Autobiography: Family of Origin, Career and Professional Growth

I was born and brought up in India also known as the Republic of India. India is the largest subcontinent in South Asia which consists of six other countries including Nepal, Pakistan, and Bangladesh. My family is oriented by the Indian culture and lifestyle. In India, Kerala (my home State), is the first State to achieve 100% literacy. It is known for its natural beauty and nicknamed as God’s own country. India has a population of 1. 18 billion (April 2010 Estimate) and 29 main languages.

Life in my birth country (India) is fascinating as people from various different communities, ethnic and language groups, and religious traditions live together in unity. Indian population is polygenetic and is an amazing amalgamation of various races and cultures. The cultural anthropological studies reveal the fact that there are over 4000 ethnic groups and 1635 dialects in India. 41.03% of the Indian population speaks Hindi, the national language of India. Indian tradition and culture are demonstrated through language, food, religious festivals, jewelry, music, dance, and sculptures.

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Being a child of Christian missionary I have had the opportunity to move to different states in India and live in their cultures from my early childhood. My High school education was done in Kerala, my home state, and moved to Karnataka, another South Indian State, for four years to do my undergraduate program in Cultural studies. After graduation I moved to Uttar Pradesh, a North Indian state, with employment. These experiences provided me the opportunity to understand the cultural differences within my country.

Now I live in Houston. Houston is a city with a large number of Asian Indian immigrants. Therefore, we have Indian associations and community groups in Houston to foster the Indian traditions and culture, and to transfer the Indian heritage to the second and third-generation Indian immigrants in Houston.

Family of Origin – Genogram

I was born and raised in a small town in Kerala, India. My parents, also born and raised in Kerala, India, have been in Church ministry for the last fifty-five years.

It has been a challenge for my father and mother as they have endured many struggles such as poverty, lack of support from family and friends, and extreme opposition from other religious fundamentalists and further social pressures to conform. Such events enable me to understand the struggles and emotions that people in such situations experience. My father is so gentle and soft-spoken. He comes from a farmer family. I have never seen my grandfather. I was told that he was a hard-working farmer. He owned 10 acres of agricultural land. He had begun his day daily by 4 am and after the Morning Prayer, he used to go to the land for his work.

His children, including my father, helped him in the work of agricultural cultivation and production. The trait of hard-working from my grandpa and the spiritual discipline of my grandma, later, influenced my father to be a strict religious and hard-working person in his family. The strict discipline received from my father helps me a lot to be self-disciplined in my daily personal and professional work plan. My Father, after his High School graduation, became a Christian minister. My mother, a housewife, is so loving and caring. She respects my father as he, in turn, loved her.

It was also the cultural trait in India that women to be submissive to their husbands. While my father was busy with his church ministry responsibilities, my mother took care of the house and was always concerned with our school work, our homework, projects, and tests My elder sister, who is an accountant, was just like a mother for me as she was 12 years older than me. She was a woman of patience and perseverance. Sometimes she demanded respect from us arguing for her position of being the eldest among the children, but my brother had a patriarchal orientation as a woman is always submissive to men.

Therefore, he used to argue with her to keep his position as the eldest male child. Another brother, youngest in the family, who is currently an Electronic Engineer, used to brag about the special care he received from the parents and others. In India, the youngest male child had all the privileges of having more share in the family, having the privilege to stay with parents even after the marriage. Many times I felt so uncomfortable with my position, as the middle child, in the birth order. My brother, who is a pastor, was so strict and serious in disciplining us.

He, sometimes, claims the position of my father to discipline us, especially on the educational side. Now as a graduate student at the University of Houston I am so grateful to him for the guidance and punishment he gave me that brought me thus far in the education. My mother and my brother place so much confidence in me that I truly felt it deep inside the core of my being. The positive feedback, praise, and affection helped me to believe that I can achieve whichever height of life I want to pursue in my life and career. I got married in 1995 and have two beautiful children. My wife is loving and bold.

She corrected many of my misunderstanding of marriage. Born and brought up in Bangalore, one of the Metropolitan cities in India, and having more exposure to city life, she made me understand that every responsibility in the family is a shared responsibility, not shouldered by any one part of it. Being a Registered Nurse, she joined a hospital for work and we together shared the responsibility of bread-winning, child-caring, and other family responsibilities.

