Dear Zindagi, a film made by Gauri Shinde, starring Alia Bhatt and Shah Rukh Khan has just released. It is a movie that has been liked by a number of people for a number of reasons – relatability, realness and good performances being a few. One thing that the movie has attempted to do is throw light on the area of counselling and therapy, which is what appealed most to me- it’s my profession, after all!! Showing that it is absolutely fine to seek help to deal with issues that may seem trivial, but could have deeper roots, is a step towards encouraging common man to resort to counselling without a feeling of shame or guilt. The layers uncovered through the sessions have also been showcased in a realistic way, and same goes with the level of professionalism, such as time-adherence etc.
The only thing I didn’t appreciate was the fact that the chair creaked at the end, which meant that SRK, although expressed detachment to the client due to ethics (thank the filmmakers for that!), did emotionally get affected by Alia. What the emotion was is something I choose not to debate about. As a psychologist who meets clients day-in and day-out, this wasn’t a REAL moment. Well, I guess the Bollywood touch had to come in somewhere.
Lastly, although it wasn’t said out blatantly in the film, I would want to tell you that there is a difference between a psychiatrist and a psychologist – the former prescribes medicines, the latter specializes in talk-therapy. A psychiatrist who provides counselling and therapy sessions has definitely undertaken additional training to be adept at doing so. I thought it is important to clarify, since I heard an RJ the other day reviewing the film, saying SRK plays a role of psychiatrist, whereas he himself says in the film that he is a psychologist. And the two are different!
To sum up, Dear Zindagi is a great attempt towards diffusing the taboo on therapy and counselling, which, no matter how much we deny, still does exist in the minds of a lot of people today in India.