Dr Shibu Karippai
I view human life as existence in two distinct dimensions simultaneously: one intangible essence and the other tangible forms. An analogy: think of a mobile phone that has two aspects: on one side, it receives information signals that are intangible and meaningless to our senses; on the other, the phone converts that information into images and sounds that are tangible and meaningful. Likewise, I see an individual as comprising two distinct yet inseparable parts: an Inner-selfand an outer-self. The former is invisible to us and is made up of our self-concept, belief systems, emotional patterns, etc.; the latter is the embodiment and reflection of the Inner. The outer-self shows up in a myriad of forms in one’s personal and relational life. Our way of being in the world emerges from our inner perceptual world which is unique to every individual.
Any form of mental, emotional and relational misalignment is an invitation to examine one’s Inner-self, which is the space from which our thoughts, emotions and actions emerge. Exploring one’s Inner-self is vital in understanding the why and how we relate to ourselves, others and the world in general. It is far too easy to make the mistake of trying to change the external circumstances without realising that it is the Inner-self that is asking for transformation; the change in the outer self will be consequential and inevitable – it is a law of life.
What must the therapeutic process be like to accomplish all this? you may ask. Again, think of a mobile phone that has two different aspects, the software (operating system and applications) and the hardware. Likewise, therapeutic process needs to look into one’s mental operating system (assumptions, beliefs, etc. mostly based on a survival mode) and its embodiment – ways in which our body has recorded our experiences and repeats habitually coping strategies. Often any form of change is challenging as we fight against our habitual embodied self without knowing how to take its power back to ourselves.
Therapeutic process is a space for listening, examining and understanding one’s Inner-self that has been mostly running on a ‘survival operating system,’ its corresponding embodied self and the laws by which they are interconnected. It is also a space for clarifying and upgrading one’s Inner and outer self to greater levels of freedom and aliveness. It does take commitment, but in my personal and professional experience, it is more than worth the effort.
We live in a privileged world as an ever-growing body of scientific research informing us about how our Inner and outer-self work. Those insights in turn give rise to scientifically informed tools to work with. I employ them as and when it can be useful as part of the therapeutic process
The way I work and special interests
In my work with individuals, couples, and workshops for groups, I facilitate processes for investigating one’s inner perceptual world (Inner-self) which is energy patterns that shape the external world of forms. This means: growing in greater awareness; understanding one’s heart’s longings and clarifying one’s future vision; investigating compassionately what stands in the way as one’s belief systems, coping mechanisms, and behavioural patterns; and thus ‘upgrading’ one’s Inner and outer self to greater level of freedom and aliveness.
For more than a couple of decades, I have been passionately studying and reflecting on the connection between various disciplines such as energy psychology, psychotherapy, metaphysics, theology, spirituality and the role of human consciousness in shaping our reality. The joy of that journey is not just in satisfying the intellectual appetite but in seeing and experiencing the life-giving implications of all that in one’s daily life. It is hugely rewarding to synthesise conclusions from various disciplines and to creatively think of models that can make sense of how human mind and relationships work and the interconnected nature of one’s Inner and outer self.
Qualifications and background
With my cultural and spiritual roots in India and then being trained in philosophy and psychology in the West, I consider myself a blend of East and West. I hold degrees in philosophy and psychology, and a Professional Doctorate in Counselling Psychology completed in the UK. I am a Chartered Counselling Psychologist registered with BPS (British Psychological Society) and HCPC (Health & Care Professions Council). Besides my own private practice as a Chartered Psychologist in the UK, I am also the Co-founder and Director of Terapia Consultancy, a successful private practice offering psychological services in London.