• Since 2016 when my TA training and psychotherapy practice took off, there have been too many workshops, book, seminars and trainings that have I taken to mention/bore you with. Many each  month.
  • Since Covid hit and everything went online, we have had access to incredible trainers and facilitators,  human beings with deep self work from all corners of the globe: Vasudaiva Kutumbakam, the World is my Family. I have expanded my understanding of humans and human suffering greatly in this time: starting with my own (like any good psychotherapist worth their salt should). 
  • Some of the areas of exploration in the past few years are: Breath and Body work, Systemic Family Constellation, Internal Family Systems, Access Consciousness, Setting Intensions and Manifestation, Psychodrama, Couples work, Somatic Experiencing, Ho pono pono, Trauma Informed therapy and Physiology of Trauma, Shame Stories, Boundary work in Parenting and Hindu Mythology and Spirituality as connected to physis and psychotherapy.
  •  Some of the people who inspire/d me are Terry Real, Brene Brown, Brooke Castillo, Dr. Peter Levine, Richard Schwartz, Gary Craig, Thich Nhat Hanh, Dr. Thomas Gordon, Nathaniel Brandon.
  • Nothing would have been possible without the love and support of my family and friends. And the many trainers and mentors that I have been blessed with along the way in my ever evolving iterations in this Journey to Selfhood.

2022- 2024: CTA exam writing

2016: Elana Leigh Workshop, Bangalore, India

2016: Coaching Workshop with Karen Pratt, Bangalore, India

2016:  South East Asian Transactional Analysis conference,      (SAATA),  Coimbatore, india.

2016: TA Practice & Theory with Elana Leigh, Bangalore, IN

2016: Our Amazing Body, Dr. Nandita Shah (Online)

2016: Swashikshan Homeschoolers Conference, Bangalore IN

2016: Sociocracy,  Shammi Nanda & John Buck, Bangalore, IN​

2016: MultiLevel Learning Chennai, India

2015-18: Ongoing Training in Transactional Analysis                                                      

2015: Heal Your Life based on Louise Hays Work

2015: Family Constellation work Sailaja Manacha

2014: Foundation Course in TA

2014: Our body Ourselves Tripura K/Sailaja M. Bangalore IN

2014: Eclectic Group therapy Workshop Sailaja Manacha

2014: Discipline: Setting limits with connection and empathy by Ruth Beaglehole, Chennai, IN

2014: Anger Management for Parents by Ruth Beaglehole, Chennai, IN

2011: TA 101 Physis Bangalore, India

2010:Parenting Workshop, Parivarthan Bangalore, India 

2010: Interpersonal Communication & Listening Skills, (LST1) Parivarthan, Bangalore, India  

2009:Unconditional Parenting, Lecture by Alfie Kohn, Santa Clara, California USA

2009: P.E.T. Facilitators Certification completed successfully

2009:  A.M.I. refresher course in Houston, Texas, U.S.A

2008: Gordon Training International’s P.E.T. Trainer Program, Tampa Florida, U.S.A. 

2008: A.M.I. refresher course in Atlanta Georgia, U.S.A. 

2007: A.M.I. refresher course in San Francisc, U.S.A. 

2007: Association Montessori Internationale (A.M.I.) diploma in Montessori Primary (3-6 year), Mountain View, U.S.A. 

2006: Developing Creative Minds in a Wired World-The Latest in Brain Research Workshop by Jane Healy. San Rafael, California, USA 

2006: Feeding your Toddler – Based on book by Ellen Satter, Sunnyvale, California, USA

2005: How to Talk so Kids will Listen and Listen so Kids will Talk – Based on Faber and Mazlish’s book of the same name Tokyo, Japan 

2004 and 2005: Parent Effectiveness Training (P.E.T.) – Tokyo, Japan 

2004: Undertook Personal Therapy for the 1st time

1996-99: Doctor of Philosophy in Yeast Genetics at the University of Oxford, UK (did not submit the final thesis)

What is SElfHood?

Do I belong to myself or to others?  Nathaniel Branden.

According to the Free Dictionary, the definition of Selfhood is "the fully developed self."  At Journey2Selfhood our working definition is that it is a state of honouring who you are in your entirety: every feeling, thought, behaviour, need, sensation ...... you name it .....we accept your right to experience yourself fully. We support your right to stand in your power authentically, no matter the external circumstance of your life. And to show up potently as you interface with the world. 

SYMbolism of the spiral

The spiral is an ancient symbol that signifies among other things:

         - Evolution and holistic growth
         - Letting go, surrender, release
         - Awareness of the one within the context of the whole
         - Connectivity and union with deific and cosmic energies
         - Revolutions of time, stars, planets & the way of natural progress  

(Click here to read more and see original reference

To me personally, the spiral is a symbol of visiting and revisiting familiar spaces within and without me with greater and ever-widening, ever- deepening understanding ... till hopefully one day I've transcended it all. 

Journey2Selfhood © ALL RIGHTS RESERVED 

​​​​​Have a question or doubt?

Happy to Support you in making the best choice for yourself and  your family. 

