MEET Amar Rajan is into performance management training

As a young boy, he used to wonder why each person is different from the other. In college he studied psychology to understand more about matters of the mind and people. Now, tags such as consulting psychologist, life skills coach, Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP) practitioner and hypnotherapist sit lightly on Amar Rajan's shoulders. When one is doing what one likes, it needn't be a burden at all, says Amar. It's been over seven years since he began delving into matters of the mind.

His road to fame has been via the small screen, through personality assessment tests in Vanita Ratnam, a reality show for mothers that was telecast on Amrita TV. Recently, he was seen judging contestants, read husbands, of Veruthe Alla Bharya, a reality show for families that is aired on Mazhavil Manorama.

Vanita Ratnam gave a huge boost to my area of work. The experience on Veruthe… too was exciting,” says Amar. In the Vanita Ratnam series, he tried to gain insights into a contestant's personality by putting the contestants through his exercises in behavioural analysis.

New pastures

These days, Amar is focussing on political psychology and counselling. The former stems from his experience of working with Jawarharlal Nehru Leadership Institute (JNLI). He worked as a “super coach” to assess leadership traits of a group of politicians representing a leading national party.

“The positive aspects I found about these politicians were their ability to handle pressure and withstand enormous stress. Political psychology is a least-explored area in psychology. In the West, most politicians have a psychologist who give them tips on body language, especially during election campaigns, interviews or public meetings,” says Amar.

Besides attending individual cases, Amar also does counselling for employees of some companies. He is currently working for two companies in Technopark. “Many employees find it difficult to balance work and family. Most of them feel better after opening up their mind. In many companies these issues are dealt by a manager who is not formally trained. Therefore, on most occasions the issues get worsened because of this primitive and so called ‘cost effective' approach,” he says.

Founder and director of Mind Carter, a consultancy he launched in 2009 to focus on mind research and performance management training, Amar doesn't appreciate the common mode wherein a patient discusses his/her issues with the psychologist within four walls of his office.

“Psychological interventions are often taken in a negative way. The patients usually get in touch with me online. We fix the meeting at a location, like a coffee shop, where the client is more free and relaxed to talk. However, the disadvantage is that, in such a place it is not easy to handle a case where there is an emotional outburst,” he says, adding: “Many relationships fall apart because of lack of communication.”

Currently pursuing a doctorate in psychology, Amar hopes to launch a psychology-based television programme sometime in future. “I've been on many talk shows and have been thinking about doing something to lift the spirits of those who are facing chronic health problems. For example, treatment for diabetes does not involve psychological aspect. A chronic diabetic patient does go through a lot of mental stress after being put on a strict diet,” he says.