Creative expressions can assist people to explore and be connected to emerging alternate stories. And photographs can be a powerful way to do so. The act of taking a photograph or using photographs from family albums, personal archives, and other available sources or magazines, and then holding the image at an arms length can create therapeutic opportunities. People who use photographs therapeutically can construct their personal version of reality, bringing with them their own unique and subjectively accurate interpretation. And there is no specialized training required. participants will work in groups, where they will be given a set of photographs; and they will create a preferred story narrative by challenging an everyday life discourse through those images. By the end of this workshop the participants will create a collective photo zine based on their narrative.
Hi, my name is Sanket Umesh Gala. Currently I am 19 and studying in SYBA. I have been having muscular distrophy since birth. I have been coming to Ummeed first for physiotherapy and counselling and now I attend various workshop’s and volunteer in different programs in ummed itself and also have a dream to work in Ummeed. I want to perceive my career in psychology and help people with it. Somethings that help me keep my mental health are cricket, music and meeting friends and new people.
I study economics. I’m love fashion, food, travel and exploring new things in every way.
Jill has been a part of Ummeed Child Development Center since 2009. She is currently a counselor and training manager at Ummeed. Jill has a Masters in Applied Psychology from Mumbai University and a Masters in Mental Health Counseling from Pace University, New York.
Jill has been drawn towards narrative ideas and practices since she started working at Ummeed. She engages in therapeutic conversations with young people and families experiencing disability. She is also a part of the team that runs the family support group at Ummeed which is a space where families come together once a month to connect with each other and support each other through problems, hopes and dreams. Jill teaches in the various mental health training programs offered at Ummeed with a particular interest in working with communities in the local context.
Jill is currently a PhD student at Vrije Universiteit Brussel exploring and bringing forward lived experience of young people experiencing autism, as a part of her research.
Beena will share stories of reconnection with parents in her work as a parent professional using narrative ideas and practices.
Therapists get the opportunity to witness the wisdom of children through their stories. Children experiencing developmental disabilities and their families constantly challenge the ideas of limitations and norms using this wisdom. The stories of their journeys are full of possibilities and exceptions that can guide therapeutic practices. Narrative ideas and practices provide a means to position their wisdom at the center and partner with clients to plan and implement intervention. In this talk, Vrushali will share stories from her work where narrative ideas help, discover this wisdom and partner with children and families.
How do spaces become witnesses to our preferred selves? How do they create safety for us to be able to feel pleasure? Aaja Cafe is a space that came together to re-member and celebrate the influences of our dear friends Aastik and Justin. Inspired by Frida Kahlo and their art, the space aspires to be a safer Queer space nurtured by food, art and conversations about emotional wellbeing. The workshop will recreate of the elements that have gone into creating Aaja’s space and what continues to evolve. Using various narratives approach maps we will investigate what pleasure feels like, and how spaces can be our witness to tell our preferred stories.
Collaborative Group Conversations is a narrative approach to group work created by Gaye Stockell and Marilyn O’Neil (Sydney, Australia). Over the past 30 years, this group approach to narrative inquiry has been applied in contexts including community mental health rehabilitation services, women who have experienced trauma, professional group supervision and prisons. Peggy will interview Gaye about her experiences with this approach: the origins, underlying ideas, practices and future hopes.. To illustrate the possibilities, we will share brief video clips from a June 2019 Narrative Camp gathering on Lake Champlain in Vermont USA, where we applied this approach to intergenerational conversations about narrative practice by:1) interviewing our elders about their experiences of the past, present and future of Narrative Therapy; 2) interviewing fresher voices in the field about the most engaging ideas and practices in their work. The workshop will end by engaging together in exploring possibilities for future applications in local contexts.
Participants in this conference have something in common: we all care deeply about the well-being of our communities. We devote time, energy and creativity to make a difference. Sometimes we may feel that we could do more, that systems are inefficient and unfair, that we do not have enough resources, that our teams need support and development, that the population we care about is affected by inequities, inequalities and lack of justice. The reality is that each of us can use our own role in our job to make things better. We can leverage our experience, information and relationships to serve better and improve the life of our people. Our leadership, our ability to organize, multiply leaders and collaborate are determinants in creating and advance strategies that benefit the population we serve and the morale and satisfaction of our own teams. In this presentation participants will have the opportunity to reflect about their own leadership role as well as that of community members in improving the well-being of individuals and families. In addition, participants will reflect about how to develop strategies with an equity lens.
Jugaad is a collective by young people from ages 14-19 which lends to the world a local understanding of what mental health means for young people. Look forward to a conversation with the authors of Jugaad about their know-hows of mental health, their experience of creating Jugaad together and what they hope will Jugaad make possible for fellow young people and people of the world.
How can we create relationships that foster curiosity, make possible new meanings, enable transformation, open up space for creativity, that are based on friendship, visibilize reciprocity and honour our responsibility to dream of a future that informs the present ? In this presentation I will address these questions while sharing stories of individuals, groups and communities to reflect on how narrative practices contribute to collective construction of knowledge.
