I believe life needs to be experienced fully. To "exist" or "get by" is not doing life justice.Through therapy and mindfulness, I found my passion for life and discovered the ability to live life fully with all it has to offer - the good and the bad. This is what I want my clients to experience - to find their way of reconnecting with life and expressing who they are fully.
I am a South African of Indian heritage and moved to New Zealand in January 2008 looking for a change. In 2012 I started my own business, Alive! Psychology, duly named because of my passion for life and belief in personal growth and standing in your authenticity.
I love being involved in the Hawke's Bay community, a place I am proud to call home. As part of giving back to the community I have a regular slot on Radio Hawke's Bay where I talk about mindfulness and other mental wellness issues. This can be heard on Tuesdays at 1:05pm and podcasts are available on my website.
I also support Women’s Refuge, was the Founder of Mandela Day, and organised the Cyclone Gabriel Wellness Event held March 2023.
I am proud to have been a TEDx speaker in 2020. The topic was “How to parent your inner child”, which is based on my published book Self-Love - The First Step.
Bhavna’s Qualifications and Registration
I gained my qualification in Clinical Psychology in 2003 and worked in South Africa at a forensic psychiatric hospital for three years. During this time, I also ran the psychology programme in an inpatient Substance Abuse Treatment Unit.
- Registered with the New Zealand Board of Psychologists since 13 March 2007
- Member of the New Zealand Psychological Society
- Member of Institute of Clinical Psychology
- Registered with the Health Professionals Council of South Africa as a clinical psychologist since December 2002.
My VISION AND VALUES
Empowering people to change the way they look at themselves so they find a way to reconnect with life and express who they fully are is what gets me up in the morning and guides everything I do with my clients.
- Being open and real and willing to share my own journey to better mental wellness with a twinkle in my eye and a touch of humour.
- Show empathy respect and genuine concern to all people no matter who they are.
- Provide a safe space to allow for genuine communication - Active listening, insightful questions, guide self-problem solving.
- Always act with integrity and honesty underpinned with a solid ethical core.
- Demystify the journey to mental wellness and provide practical tools to apply to everyday life.
Mindfulness - "It's being here now that's important. There's no past and there's no future. Time is a very misleading thing. All there is ever, is the now. We can gain experience from the past, but we can't relive it; and we can hope for the future, but we don't know if there is one." ~ George Harrison
Since 2005 I have been actively practicing mindfulness. This entails regular sitting practice, attending retreats and having monthly mindfulness supervision with my teacher. For me, mindfulness has had a profound impact on my life resulting in me enjoying life more fully. It has helped me love myself again It has given me a feeling of peace, wholeness, happiness. I am blessed that it is part of my life and my work.
Since 2009 I have been incorporating Mindfulness-based Therapy in my practice for individuals and workplaces and I have seen astonishing improvements in clients who practice mindfulness on a regular basis. Some of the benefits of mindfulness include
- Reduced stress and anxiety
- Increased emotional resilience
- Improved ability to cope with difficulties
- Increased empathy and compassion
- Improved sleep quality
- Improved concentration and focus
- Better self-regulation of moods and thoughts
- Enhanced communication in relationships, and
- Promotion of calm and wellbeing
Mindfulness is a massive buzzword with everyone professing to teach it. Given the popularity of mindfulness, it is important to find a mindfulness practitioner for whom mindfulness is not a technique but a lived experience. I liken mindfulness to any other skill. You will not take swimming lessons from someone who did a learn to swim course. Rather you want an experienced teacher for whom swimming is a passion.
Alive! Psychology has both the skill and passion for mindfulness and incorporates mindfulness practices into Individual Therapy, their Mindfulness Retreats and Workplace Mental Fitness Programmes. This enables participants to have a deep experience of mindfulness and to facilitate healing.
Explore the wonder and transformation of mindfulness with Alive! Psychology.
In essence Self-Love is about changing your abusive relationship to yourself to a more loving way of being.
For most of my life, I have experimented and failed with various ways to change how I felt about myself. It was only through my own mindfulness experiences and developing my unique self-love therapeutic approach that I started to love and accept myself as I am - without trying to change or fix me.
When I was first introduced to mindfulness, I did not like myself and I treated myself in a manner befitting my attitude towards me. Over time, as my mindfulness practice developed, I became aware of how badly I was treating myself and started to change how I treated me. Initially, I was afraid that if I loved myself more, I might become arrogant or egocentric and people would not like me. But I soon realised the opposite was true. Self-love has nothing to do with arrogance or ego, it has to do with how you feel about yourself when you are all alone or in the early hours of the morning when everything is still.
Later I started to share some of this with clients in therapy. Because this approach is so simple and obvious, clients easily understood the theory and started changing how they related to themselves. Over time, I have developed a more robust “map” of how to reclaim your self-love.
The map and tools I developed contain ways to stop the verbal, psychological and physical abuse so many of us unconsciously do, as well as teaching how to build a healthy relationship to yourself. These skills are easily integrated into daily life practices and complement other therapeutic approaches.
I have published a book, Self-Love - The First Step, which is available to purchase. My clients have reported experiencing amazing results with my Self-Love Approach, here’s what they say:
The journey has been very beneficial and wholistic in the work/life balance helped me immensely.
Bhavna has turned some very negative, stuck thinking around to more positive thinking. Showing me how to become "unstuck". The improvements in how i feel is remarkably, a huge relief. There is really something out there for me to look forward to.
My treatment has been hugely beneficial. I felt totally understood and comfortable and was amazed at how perceptive Bhavna was.
This journey has been life changing for me and I would recommend this to anyone who wants to improve themselves or learn new life skills to help cope with the challenging world we live in.