(February 23, 2022) There comes a time when you need to give back to society, to do something meaningful. This is how music therapist Roshan Mansukhani felt after running an event management company for 18 years. It was around this time that he began helping acquaintances with counseling and music. A couple of major success stories later, he decided to share his talent with society and decided to take the plunge into music therapy and motivational counseling. He quit event management and today, nine years later, there’s been no looking back. A TEDx talk, a speech at the Euro Mental Health 2020, Roshan’s been spreading the “positive” word. “I conduct workshops and speak at universities too,” says Roshan in an interview with Global Indian. He has also spoken at IITs and the Mumbai University. Now, he wants to reach out to more students, teaching, and non-teaching staff.
Music therapy – a traditional reality
“Music relaxes, music therapy listens to you. I would call music therapy a traditional reality. If you remove words from your statements, you will get sound. Sound is music and it can heal us because the body heals itself but we do not acknowledge the truth,” he adds.
The music therapist who has been working to help people build their self-confidence, says, “Sometimes in life, we give up or something weighs us down. That is the time for us to realise that it’s okay to seek help. The stigma surrounding therapy and counselling keeps a lot of people from doing so. Fortunately, things seem to be changing and more people are now seeking help, but there’s a long way to go yet.”
Through a combination of questions and chats, he encourages people to revisit instances that made them uncomfortable and thereby face their fears so they can move past it.
Keeping the spark alive
Born in Nigeria, Roshan migrated to Mumbai soon after with his family. After a graduation in commerce from HR College, he went to Jamaica to explore life as a young lad. The experience of living away from home taught him a lot about life. “I just wanted to take every second as a new experience. To this day I believe in it, there will always be a spark within you,” he adds.
“Music is my passion. I am into it for more than 35 years. I experimented a lot of things on myself and thought that if I can heal myself then why not give others a morale boost too,” says Roshan, a self-taught therapist who has mastered the art with practice and observation. His efforts have earned him several accolades including the Mid-Day Icon Award 2021 most recently.
Working upon triggers of discomfort
During his one-on-one sessions, Roshan helps his patients identify triggers and work upon building their confidence so they can bounce back. “One does not have to seek therapy only due to trauma or under duress. Mental health is more important than physical health. Even a stomach ache comes from the mind. So, I look at it as a ‘mind happy body happy thing’. Once in a while speak your mind. Stretch a bit more, get out of the stigma and speak to people who will not judge you,” advises Roshan. His sessions usually last 90 minutes and he creates distinct modules, and structures music which relates to people’s thought processes. “I need at least 15 minutes to myself between sessions as I need to recoup to serve better,” he adds.
Biking – avenue of rejuvenation
“Sunday mornings are my me-time,” says the avid biker, who regularly rides with his biker buddies. “It’s like a rendezvous with myself. I just went on my third trip to Ladakh in September; we were a 17-member group. Next month, we are planning to ride to Goa and then the whole of the south. With biking, I am living my passion and come back completely rejuvenated,” says the music therapist.
Helping others find a solution
An individual’s body language gives him strong cues. That’s why he prefers counseling from home as patients are more relaxed. It’s like ‘chai par charcha’ he says and “a chance to play with my dog Murphy.” His clients are of a mixed age group. “Everyone carries unseen baggage. I work with them to discuss options to shed the load. By talking, they get a new perspective, finding a solution is their job and it becomes easier for them,” he reveals.
Getting 200 percent support from family, he adds, “My daughter, wife, and mother are very supportive of my decision to pursue music therapy full time.” Like him, his 21-year-old daughter loves helping people. She is a professional jazz dancer, yoga teacher, and is pursuing craniosacral therapy (CST). “People are benefitting from her work too. We help and motivate people our way. I believe, and always tell parents; you don’t own your child and the child does not own you,” he signs off.