Imagine the possibilities of people, most especially people from marginalized groups, being able to speak on behalf of their own healing. Instead of inviting people of non-European descent into Eurocentric models of healing, what if we instead invited in healing practices from our own communities? What might be possible if instead of ‘treating’ people through psychiatric and psychological paradigms, we consulted ancestors and ancestral knowledge. Finally, what are the possibilities for how this practice might look? Stories of Madhi, a Muslim man originally from Morocco now living in United States, will help show the practices in action.
What if children’s book were gateways into magical worlds of possibility? What if children’s books were like lighthouses in therapeutic conversations showing hidden pathways to preferred territories? What if characters from children’s books were waiting to train us on how to set the dragon free or show us secret ways to collect unicorn dust? What if they were a restful island of quiet in the midst of chaotic transitions? Come find out ….In this workshop participants will explore the skill of using children’s books as a way to contribute to rich story development.
They will provide an overview of narrative ways of working in the school context. By sharing experiences of practice they will demonstrate the possibilities of using narrative ideas to manage problems that accompany young people in school. The mini workshop will also share ways of linking the lives of students and teachers with each other, creating a community that works collectively to make school a safe space with a focus on young people’s know hows in creating this space.
Feelings of failure come from unequal systems, unjust structures, and biased norms that dictate the kind of lives we should and should not live. They are incomplete stories about what counts as “a good life” and what it means to be a person of worth in our culture. This kind of failure is constructed by not matching up to a definition of identity favoured by those in power. It is founded upon the idea of not “making it in life”, not reproducing a life according to cherished norms, not engaging with what is seen as ideal. But where there is power, there is resistance. Narrative practices informs our work by recognizing the idea that people are always responding. This mini workshop is a celebration of this idea, a declaration of rejecting personal failure and locating failure in systems, structures and norms. Alternative Identity Projects, is Michael White’s narrative inquiry into richly developing other knowledges of life and practices of living, in the context of failure. The facilitator will be presenting her work on using this inquiry with a group of young people to story their resistances to failure and develop their preferred alternative identities. Participants will also take away ideas of using narrative practices and the failure conversations map to:
1) Identify and call out unequal norms/systems/structures and the ways in which they operate to locate failure within us
2) Reimagine personal “lapses”, “omissions” and other “traditional failures”, as acts of refusals and resistances
3) Facilitate rich story development of knowledges of life, values, rights, and principles that thrive in the shadows of failure
Play creates a gateway into stories where differences dissolve, fear melts away and we see what connects us rather than what divides us. Narrative practices seeks to be a respectful, non-blaming approach to community work,which centres people as the experts of their own lives. Wherein Play for Peace brings Inclusion, Compassion and Caring through the experiences of joy and laughter to make it balanced. It is for all of us to communicate through the universal language of laughter. Through the friendships we form, we see beyond our taught prejudices, build compassion, and find constructive ways of managing conflict as we learn and grow into and become the community leaders of tomorrow. It is for all of us to communicate through the universal language of laughter. In this workshop, participants will learn fun games which enable people to be in concert and weave their distinct, collective experience and learning together.
Ujjaini will share some of the ‘pearls of wisdom’ she could gather from people she works with, in her clinical context. People’s stories has helped her broaden views on negotiating people’s meaning-making of their experiences and understanding of the ‘problems’ through existing lens of clinical interpretation. She will also be sharing how she has been learning slowly the importance of tentativeness, flexibility and humility, through the practice of narrative ideas.
There are always tiny, small, beautiful moments in our lived experiences which go unnoticed; they are subjugated & overshadowed by dominant stories which are not audible to us; they are the testimony of hope and dream of our preferred identities. Arpita will share an autobiographical account of her search for such moments; about how we on the basis of discriminatory rules or dominant discourses marginalize people who are different and miss the fragrances, life has to offer.
Rosanna will talk about her journey using narrative concepts with a group of women in Prison. This talk seeks to explore questions like: In a problem saturated context how can we look for openings into the alternate story? What do narrative concepts look like within a group context? How does exploring metaphors together create openings into the alternate story, and spaces for the group to assert and experience their identity beyond a label? The speaker will also discuss how the definitional ceremony can be used to create anchors into narratives of hope.
When a person is faced with the possibility of having an illness they feel helpless and out of control. Doctors need to understand this need they have, to regain some sense of control and believe they still have choices. So if a doctor is able to discuss the problem and have the curiosity of asking the patient, ‘what it means to know about what’s happening to them’ and ‘how would they want things to progress’ and ‘to offer options within a realm of what is possible’. It would give back some feeling of control to the patient, and in the long run make them more compliant with the treatment plan. Narrative ways are respectful and even if in the beginning it may seem more time consuming, it would be the way forward especially when we are dealing with chronic conditions. Bela will share stories of collaboration from her practice as a pediatrician, stories which give her the faith to advocate for narrative training for all medical professionals.
Mumbai is a place where no one has time, for no one. But is that true? I have been working with the slum communities for past 16 years. My passion is to deal with people who are experiencing crisis and often referred to as “fire-fighting cases”. We all must have heard or seen challenges of the slums but few have lived in slums and experienced the difficulties but also the jugaad that thrives. 95 % slum population works on daily wages basis. Dreams, aspirations are born and die every minute. Yet only a few live and fly. Today I will share few of the best practices of my work using narrative ideas which really rescued and took care of some of the hopes and dreams in my community.
