Pavitar has a passion for helping those who struggle with illness, whether it is chronic or terminal, and for whom life is fraught with pain, grief, loss, anger and disappointment. Caregivers, family members and loved ones also suffer alongside, and need special care and attention too. Her unique blend of personal experience and caring personality creates a therapeutic relationship that promotes acceptance, healing and well-being.
Her experience with counselling has spanned over 15 years, initially as a volunteer with support groups for the chronically ill, as a patient advocate and as part of her training for her MA in Counselling with Monash University. Her clients have ranged from the young to the elderly, and from different walks of life with varied issues, all united by their common suffering and humanity. As a mother of four children she is more than familiar with the struggles of parenting and raising children in these trying times. She understands the pain of marital breakdown and separation/divorce and what it takes to emerge from all the heartbreak, grief and loss.
Pavitar employs several therapeutic approaches in dealing with clients. Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) involves collaborative work to help clients understand how their thinking processes affect their moods and behaviour, and to examine lifelong patterns of thinking that may need changing. Compassion Focussed Therapy (CFT) is useful when clients struggle with shame, and are harsh personal critics, and gently guides them towards a more compassionate view of themselves. In some instances, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) may be appropriate, where clients take a more mindful approach to distressful events in life, and in so doing lessen the psychological impact and severity of these events. Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT) is focussed on acceptance through mindfulness, and allows for clients to sit with their pain in therapy for as long as necessary, moving through towards eventual change when they are ready. She also has an interest in Narrative Therapy, and the stories that every individual weaves, and that defines their understanding of themselves, their roles in life and the relationships that they have woven into their life’s tapestry.
In all of these approaches, a mindful and accepting, safe, non-judgmental space is provided and collaboratively built upon by both Pavitar and her client, so as to optimally and skillfully help clients receive the assistance they need as they journey towards inner healing and emotional wellbeing.
As someone who seeks to keep expanding her understanding and knowledge of mental health issues, Pavitar is enrolled in a 2-year online MSc in Psychology and the Neuroscience of Mental Health with King’s College, London, UK. She expects to graduate in 2022. She also has an MA in Linguistics from the University of Leeds, UK (1993), and is fluent in English, Malay, and Punjabi.
Pavitar has also been involved in qualitative research and has co-authored several papers and made presentations.
In March 2020, she was due to present a poster entitled “The Use of Qualitative Interviewing as a Means of Eliciting Patient Narratives and Understanding Their Needs” at the 2nd Transform Medical Education Conference organized by Imperial College, London. The conference was postponed due to the Covid-19 global pandemic.
In February 2019, Pavitar was part of the organizing committee of the International Symposium on Communication in Health Care 2019, with the theme “Human Dimension in Medicine and Healthcare”, jointly organized by the NTU Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine, Singapore and Imperial College, London. She was a panel speaker as a Patient Advocate. Additionally, she gave a talk on “A Patient’s Voice: Blogging and the Use of Social Media in Reinventing One’s Life Narrative with Chronic Illness”.