As a parent, a school-based therapist, and a former public-school volunteer, I have worked with children in different capacities over the years. I love working with gifted individuals because they challenge me to think in new ways and they usually make me smile.
What can a client expect from you?
A successful therapeutic relationship begins and sustains itself with mutual trust. When I work with kids, I provide a space for them to safely say things they might not share with anyone else at home or school because they are shy, embarrassed or afraid of consequences. For parents, I offer my experience as a therapist and a parent. It is hard to watch our children face the social challenges of the Middle- and High School years, more so if their peers don’t share their interests or sensitivity. I support parents in their efforts to understand their children and provide a family environment where communication and problem solving get easier.
Having been raised outside the US, I also have some insight into collectivistic cultures and the challenges people face when trying to adapt to or raise a family in a new culture.
What is your background?
I have a B.A. in Psychology from Women’s Christian College, Chennai, India, and an M.S. in Education from the University of Rochester in New York. I worked for many years as an instructional designer at various companies such as Apple and Sun Microsystems. After volunteering for a decade as an art docent and theater director at the local school district, I got an M.A. in Marriage and Family Therapy from JFK University. I have worked previously at the Sunnyvale Community Counseling center, where I especially enjoyed supporting couples and adolescents. I continue to provide individual and group therapy to children in the Campbell Union School District.
How did you decide to become a therapist?
As it happens, I attended a seminar for parents of gifted kids, and ended up in a conversation with the presenter, who was a Marriage and Family Therapist. With my previous background in Psychology, and my experience raising my kids, it seemed like a perfect fit for my next career, so I returned to school for a second Master’s degree.
What is your therapeutic style?
As a strengths-based therapist, I believe that that you have inner resources to change and grow, and you can be the author of your own story. You are the expert on your life; I will be the person who helps you find new directions to reach the goals you want, within the context of your values and beliefs. My approach is collaborative and interactive, and I strive to strike a balance between empathic listening and offering honest perspectives.
What else can you tell me about yourself?
I’m a parent of a teen and a young adult from whom I learn regularly that I’m not as cool as I think I am. I’m an ardent tennis fan and I am a freelance writer for India Currents magazine.