As we engage in re-authoring conversations with people, therapeutic documents become a useful way of recording what is important to them. Co-creating these documents to highlight alternate stories of actions taken by people, their skills, significant milestones and hopes around life. In this workshop, participants will get to explore and experience how Doodling can support rich story development.
It seems so obvious that special adults, like any other adults have sexual needs. However, in our society, it has become taboo to acknowledge, leave alone address these needs. This leads to dire consequences for which the adult and then the parent pays a heavy price. Narrative Practice offered a tool to break this silence and actually engage in meaningful interactions among adults themselves and as important, among parents and caretakers. In this mini workshop, we hope to share our endeavour at opening up and exploring all aspects of this issue separately with adult women, adult men and Caretakers. This will thus include – 1). ways by which adults could express their conusions and develop personal agaency 2). way by which parents could share with and support each other, thus moving from helplessness to feeling empowered and empathetic.
Entering a system that dealt with neuro-developmental problems and a city without a concrete base in mental health had its own set of challenges, as well as benefits. Narrative practices have helped her shape the initial scaffold by introducing small, but different voices, sometimes without the use of language. These small voices began to take shape and became stronger with smaller acts of hope, inviting both the system and new entrants to participate in the journey; where mental health had a small say in the neuro-diversity of people’s lives.
After having beautiful encounter with Narrative Ideas, we questioned ourselves about taking the ideas from narrative world to parents of kids who live in slums of Mumbai? Can they ever experience ownership of their hopes, dreams, life & relationships? Do they have space to express themselves? Will a narrative lens help us in becoming project partners and not beneficiaries? With this idea we started a parent support group to create safe space to talk, share and form collective platform from their own narration, which can be helpful to build comfortable and trustworthy relations among parents and kids. We see narrative ideas growing with us like a child. We have seen and experienced its different stages from pre birth to birth, infant, child, adolescent, youth and so on and its still growing with us. We will share our working with adolescent and parents to help build a community of happiness, safe space for sharing and interdependence.
Vahishtai will share stories of work with parents and families of children experiencing hearing differences, through direct face to face therapy, tele-practice and parent support groups using the key ideas of narrative therapy. The influence of narrative practice on the team, the organization and families, as we all work towards the common goal of improving the mental health of parents and families of VConnect Foundation, a parent support group for parents of children experiencing hearing differences.
Sapling runs on an intuitional model of understanding .Kamla connects with each learner over their strength, providing for whatever it takes for individuals to function to their best. Inclusion here begins with the adults. The experience of acceptance and achievement in itself is powerful that it percolates organically to the students. In this,Sapling is a dynamic learning space for all. Kamla will share the wisdom Sapling has gathered in its journeys of inclusion with children and their families.
In her pursuit of creating safe and healthy academic institutes and workplaces, Samriti conducts institute wide training sessions on prevention & redressal of harassment. What sets apart her training sessions is the narrative ideas she holds onto while conducting these training sessions that makes possible to create a safe place for participants to engage, see the dominant discourses creating power imbalance through which harassment creeps in. Through her narrative approach, she involves each participant in the training session to stand upto those dominant ideas by giving them a sense of agency and collaborating with them to make possible a preferred system within the institute/workplace which allows for marginalized or oppressed voices to be heard. In her presentation, she will share some of the ways she has used her training sessions to bring about a shift in the long standing systems that has been breeding bullying and harassment.
Integrating Narrative Practices with Clinical Psychology sounds like an oxymoron to begin with. However, in practice the effectiveness of the therapeutic conversation is enhanced especially when the context is unusual. Narrative conversations recruit the person as a whole and make it possible to talk about the problems influencing people in ways that allow them to experience expertise rather than view themselves as sufferers. It is particularly helpful in contexts where one encounters “resistance” in therapy and when clients feel they do not wish to fit in with manualized methods. Narrative practices have helped access other preferred aspects of identity and through this, created different pathways of responding to the problems. Priyanka will share some of her experiences with this through co-created stories from her practice and her own reflection on her journey with narrative ideas.
When one size does not fit all the youth, how does a century old mental health care institute in a small town of North Eastern India respond to their varied kind of mental health care needs? How does it try to create a youth-friendly alternate space for youth to revive and share their own nuggets of know-how and skills in responding to mental health challenges and alongside draw from conceptual approaches and practice-wisdom that is youth-empowering? The presenter will share the exciting journey of the fledgling centre called Youth Wellness HUB, embedded in a large mainstream regional mental health care institute and guided by narrative ideas.
There is a dominant narrative of the “epidemic” of depression, anxiety and other mental health problems reaching unprecedented proportions in the youth. It is strengthened by the subplots of them being “fragile,” “weak,” or even being “damaged and broken.” Shelja will attempt to unpack some of these taken for granted notions with humour and playfulness so that we can understand that it is our society that is broken and not our children. And how important it is for us as narrative practitioners to question the present day caste system or what she terms as the “power pyramid” that renders so many voices unheard and invisible. Our youth are just the canaries of our present times, the toxic society in which they are trying to survive. Their struggles represent social issues. Shelja will share some narrative ideas from her practice on how we can work collaboratively to raise socio-cultural- political consciousness so that the problems are situated back into the realm of the society and the youth can make space to reclaim their lives.