Career History

I started my career as an instructor at a private school in Kerala, India. I worked there for a year teaching basic reading and writing skills in the English language.

When I look back today to my career history I agree with the principles of Social Cognitive Career Theory. The SCCT gives emphasis on the social contexts, experiences, and encouragements from significant others in a person’s life in choosing his career. It was during the 12th grade I was inspired by the message of Reverend Joshua D., Director of Intercollegiate Prayer Fellowship of India, to commit my life to the Christian ministry. After graduation in Theology (Masters in Theology), I moved to North India to teach at New Theological Seminary located at Dehradun, in Uttaranchal.

In 1994 I joined Bharat Susamachar Samity, India as a missionary to North India. The dedication and meekness of Reverend George C. Kuruvila, Founder of Bharat Susamachar Samiti, Dehradun, had a significant influence on my life. My relationship and involvement with Bharat Susamachar Samiti (Good News for India), a charitable organization working for the welfare of the impoverished and oppressed people in North India, broadened my understanding of Christian mission and molded me to become more of a people person.

Choosing Counseling Career

My intention to pursue Professional counseling stems from my personal and pastoral ministry experiences.

I was born and raised in Kerala, India. My parents have been in Christian ministry for the last fifty-five years. It has been a challenge for our family to do the Lord’s work as we have endured many struggles such as poverty, lack of support from family and friends, and extreme opposition from other religious fundamentalists, cultural shocks, and further social pressures to conform. These situations caused stress, disappointment, and frustrations even from very early childhood. Being brought up in such a situation enable me to understand the emotional struggles and behavioral changes of the people.

The entry to the pastoral ministry in 1999 further developed my interest in the area of counseling. I realized the importance of further training in the area of counseling to become an effective and efficient counselor. I have had many opportunities in India and Kuwait to help people in their crisis.

UHV’s Role in my Professional Training

I believe that the graduate program in professional counseling at UHV would prepare me to be a professional with relevant academic training, as well as the self-understanding and awareness needed to facilitate growth, development, and healing among others.

The dynamic training at UHV has been helping me to develop appropriate knowledge and skills in me to effectively affect wellness and facilitate change in persons, respecting their cultures, values, beliefs, and talents. I hope to integrate Biblical and psychological insights into effective counseling ministry, stimulate the development of personal maturity, self-understanding, and interpersonal sensitivity. My immediate goal also includes being a Licensed Counselor in the State of Texas.

My long term goal is to pursue my studies in counseling at the Doctoral level and later teach in the School of Psychology/ Counseling to transfer the knowledge and experience to the upcoming practitioners. Career Theory The theory I prefer to choose is the Social Cognitive Career Theory developed by Lent, Brown, and Hackett (Anderson & Vandehey, 2006, p. 87). The Social Cognitive Career Theory is developed from the Social Cognitive Theory of Albert Bandura and it addresses the issues of culture, gender, genetic endowment, social context, and unexpected life events that people might interact with and how they influence the career choices.

Career choice is seen as the product of the interaction between an individual, his/her behavior, and the environment (Anderson & Vandehey, 2006, p. 87). The Social Cognitive Career Theory is constructed on the proposal that people’s career choice is influenced by their self-efficacy and their career choices are refined by four major sources:

  • a) Personal performance accomplishments: – Experiences of previous success and failures;
  • b) Vicarious learning: – developing career choices though watching others, modeling and mentoring;
  • c) Social persuasion:- encouragement and discouragement from society or significant others. This source could also be called verbal persuasion;
  • d) Physiological states and reactions: This is the principle of stress reactions in the body. Individuals’ psychological and emotional factors affect their career choices.


There is a long-term evolutionary process in my life that last from my childhood in the development of my career goals and choices.

My professional development is influenced by many contextual factors and personal influences from the significant others including my parents, siblings, and leaders of the Bharat Susamachar Samiti in Dehradun, India. As seen in the Social Cognitive Career Theory (SCCT), the career focus is developed through a process of intervening learning experiences that shapes one’s abilities and impacts self-efficacy and outcome beliefs, one’s vocational interests, and choices (“Overview of the Career Development Theory”, p. 1).


  1. Anderson, P., & Vandehey, M. (2006). Career Counseling and Development in a Global Economy. Boston: Lahaska Press.
  2. Overview of the Career Development Theory. (). Retrieved from

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