Zara Maqbool

  • In my line of work as a therapist one of the most common presenting issues clients want to work on is lack of motivation. Clients feel stuck, having no want or desire to do anything, loss of interest in work and relationships; ‘I don’t have the motivation to do anything’ is what ...

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  • A week ago, I came across a video that went viral on social media. It showed the employee of a well-known local bank harassing and inappropriately touching a woman inside the bank. It’s believed that the woman was also employed at the bank.As a woman I have experienced harassment myself. It ...

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  • Getting married and more importantly at the right age and even more importantly to a ‘suitable boy or girl’ is the top most priority of all parents across all classes of our society. I believe parents in our culture place marriage at a higher priority than the professional or personal ...

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  • Last week I took my son to a very well-known chest specialist in Islamabad. It’s not the first time I have consulted him, but it’s the first time I am choosing to express my anger at how a noble profession of a doctor often referred to as a ‘Messiah’ is being treated by many ...

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  • In the last two years, I have seen a movement emerging in the younger generation; a movement of self-awareness, a desire to process their life and make different life choices to facilitate their self-growth. These choices are not in terms of professional and personal choices but more to do with ...

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  • Last week, a young man came to seek therapy. His presenting issue was feeling unhappy, no motivation and just going through the motions of life without any interest whatsoever. He is a bright young man working for a good local company and an only son. When anyone walks into my office with anxiety ...

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  • I had always been conflicted when it comes to my feelings towards the Pakistan Army. Being a blue blooded ‘bloody civilian’ I closely got to know army families when I married into one. I loved the cantonments I visited, as my brother in law is an army officer too. I admired how planned ...

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  • My son Rayan was always known to be a sweet boy with a dimpled smile and a twinkle in his eyes; and no this isn’t a loving mom talking, but the general sentiment of anyone who knows him. And then along came the cursed Xbox; a video gaming console. Mind you that I resisted. I wanted to be THE ...

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  • I read in the news yesterday that PM Imran Khan is extremely concerned about the ‘growing obscenity and vulgarity’ in society. Apparently, the PM feels that its exposure to obscenity that leads to crimes like rape and sexual abuse in society. Social media and apps like TikTok are ...

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  • It’s not the first time that a woman is raped. She has been raped whether she is single or married, whether she is the 5-year-old Marwa or a mother of three. It’s not just Pakistan where such a terrible act is committed, but this evil is universal and common to the inhumanity of human ...

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  • Many parents might at times feel paralysed in certain interactions with their children where they are unable to understand how to deal with the conflict that arises, as most options they usually try would stop working, leaving them feeling as parental failures at a complete loss as to how to move ...

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  • Time and again I have worked on facilitating my clients learn how to say no. Saying no to what is expected of them, but more importantly saying no to what is not expected of them and yet they end up saying yes to it. As children we are taught saying yes to everything .To what food our parents tell ...

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  • Adoption is perhaps one of the most challenging and fulfilling experiences of life. When a couple chooses to raise another’s child, it is not a simple decision in any way. Many times I have worked with clients who seek therapy trying to process the fact that they were adopted or the sense of ...

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  • On June 14, Indian actor Sushant Singh Rajput committed suicide by hanging himself from the ceiling. An FIR was filed against his girlfriend Rhea Chakraborty under charges of abetment to suicide.As a mental health practitioner, I work closely with people suffering from anxiety, depression and ...

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  • I was always blunt. As a child it was considered cute, as a teenager very rude and as an adult it sometimes caused rupture in relationships. And then I decided to become a therapist and now I get paid to be blunt. So why is bluntness seen as a negative quality? According to google, blunt means ...

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  • I started couple counselling two years ago, intrigued by the challenge of working with two people at the same time and that too when they are in a relationship. What should I say? I have always liked fireworks. Joke aside, it’s the challenge of understanding two unique individuals with their ...

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  • Recently, I met a very senior psychiatrist with more than three decades of experience. Having been practicing for a few years only, I asked him what in his experience was the reason for the rise in mental health issues like depression, anxiety, addiction and relational difficulties etc.In his ...

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  • A few days ago, I came across a video that went viral where a man in Rawalpindi is ruthlessly hitting his mother. The video was made by the stepsister and was followed by the man’s wife narrating another version of this incident, claiming that the mother has physically abused the son and ...

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  • For as long as I remember, I smiled and I smiled in the face of any situation that threatened the strong persona I had built up over the years. Being vulnerable was a possibility that would make my heart start beating fast and palms sweaty, and the bigger the risk to the ‘Be strong’ ...

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  • In the 1980s, Meredith Maran, an author and journalist, remembered her father sexually abusing her as a child. For eight years she didn’t keep any contact with him. Many years later, she realised that it was a false memory she had. Having immense courage, she wrote a memoir that narrates the ...

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  • Almost everyone I know has been talking about how the world has changed as we cover our faces with masks and stand 6 feet apart from each other and jump if anyone mindlessly comes near us. We have been reflecting on feeling disconnected to each other as we hide behind our laptop screens via zoom ...

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  • I always knew that sexual abuse existed, preying on girls and boys of all ages, a predator that along with physically, mentally and emotionally hurting its victims, silenced them into carrying the burden of a secret that keeps them in a spiral of shame for years at end; a shame that never belonged ...

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  • On June 14, a promising handsome Indian actor, Sushant Singh Rajput committed suicide by hanging himself in his bedroom. It was stated that the actor suffered from depression for the last six months. His suicide shook people across the subcontinent, and I saw many people shocked and sad at the ...

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  • More than any other time in our lives, this pandemic is the most important reason to start making our mental health a priority. I can’t say it enough; along with all the vitamins, desi totkas and healthy eating, mental health needs to be understood and paid close attention to, in order to ...

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  • There is no easy way to say this, so let me come out and say it bluntly: as a society, we are perhaps one of the most judgmental ones in the world. Period! We judge and we judge and we judge. Ever since I connected back to my writing, this got reconfirmed for me as I receive condemnatory feedback ...

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  • We are all currently aware of the recent Uzma Khan scandal and her reported affair with a married man, her harassment by the man’s wife etc. and to me it seemed like a well-timed distraction from the heaviness we have all been experiencing post the ill-fated air crash. Now, social media is ...

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  • Every day at some unexpected moment, a huge wave of sadness engulfs me wanting to overthrow all the positivity that I try to gather like a destructive demonic force. As a therapist I questioned if this unexpected occurrence could classify as clinical depression. Traditionally it did not but ...

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  • There are so many areas in Pakistan that need serious looking into and effective changes to take place immediately. There are overwhelming issues like education and health that have been grossly neglected but so many invisible ones that do not get talked about, where only those involved are ...

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  • I heard this term ‘smoking up’ for the first time as a young therapist in training, having to Google after the client left to understand what it meant. It’s the process of using drugs like hash or weed that evokes a ‘high’; a false feeling of euphoria, well-being and ...

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  • Every year as Ramadan is approaching, I start feeling what in psychology terms is called ‘moral anxiety’ originating from shame for feeling like someone who is not spiritually sound, as I find fasting extremely difficult. The famous psychoanalyst Freud coined the word ‘moral ...

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