Rosanna will talk about her journey using narrative concepts with a group of women in Prison. This talk seeks to explore questions like : In a problem saturated context how can we look for openings into the alternate story? What do narrative concepts look like within a group context? How does exploring metaphors together create openings into the alternate story, and spaces for the group to assert and experience their identity beyond a label? The speaker will also discuss how the definitional ceremony can be used to create anchors into narratives of hope.
In 2019, we started a series of journey metaphor gatherings to bring Narrative Practices and Ideas out of the clinical setting to people and their communities. The intention was to create a safe space for people with common identities like mothers, fathers and the youth to reflect about their journeys both individually and collectively. In the gatherings we hoped to explore and make visible the dreams, skills and know-hows of the individuals and communities. At Weaving Our Voices, we hope to share the model of our journey metaphor groups, as well as the experience of these gatherings and what it made possible.
Manisha and Ranjana will share their journey with narrative ideas in their work with groups of parents of children experiencing Autism. This journey has included using reauthoring, externalization and outsider witness practices to explore the wonderfulness of the parents and to make visible their agency over their lives. They will share their understanding of the power of the stories in bringing forward the wisdom, values and beliefs that parents hold on to and the sense of togetherness that came up in this journey, which often left them in awe of possibilities!!
With twenty years as a consumer insights professional, and 16 as a mother to rambunctious boys, one with autism, you would expect Girija to have learnt all there is about people. But the only thing she has learnt, is that life is an unfolding, unpredictable journey and the one thing we can do is choose the markers we want that journey to be remembered by. I look forward to sharing my journey with you.
What does your body say? In what ways within your body do you notice what you want? How do you know in your body when the sadness thing has shown up? What sensations do you notice when this sadness thing isn’t there? Mindfulness is an embodied experience of the present moment. We have found that in integrating Mindfulness with Narrative practices we become available to our agency and the moment-to-moment surprises accessible to us to navigate us toward who we want to be now. At Pause for Perspective we have become present to ways in which we love mindfulness and narrative practices. The talk will entail this sharing.
Aditi will be sharing her experience of using creative and playfully powerful ways of documenting stories of her work with children and adolescents at Ummeed, using narrative ideas and practices. Listeners can join this journey of exploring young people’s skills, knowledges, know-hows, dreams, values and beliefs that have been discovered using curiosity and imagination. he will be sharing some of the docuemnts co-created in negotiating the various problems young people experience and alternate ways of being and responding to reduce the influence of the problems that have been discovered along with the some ideas of what the steps they took together in co creating them.
Gender, as a social construct, begins to dominate our lives even before we are born. What are some of the dominant discourses around – how we understand, interpret, enable, perform and express our gender? How do we come to understand what’s “our” gender? How do these “scripts” of gender come into play? What happens when we stray away from the given scripts? How have the discourses on gender impacted on our lives and those of others around us? How can we navigate towards a more wholesome and just expression of our genders? During this workshop, participants will explore their gender journey and engage with that of others to develop new insights into some of the above questions.
Experiences of trauma and difficulty are often the reason that people come to therapy. What we hear in these instances is usually the story of the trauma or difficulty and the ongoing effects of that in the person’s life. What is usually not present or talked about is the story of how the person has responded to what has been difficult or traumatic. Narrative practice gives us a framework for listening for and enquiring into these second stories that are about the skills and know how that even young children have available to them to lessen the impact of the trauma. We can then trace the values that sit with these skills of life and the history of them, linking with the family or cultural connections that are the foundation for these ways of responding. This is a practice of re-authoring the trauma, that contributes to agency and so to new pathways forward. This workshop will explore the narrative practice of double listening for the subordinated stories of those who have experienced trauma, and will focus on the importance of the development of these alternative stories as way of working with a trauma.
As clinicians, what questions we ask, and how we ask them, significantly shapes the therapeutic encounter. Likewise, for researchers, formulating the right question is critical to guiding the research endeavour and gaining an in-depth understanding of the issue to be explored. In essence, having a clear research question is the foundation for a successful study. By the end of this workshop, participants will have an understanding of the principles required for crafting a research question; and have produced a research question in relation to a chosen topic of interest. This workshop will be suitable for counselors, social workers, psychologists, teachers and therapists, community workers and workers who would like to explore using narrative ideas in their work with neurodiversity and can inform working with many different populations and concerns related to child development.
A narrative approach is an effective way of working with children in responding to a wide range of challenges. The ideas and practices make it possible to engage with children who have diverse ways of experiencing the world and expressing themselves. This workshop will focus on both theory and practice by exploring what a narrative stance might look like when considering neurodiversity. Key areas that the workshop will focus on include:
⁃ Theoretical concepts that can inform work with children with autism, with a range of abilities
⁃ Exploring engagement strategies that can assist in setting the stage for relational and identity work
Sumeet Gade is no less than a fairy-tale; for we often forget that fairy tales begin with people who see hope where others see none and work to change everything for the better. He has gone through a difficult childhood to emerge an empowered youth and has worked his way through a myriad of problems to found a not for profit organization called Pragati Holistic Development Trust for the well-being of hospitalized children. He modestly expresses his gratitude towards his grandparents, who he says have inspired all the good he has done towards the community. He has used pure grit in challenging his failures, refusing to let them put him down while striving to achieve his very best and rising above every challenge.
