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Psychotherapist, Teacher & Trainer
Therapist & Clinical Psychologist
Senior Professor of Psychiatry & Associate Dean, NIMHANS

Date & Time

Sunday Sun, 24 Jul 2022

Location (for BIC Venue, BIC Hybrid and BIC Cafe)

Bangalore International Centre
7, 4th Main Road, Domlur II Stage
Bengaluru, Karnataka 560 071 India
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+91 98865 99675 bic@bangaloreinternationalcentre.org

Mental health has taken centre stage following the pandemic and more and more people are seeking therapy. Many are curious, several are sceptical and some are confused about what therapy is all about.

Will there be a couch? Does the gender of the therapist matter? Will I have to spill out all my secrets in the first meeting? Do I need counselling or art therapy or a more traditional form of psychotherapy?

Is the therapist expected to solve all my problems and does it really work for the `Indian’ psyche!

This panel with three well known and reflective therapists from Bangalore will dwell on these and other questions about psychotherapy as it is practised today.


Poornima Bhola

Psychotherapist, Teacher & Trainer

Poornima Bhola is a psychotherapist, teacher, supervisor and researcher and is currently Professor, Department of Clinical Psychology, NIMHANS, Bangalore. She works with adults to foster emotional and relational growth and towards psychosocial rehabilitation of persons with severe mental illnesses.

She believes that questions are more important than answers and has fulfilled a long held dream to write a book Reflective Practice and Professional Development in Psychotherapy (Sage Publications, 2022), in collaboration with Dr. Chetna Duggal & Dr. Rathna Isaac. She has previously co-edited a book Ethical Issues in Counselling and Psychotherapy Practice (Springer, 2016).

What Poornima most enjoys is the process of training and supervision, and she is currently the Coordinator of the psychotherapy training programme in the department.

Poornima has conducted numerous workshops on reflective practice, ethics and youth mental health. for counsellors and psychotherapists and on workplace mental health for several organisations. She is on several research, editorial and ethics committees and is a member of the consultative committee on transgender rights, GOI.

Rathna Isaac

Therapist & Clinical Psychologist

Rathna Isaac (PhD in Clinical Psychology) is a psychotherapist, supervisor and trainer with more than 20 years of experience. She is a private practitioner and works with individual adults as well as couples, using an integrated framework. She is on the Board of Studies, Department of Psychology, St. Joseph College of Arts and Science, Bangalore since 2019.

As an external consultant/supervisor for the Couple and Family Therapy Programme at Parivarthan Counselling and Training Center; she has created and conducted both basic and advanced training programmes on couple and family therapy and provides ongoing group supervision for couple counsellors. She has been an individual therapy supervisor since 2015 and has conducted several training workshops for psychotherapists at all levels.

She has cowritten a book on Reflective Practice and Professional Development in Psychotherapy (Sage Publications, 2022), along with Dr. Poornima Bhola and Dr Chetna Duggal. She has also published papers and book chapters in the areas of couple relationships, ethical issues and psychotherapy. She conducts workshops for lay people and organisations on topics like psychotherapy, gender, and life span issues; and has done a 12-episode video column for the White Swan Foundation on “Navigating Relationships”.

Mahesh Natarajan


Mahesh Natarajan  is a certified counsellor and works with adults, people in relationships and families from diverse backgrounds to support personal growth including deepening understanding of self, creating nurturing relationships, sexuality and intimacy.

He was in IT & Consulting for 14 years after his degrees from BITS, Pilani and FMS, Delhi, before shifting careers with an MS in Counselling & Psychotherapy and specific counselling skills training.

In addition to his counselling focus, Mahesh is a writer and has an ongoing column called “Love-o-logy”  in the New Indian Express, in addition to other featured articles and books of short stories (“Pink Sheep,” 2010).

Mahesh has also been helping companies improve inclusion of diversity (Specifically genders and sexualities) through process/ policy reviews, helping increase awareness through workshops, panel discussions and other exercises, to create safer spaces and allyship.

Prabha Chandra

Senior Professor of Psychiatry & Associate Dean, NIMHANS

Dr. Prabha Chandra is Senior Professor of Psychiatry and Associate Dean, NIMHANS, Bangalore. She graduated from the Lady Hardinge Medical College, New Delhi, did her psychiatry training at NIMHANS and then did fellowships at the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Centre, New York and in the UK. She has been a Visiting Professor at the University of Liverpool. She is a Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences, India, a Fellow of the Royal College of Psychiatrists, UK and a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians, Edinburgh.

A clinician, therapist, teacher and researcher who specialises in the mental health of women and end of life care, Prof. Prabha has been a temporary advisor to WHO and UNAIDS. She is the President Elect of the International Association for Women’s Mental Health and an expert member of the National Health Mission, Govt of India. An active researcher with 17 funded grants and 320 scientific papers, she has also published several books on women’s mental health.

When she is not at work, Prabha enjoys teaching her dog Juno new tricks, loves nature walks and wildlife.