor, like in any illness.  Then why glorify it for the rest of your life? Why make it the centre of your existence. Don’t you feel that you need to move on with your life like one does with all illnesses / traumas? Because if you don’t are you not subtly and surely wallowing in self-glorification of something that you haven’t really worked on? Is this then another way of portraying yourself as a victim and wasting time wallowing in self-pity? This is the conscious decision that you need to make at the end of the treatment which in turn will shape up your remaining life. Will you be known as cancer survivor or someone who has achieved more than surviving a trauma in his/ her field? Just being just a cancer survivor does not help to regain confidence in oneself. But if one goes on further to make his dreams come true then it does help.

Lance Armstrong, one of the cancer survivors did just that. He went back to pursue his dreams with the ferocity that drowned all the woes of cancer. Will our Indian skipper, Yuvraj Singh follow his path?

This article is a follow up on the previous article on Yuvraj Singh and surviving cancer :

Revivallife Counselling


Im a Consulting Psychotherapist  for over 15 years
Director Founder of Therapeutic Aid and Resource Center
Worked with schools, colleges, psychiatrists, NGO’s and organisations both with individuals and groups.
At we offer Certificate Courses and training to aspiring professionals apart from providing net and phone based on line consultancy services, conducting research, training programs and lectures / workshops.
Area of service extends to children, parents, adolescents, adults, patients, marital couples, organizational issues, families, specialized therapeutic groups.
Send me an email on if you are interested in


Games are sets of ulterior unconscious transactions which are played by the couple which always ends up with each person experiencing negative, uncomfortable and familiar feelings. They are characteristically repetitive and will always contain with an element of confusion and surprise.  These games in a couple can get very destructive to the relationship however the couple is unable to disengage from the same without feeling a loss of intimacy. Paradoxical as it may sound, although the outcome of these games is negative, the process re-establishes feelings of love and intimacy which in turn helps them to e entrenched in the relationship. Ironically these unconscious attempts to get close to your partner are the very thing that takes you away from the partner. If you ask any couple about their repetitive arguments, you will be surprised to hear that both the partners know exactly how the conversation will proceed, including the partners responses and yet they have been unable to resolve these conflicts. Often these conflicts are high stakes games and involve intense emotions of anger, fear and lonely, occasionally ending up disastrously for both or one.  No one wins in this game, both are losers.

The emotions experienced by each partner are linked with their assumptions which in turn will be directly linked to a childhood experience/event where they made a decision about themselves, others and the world around them. Underneath these decisions / life game roles will be unresolved and deep rooted feelings from childhood -eg anger that no one heard them as a child; sadness that they didn’t feel important as a child; fear that their parents would leave/overwhelm them. Part of the process of couple’s therapy will be to grieve and let go of these unmet childhood needs. During the stress of game playing these assumptions about reality are perceived as facts in the minds of each person in the couple, even though they are not facts. Seeing a couple’s counsellor will minimize the game playing between you and your partner, as becoming aware of the games you play is the first step to stopping the games.

Therefore game playing in couples also confirms our game role. According to Stephen Karpman there are 3 game roles- Victim, Persecutor and Rescuer. In the Drama Triangle game we can alternate between game roles, but people usually have a preferred life position game role, where they experience familiar feelings which reinforce how they see themselves, others and the world. These life position game roles are fixed during childhood and continue to operate unconsciously until one is made aware of and one chooses a different response that will benefit him/ her.

For example the Victim concludes ‘poor me, as usual no one cares about me'(feeling familiar feelings of helplessness); the Rescuer concludes ‘I just tried to help them ‘ (feeling familiar feelings of confusion and not being appreciated)and the Persecutor concludes ‘I’ll show them ‘(feeling familiar feelings of blaming, anger and self righteousness).

All 3 game roles involve someone not taking responsibility for themselves eg the Victim looks for a partner to take responsibility for them ; the Rescuer seeks out a Victim to take care of but fails to attend to their own needs as well as minimising the Victim’s ability to look after themselves while the Persecutor shifts responsibility by blaming their partner for the difficulties in their life.

Here are some common—albeit negative—games many couples unwittingly play with each other:

  1. Argumentative and oppositional.
     Some people tend to be argumentative and oppositional, picking on their partners to get a rise out of them.  One or both parties are driven to turmoil, so there is often a battle going on in the relationship, and things are frequently on edge and volatile.  Your mate—who knows every hot button you have—intentionally pushes your buttons, and does so on a regular basis.  Frequently, what is really going on is that one person needs reassurance or calming—and asks for it in the seemingly contradictory way of being contentious and oppositional.
  2. Complaining a lot. Some people are experts at picking out the most negative thoughts possible and staying focused on them for prolonged periods of time.  If ten good things and one bad thing happen, most of their thoughts are focused on the bad thing.  These people complain, disagree, find fault or undermine their partner, and are anxious a lot.  Few people are drawn closer to people who are negative, complaining or filled with anxious thoughts.  Therefore, many who unknowingly play this game end up isolated, lonely, depressed and even more negative.
  3. It’s your fault. The person reasons that s/he has little, if anything, to do with the problems in the relationship.  Any problem is, therefore, the other person’s fault.
  4. I’m going to blame you for the same things you blame me for. In this game, one person blames the other for the very things s/he does.  For example, if your spouse complains that you do not listen to him/her, you deny it and say that s/he does not listen to you.  Whenever someone has a complaint or criticism, the other adopts the complaint as his/her own.
  5. Fighting as foreplay. In this game there is an intense fight, then a period of making up.  The swing of emotions is quick and dramatic.  One minute, you are fighting, thinking about divorce and ready to leave, the next moment you are making mad passionate love.  This is because the fight creates adrenaline and is stimulating.  Once stimulated, you are ready for love.
  6. You owe me. I do so much for you and/or our family.  You do considerably less.  You are therefore indebted to me, and whenever I decide to call your debt due, you must perform to my satisfaction.  But perhaps I will prefer not to call the debt due—so I can always have something to hold over your head.
  7. Guess. Guess how I feel, what’s important to me, what will make me happy, what will make me unhappy.
  8. I call the shots. I decide what we’re going to do, and if you cross me, there will be hell to pay.  Therefore, don’t ever cross me.  I am stronger than you.Image
Revivallife Counselling


Im a Consulting Psychotherapist  for over 15 years 
Director Founder of Therapeutic Aid and Resource Center 
Worked with schools, colleges, psychiatrists, NGO’s and organisations both with individuals and groups.
At we offer Certificate Courses and training to aspiring professionals apart from providing net and phone based on line consultancy services, conducting research, training programs and lectures / workshops.
Area of service extends to children, parents, adolescents, adults, patients, marital couples, organizational issues, families, specialized therapeutic groups. 
Send me an email on if you are interested in