Sumeet discovered his wings and is striving to fly high while also helping those around him to take flight. Sumeet has 16 years of experience working with the kids and he loves living his childhood continuously while being with kids. He started his journey as a social worker at Akanksha Foundation in the year 2003. Post that he worked with Cathedral and John Connon School, Kotak Education Foundation, Cankids kids, Kidscan, Teach for India and now works with Godrej Industries looking after community engagement programs at plant locations and the volunteering program for Godrej employees. He received a scholarship to attend leadership program in Sweden (Young Connectors of the Future program ) in 2017. He has also been trained in using the narrative ideas and practices and used the same in his interactions with kids, parents, office work and with his family.
He also teaches 61 wonderful kids from Dharavi post his official working hours. He believes that the more you give the more you get and strives to spread love and happiness towards building a beautiful world for everyone.
Salma Safree works as a Project Director at Setco Foundation since 2009. Prior to becoming Program Director she was working with Setco Automotive Limited as an AGM Administration and HR. Salma holds degree in Child Development, Fashion Designing and Arts and has done Post-Graduate Degrees like MBA and MSW. Salma likes building relations, reading and listening to music. Salma has completed a year long Community Mental Health Training Program in Narrative Therapy from Ummeed and is able to apply and practice the same in her current role.
Courtney Olinger, PsyD is the Regional Director of Family Counseling for a neurology healthcare clinic, Cortica Inc., overseeing Family Wellness Counseling, which operates from a Narrative lens. Dr. Olinger received her Doctorate in Psychology (PsyD) from the Marriage and Family Therapy Program at Alliant International University, San Diego. Dr. Olinger is committed to training as many therapists as possible to effectively work with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and other neurodevelopmental differences. Since 2000, Dr. Olinger has worked with children, adolescents and adults with ASD and other neurodevelopmental conditions (ages 18 months to 70 years old). She has experience working with individuals of all levels of ability. Dr. Olinger is passionate about social-constructionism and post-structuralism and has been creatively merging her previous behavioral training with Narrative practices. She is a published author, accomplished presenter, and also completed the Intensive year Narrative certificate training through Dulwich Centre in 2009. Dr. Olinger’s work has included founding and running Re Spectrum Community, a non-profit providing autism services for fives years, followed by merging with a larger non-profit, San Diego Center for Children, where she had the privilege of mentoring a team of therapists and behavioral providers who collaboratively worked together to address the needs of the family impacted by ASD and other similar conditions. Currently, in her role at Cortica, Dr. Olinger has the opportunity to lead the Family Wellness Team in their innovative efforts to support children and families in integration with the medical, occupational therapy, physical therapy, music therapy, speech therapy, and applied behavior analysis (ABA) teams.
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Ryan is a sensitive 10-year-old jovial boy, who is extremely affectionate, with strong likes and dislikes, having no qualms in expressing these feelings to all those who matter. Ryan is very intuitive and strongly aware of his shortcomings, which helps him accept himself and deal with daily struggles/challenges. These traits make him a truly unique child who has the ability to initiate a conversation with an absolute stranger, effortlessly. He can delve into a deeply personal conversation without any inhibitions making one feel as if they are talking to a person they know well for years. Many wonder if this is really a ten-year-old boy going on 22.
His instantaneous humour, infinite passion for animals, love for nature and music have helped him develop his own distinctive personality, giving him purpose and determination. Ryan has the ability to step away from the chaos and rat-race of modern life and to view a situation from a fresh perspective.
He adores his family, who understand his needs, giving him the space to grow and develop at his pace, always encouraging open conversations and discussions which help them understand each other tremendously.
What results is a child who has many interesting layers which one just has to unfold, discover and celebrate.
Raji Manjari Pokhrel (they/them/she/her) grew up in Kathmandu, Nepal.
Their background lies in community organising and mental health and their passion is to integrate the two at the intersection of gender. They have a therapy practice and love doing collaborative work using Narrative Approach and Somatic Awareness to envision queer ways of being.
Raji is forever grateful for their education and know-how of the world to the Nepali ant Tibetan speaking domestic and elder care workers’ community in Queens, New York, who taught her to see emotional labour otherwise rendered invisible in everyday life.
They recently started आज Cafe with their family, a space dedicated to emotional wellbeing. (instagram: aajacafe)
Raji has a Master’s degree in Social Work from Columbia University School of Social Work, 2013.
Radhika is a psychiatric social worker by training and has been using Narrative ideas for the last 10 years. She loves taking conversations to unchartered territories and co-construct possibilities with children, individuals, couples and families. ‘People always respond to problems and situations’ drives her work and life.
The ‘Jugaad’ group is a group of young authors from ages 14-19 who wrote a collective – this little book of mental health know-hows, titled ‘Jugaad’. The group hopes that this book opens warm, safe spaces for people to talk about mental health and hopes that this collective grows with added mental health know-hows from other people.