The Journey 2 Selfhood

The journey to selfhood then is your personal journey towards your authentic self. Who you are on the inside, without or inspite of all the conditioning and circumstances. To set right the distortions or inauthentic image of you that is projected on the world.  This journey is traversed through gaining of self-esteem and through personal autonomy both of which are indispensable to human wellbeing - be that as a parent or a person.

Books I've grown by 

Elementary school
  • The Family at Red Roofs - Enid Blyton  

  • Happy Days. L. Voronkova ~ illustrated by E. Bulatov and O. Vasiliev - 1980 hardcover Children's Book printed in USSR

Middle school
  • Heidi - Johanna Spyri                                                    

High school
  • How to stop worrying and start living - D. Carnegie (9th grade- i know i know. At 15 this book was quite an eye opener on a whole new way of thinking and being)

  • The Road Less Travelled - M. Scott Peck (Natural progression from Carnegie - however I don't remember much of the book beyond the fact that I was totally into it at the time)

  • The Four Agreements - Don Muigel Ruiz ​                       (Soon after quitting my phd - I consider this my Bible, for it's simple yet profound and transformative message.   1) Be Impeccable with your word, 2) Always do your best, 3) Don't take anything personally 4) Don't make assumptions. 

  • Your Child's Self Esteem - Dorothy Corkille Briggs (pregnant with my first. Set the tone and quest for the next 20 years. Briggs, I later learnt was amongst one of Dr. Gordon's first P.E.T. clients)
  • The Joy Diet - Martha Beck (helped dig me out of a hole at a particularly difficult time. I love her wit and sense of humour)
  • Parent Effectiveness Training - Dr. Thomas Gordon. Read more on the Parenting page
  • Honouring the Self - Nathaniel Branden  (probably the most important book I've ever read - took half a  life time of preparation to arrive at the point of even reading it)                              

If you have a book that you grew by, would love to hear your story of transformation:  Journey2Selfhood@gmail.com 


​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​ Journey 2 Selfhood​

Here I share my ever evolving working hypothesis and the story behind Journey2Selfhood. You can read a sample of my eclectic and mish- mash bio on the left hand side. 

​     Sonal Kothari

M.Sc.,P.E.T. Facilitator, Psychotherapist (in certification)

Seeker, empath, mother, hunter of clarity and compassion

 ABout Sonal

I am on a journey to selfhood myself. I take my own work as a parent and a person seriously and am committed to supporting others in their journeys as well. I call it removing the parallax between my social self (how I show up in the world) and my true or inner self, a concept I learnt from reading Martha Beck's work. When I was born I had the potential to be my best self - pure potentiality as Deepak Chopra says. Then life and growing up happened and the gap between the two selves set in - it happens to us all. At some point I began the journey to merge those two selves of mine - hence removing the parallax.  The road has, at times been messy, occasionally unpleasant and disheartening even.  The results of integration of self which I currently see as the gaining of autonomy* however, have been  motivation and reward enough to keep me traversing this now, often, joyous path.

*"The components of autonomy are awareness, spontaneity and the capacity for intimacy (on a bedrock on integrity). It implies the ability to solve problems using the person's full resources as a grown up." (Modified from Stewart and Joines, TA Today, 2012, p 6)

I am a Molecular Biologist by training, with a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree from Delhi University and was enrolled as a Ph.D. research scholar at University of Oxford, UK. Close to completion of my thesis, the inner pressure to no longer conform to my "perceived" external demands i.e. to listen to my own heart could not be denied. I quit my studies against all common wisdom and set about this Journey inwards. There has been no looking back. 


I first came across P.E.T. in 2004 when my first born was a toddler.  It was offered as part of the Montessori School of Tokyo's ongoing parent eduction and support program.  This proved to be a turning point not only in my parenting journey but also in my personal journey. I re-took the P.E.T. course within the year a second time along with 16 other women (the first batch had 5 of us, we all signed up again).  After moving back to the USA, training and later working as a Montessori teacher,  I realised the parents of my students could do with the P.E.T. skills. By then my second child was born and I was in need of a refresher myself. There wasn't a program in the Bay Area where I lived, so I undertook training as a P.E.T. instructor with Gordon Training International, U.S.A. in Florida in 2008. My first batch of P.E.T. was indeed parents of children from my classroom :)! I have very fond memories of the experience. We moved back to India the same year and since then I have been facilitating P.E.T. every year.  

That I was meant to work in this very specific area of Parent- Child communication or mis-communication became clear when I was 9 years old.  I remember quite vividly the conversation that revealed this, with Mom asking me the proverbial "Beta (child) what do you want to be when you grow up?" question. Thank you Mom, I en-heart you. As I look back I see that I  took a few de-tours along the way,  arriving where I was meant to.  That I feel strongly or passionately about this topic is an understatement. As I read through the feedback for the testimonial's section of this website, I see that parents pick up on this quite consistently as well. It makes me feel good about the work that I do.   


Training to be a therapist was a cherished childhood dream (part of the same conversation with my mom)  that  naturally fell into place as a part of my ongoing quest for selfhood, my innate curiosity about what makes people the way they are and my need to support others. I particularly enjoy working with women who have a desire to align themselves with their core: to start removing the parallax that society and upbringing has wedged within them.  Another topic I feel strongly about.


Since 2017, I've begun training in Psychodrama. Something that I'm  applying in my current work.