Ayanthi De Silva
Ayanthi is a true believer in the power of therapy, with its ability to help challenge unhelpful thoughts and strengthen more helpful ones with a bit of skill and plenty of practice. She spent years working with people who have experienced psychosis, including voice-hearing, and a pivotal lesson she learned is that the only power the voices have is the power the voice-hearer gives them. This principle applies to all of us, our internal chatter of self-beliefs, automatic thoughts and ruminations are really just a sequence of words in our minds. Mental freedom comes when we get to choose which ones we want to indulge.
Ayanthi’s style of therapy embodies the humanistic, client-centred approach where you are invited to take part in an authentic exploration of your own unique experiences, allowing her to guide you through challenges and growth. She enjoys the collaborative process of working with people to find solutions to problems through skill-building and goal-setting. She also has a fondness for Acceptance and Commitment Therapy and its emphasis on aligning values with actions in order to create a more fulfilling and rich life.
Ayanthi’s quick tip for smashing depression
Depression zaps our motivation and makes us feel overwhelmed and unable to commit to tasks, but change cannot come about through inaction. One way to overcome this is by breaking down a task (cleaning the bedroom) into realistically achievable chunks (making the bed). We derive self-value from fulfilling our responsibilities and the sense of accomplishment we can get from this can reinforce continued action and openness to greater challenges.
Outside the therapy room
I’ve been involved in animal advocacy for over a decade now and do my best to live a compassionate lifestyle. I try to balance my education and outreach work with visiting rescued animals at sanctuaries, it is truly heart-warming to see them get to live out a full life. A nice added bonus is that being in their presence is a rejuvenating and grounding experience for me, one of my best mindfulness practices! I also dabble in painting and drawing and love visiting local art galleries for a hit of inspiration – The White Rabbit Gallery in Chippendale is my favourite.
My therapy song…
The song that makes me feel alive, present and ready to face the world.
A DIFFERENT FEELING – The Avalanches