Curiosity is the magical tool that informs Pravin’s work with young people. As therapist with Ummeed’s Mental Health team, he uses art, imagination and playfulness to co-create multiple possibilities with children, families and communities he works with.
Along with being trained in Narrative Ideas and Practices and Art-Based Therapy, he has also worked in environmental sustainability, brand consultancy and IT sector before moving into the mental health space, each of which has contributed to his learnings of life.
Pravin loves spending time with his nephews and nieces, cracking silly jokes, bike rides and evening Chai!
Gaye lives and works in Sydney, Australia.
When as a psychologist working in community mental health services, Gaye was introduced to Narrative ideas and practices. That was thirty-one years ago and she has been interested in exploring this approach to therapy ever since. Now working in an independent practice, Gaye has remained committed to bringing Narrative conversations to many people in many contexts. She has enjoyed providing professional consultations to a variety of health and not-for-profit organisations and teaching in many contexts and remains committed to counselling conversations with individuals, couples and families. Gaye’s life is also pleasantly busy spending time with her grandchildren.
I am 48yrs. Very talkative . Love to make friends, learn from everyone. I believe every one in the world is a teacher just be open to learn. As narrative says everyone in this world is the expertise of their life. I believe it. I did not go to any college for completing my graduation neither even completed it, but got lots of knowledge from the world. I started my job at the age of 19yrs I worked in a Zilla Parishad School as a helper after I lost my father. Then for some unfortunate condition l had to migrate from Hyderabad to Pune. I did my diploma in pathology and worked for 15 years again. Unfortunately, I have to drop my career for a year of period then I joined NGO. Meanwhile I took certificate in Art based therapy and Narrative Therapy. This has become my passion. I love to listen to the unsaid stories.
Shor is a community where different people express their stories through poetry or storytelling. It is an open community where anyone can come and share their story. We are in hope of creating a safe place for expression where people can seek healing and come together for the magic of stories; Shor.
Currently living in Mumbai and having grown up in Raipur, Yashna considers Mumbai to be a diasporic construction of home for many like her. She is a mental health worker at Ummeed working with children experiencing or at risk of disabilities and their families. After completing her Master’s in Clinical Psychology from University of Mumbai, Yashna met narrative ideas at Ummeed in 2016. Ever since then, she has been drawn to resistance narratives in people and very little people, and hopes to co-create and discover the existing anti-oppressive practices in the people’s living.
Yashna enjoys collective reading and writing spaces, loves a warm meal on rainy day or loves to just be, with her legs up the wall, propelled onto a world of castle-sized dreams.
Juhu Beach is one of the most famous beaches in Mumbai as this beach may be accessed from the suburbs of Vile Parle, Santacruz and Andheri. Many tourists make it a point to visit the beach when they come to Mumbai, as it is a relatively uncrowned free space in the city. Juhu is famous for its Mumbai street food, notably bhelpuri, panipuri, and pav bhaji. The food stands are relatively hygienic and Italian food is also very popular in Juhu with many Italian restaurants. Juhu beach is also a very popular place for watching aircraft as planes from Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport.
The Hanging Gardens in Mumbai, India are also known as Pherozeshah Mehta Gardens. These Gardens are terraced gardens perched at the top of Malabar Hill, on its western side, just opposite the Kamala Nehru Park. They provide sunset views over the Arabian Sea and feature numerous hedges. The park was laid out in 1881 over Bombay’s main reservoir to cover the water from the potentially contaminating activity of the nearby Towers of Silence.
Nehru Science Centre is India’s largest interactive science center, located in Worli, Mumbai. The centre is named after India’s first Prime Minister of India, Jawaharlal Nehru. On November 11, 1985 Center was opened to the public by the late Rajiv Gandhi. In 1977, Nehru Science Centre, first conceived as a Science & Technology Museum in late sixties, took final shape as India’s largest interactive science centre. The centre opened its first semi-permanent exhibition `Light & Sight’ in 1977 followed by the world’s first ever Science Park in 1979. It is the largest science centre in the country, and has a sprawling of Science Park with varieties of plants and shrubs. More than 50 hands-on and interactive science exhibits are installed in the park.
Timing: 09.30 AM to 06.00 PM
Ticket Counter Timing: 09.30 AM to 05.30 PM
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Kamala Nehru Park in Mumbai is covering an area of 4,000 square feet. Located atop of Mumbai’s Malabar Hill, it is named after Kamala Nehru, the wife of India’s first Prime Minister of India, Jawaharlal Nehru. A place frequently visited by schoolchildren, has little to offer by way of entertainment apart from a structure shaped like a shoe, which is inspired by the nursery rhyme “There was an old woman.” From the garden, one can see the spectacular view of the Mumbai city, Chowpatty Beach, and Queen’s Necklace (Marine Drive).
The Haji Ali Dargah is located on an islet off the coast of Worli in the Southern Mumbai. Near the heart of the city proper, the dargah is one of the most recognisable landmarks of city. An exquisite example of Indian Islamic architecture, the dargah contains the tomb of Sayed Peer Haji Ali Shah Bukhari. The Haji Ali Dargah was constructed in 1431 in memory of a rich Muslim merchant, Sayyed Peer Haji Ali Shah Bukhari who gave up all his worldly possessions before going to Mecca. Hailing from Bukhara, in the ancient Persian Empire and now in Uzbekistan, Bukhari travelled around the world and then settled in Mumbai.
Girgaum Chaupati, commonly known as just Chaupati, is one of the most famous public beaches in Mumbai. The beach is famous for Ganesh Chaturthi celebrations when hundreds of people from all over Mumbai come to immerse the idols of Lord Ganapati. It is also one of the many places in the city where the Ramlila is performed every year. An effigy of Ravan, is burnt by the end of the 10-day performance. One can find several bhelpuri, and pav bhaji vendors on the beach.
The Jehangir Art Gallery is most famous art gallery and a tourist attraction in Mumbai. It was founded by Sir Cowasji Jehangir at the urging of K. K. Hebbar and Homi Bhabha. It was built in 1952 and managed by the Bombay Art Society. This gallery is situated at Kala Ghoda, behind the Prince of Wales Museum, in South Mumbai and has four exhibition halls. The complex also has the popular cafe of Samovar, which is reminiscent of the 70’s socialist culture and also houses Natesans, the country’s oldest licensed antique dealers. The gallery has been turned inwards due to a combined function of an auditorium and an art gallery although the concept of an introvert art gallery could be questioned today. The Jehangir is an example of an early modernist notion of the inward looking art galleries in the city.
Timing: All days of the week – 11:00 AM – 7:00 PM
Marine Drive is a 3-kilometre-long boulevard in South Mumbai. It is a ‘C’-shaped six-lane concrete road along the coast, which is a natural bay and links Nariman Point to Babulnath and Malabar Hill. Part of the Arabian Sea, MarineDrive is situated over reclaimed land facing west-south-west. Official name for this road is Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose Road that was earlier known as Sonapur to local Marathi people. The highlight of Marine drive is the beautiful promenade along the road where many of the citizens take in a breath of fresh air. The promenade is lined with palm trees at the northern end of Marine Drive is Chowpatty Beach. This is a popular beach famed for its Bhel Puri and many restaurants also line this stretch of the road.
The Mumbai World Trade Centre in Cuffe Parade was built in 1970, consisting two towers, MRVDC and IDBI. MRVDC was, at 156m, the tallest building in South Asia until the 2010 completion of The Imperial, Mumbai, which is 252m tall. Other destinations to be visited in Mumbai are Gateway of India, Nariman point, Marine Drive, Girgaon Chowpati Beach, Jinnah House (Governor House), Kamala Nehru Park, Hanging Garden, Tower of Silence, Sree Mahalakshmi Temple, Tarapore Wala Fish Aquarium, etc.
The Prince of Wales Museum of Western India is the main museum in Mumbai, formerly known as Bombay. It was founded in the early years of the 20th century by prominent citizens of Bombay to commemorate the visit of the then Prince of Wales. The museum is located in the heart of South Mumbai near the Gateway of India. The museum was renamed in the 1990s after Shivaji, the founder of Maratha Empire. The museum building is built in the Indo-Saracenic style of architecture, incorporating elements of other styles of architecture like the Mughal, Maratha, Jain, etc and the museum building is surrounded by a garden of palm trees and formal flower beds.
Timing: Monday to Sunday – 10.15 am to 6.00 pm (Ticket counter will be closed at 5.45 pm).
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Taraporewala Aquarium is the sole aquarium in the city of Mumbai, which was built in 1951 at a cost of Rs 800,000. The aquarium hosts marine and freshwater fishes. The aquarium is located on the famous Marine Drive and is is named after a Parsee who donated Rs. 200,000 for the construction. There are 100 species of marine and freshwater fish including seven types of coral fish, brought specially from the Lakshadweep Islands. Attractions include sharks, turtles, rays, moray eels, sea turtles, small starfish stingrays, etc. Exhibits offer an impressive glimpse of the variety of marine life in the Arabian Sea and Indian Ocean. There is also a room with fossils and preserved fish in bottles with rare sea shells.
The Gateway of India was built during the British Raj in Mumbai. Located on the waterfront in the Apollo Bunder area in South Mumbai, the monument is companioned by the Arabian Sea.The Gateway is a basalt arch, 26 metres (85 feet) high and lies at the end of Chhatrapati Shivaji Marg at the water’s edge in the harbor of Bombay. Previously, a crude jetty used by the fishing community, it was later renovated and used as a landing place for British governors and other prominent people. In earlier times, the Gateway was the monument that visitors arriving by boat would have first seen in the city of Mumbai. The monument was erected to commemorate the landing on the Apollo Bunder of their Majesties King George V and Queen Mary.
Shona is a Co-Director of Narrative Practices Adelaide and has worked extensively as a therapist, teacher and supervisor for over twenty five years. She is the author of many articles and a book “Narrative Therapy – Responding To Your Questions” which she co-wrote with Maggie Carey. Shona has recently retired but highly values her ongoing collaborations with Ummeed Child Development Centre and remains vitally interested in the future development of Narrative Therapy.
Maggie has been Co-director of Narrative Practices Adelaide since 2008 and practicing the Narrative approach since the early 1990’s. She has taught Narrative Therapy in many local and international contexts and while no longer officially teaching, she maintains her enjoyment in the opportunity to share both the theoretical principles of the approach and the detailed practices that come from the philosophical underpinnings. Her interest in Neurobiology was sparked some years ago and she appreciates the way in which many of the recent findings of Neuroscience give support to current practices in therapy. Throughout her work, Maggie has always maintained a focus on how to keep an appreciation of the social and political context of people’s lives in the forefront. Her therapeutic work has included responding to grief, loss and trauma, working with people who live with mental health issues or homelessness, or disability and responding to women and children who have been subjected to violence and abuse. Maggie’s connection with Ummeed can be traced back to 2006 when she was first introduced to the vibrant therapeutic community of Mumbai and she has returned many times.
Daisy Daruwalla is a Senior Therapist and Training Manager at Ummeed Child Development Center. Daisy has been a part of the Ummeed family since 2008. Daisy is a clinical psychologist by training and supervises the Testing Team. She consults with young people, adolescents and families experiencing developmental disabilities, Anxiety, Mood Disorders and school related challenges using the Narrative approach. She has presented her work on the Use of Externalizing Conversations with Children and Adolescents with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) at the South Asia International Autism Conference in 2015 and the 2nd International Developmental Pediatrics Association Congress – A world of Difference 2017.
She has been part of the core team that has developed, implemented and supervised short term trainings for several organisations/schools and long term training programs like the Mental Health Training Program (MHTP) and Community Mental Health Training program (CMHTP). These programs train professionals and community workers in the application of narrative ideas and practices in their context. Daisy heads the one-year Mental Health Training Program. Daisy has also been the force behind A Room Full of Stories – The First International Narrative Therapy Conference 2016 and has been the lead in organizing and executing the entire production! Daisy enjoys traveling, reading, watching movies and spending time with her family and friends.
Dr. Vibha Krishnamurthy – Developmental Pediatrician and Founder & Medical Director of Ummeed Child Development Center
Dr. Vibha Krishnamurthy founded Ummeed in 2001, to fill the unaddressed gap in services available for children with developmental disabilities in India. Since its inception, Ummeed has continued to grow year on year, reaching out to children with developmental disabilities and addressing issues around developmental disabilities in children.
Dr. Vibha is also a great proponent of Family Centered Care, a philosophy which runs through all of Ummeed’s work, which has helped in building an ecosystem for the development of children with disabilities. Her expertise in the field of developmental disabilities has seen her as an influencer and contributor in multiple forums, examples being, (i) Committee Member of the Disability Chapter of the World Health Organization, (ii) Member of the Task Force Constituted by Ministry of Human Resource & Development and (iii) Core Member/ Independent Expert on the Technical Resource Group, of “The Rashtriya Bal Swasthya Karyakram” (translated as National Child Health Program) constituted by the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare Government of India.
In 2016, Vibha is looking to take Ummeed’s reach forward by exploring advocacy and research. Vibha completed the Mental Health Training Program in Narrative ideas and practices in 2015 and uses Narrative ideas in her practice as a developmental paediatrician. In addition to her impressive resume, Vibha is an avid reader and walker. She enjoys yoga and travel and is constantly exploring and developing the world around her and others.
Dr Shelja Sen (MPhil, DClinPysh) is a therapist, a writer, a story weaver and co-founder of Children First Institute of Child & Adolescent Mental Health. She is the author of the critically acclaimed books, All You Need is Love: The Art of Mindful Parenting, Imagine: No Child Left Invisible and Reclaim Your Life: Going Beyond Silence, Stigma And Shame In Mental Health. Shelja is a TED speaker and a columnist with Indian Express. She aligns herself with collaborative practices that honour the dignity of the person and work at developing richer narratives. She believes that we need to work at building ecosystems that nurture emotionally safe spaces for children and youth at home, schools and the larger community.
Contact her at [email protected]
Shamin Mehrotra is the Director: School Outreach Service, a senior mental health therapist and part of the Ummeed Management Team for over 15 years now.
Shamin has played a key role in conceptualizing, building and supervising the School Outreach team at Ummeed. This team works toward addressing issues related to inclusion of children with disabilities in mainstream as well as special school settings. The competitive nature of our school system, coping with the emotional and academic demands, bullying and exclusion are some of the issues that children with disabilities and their families face daily. It is in the context of addressing these issues, building awareness about children with disabilities and providing support to schools to be better able to understand and work with children with disabilities that the School Outreach Team was set up in 2014.
An integral part of Shamin’s work is her passion for working with children with disabilities (and their families), and providing them with ongoing mental health and counseling support to enable their overall journey in a positive direction. She has also been instrumental in developing, designing as well as delivering training modules for the Mental Health Training Program at Ummeed. The Mental Health Training Program is a year-long part time program that focuses on training professionals in Narrative Therapy.
She has graduated from the University of Mumbai, India with a Master’s degree (MA) in Applied Psychology. She went on to pursue another Master’s degree (MSED) in Psychological Services from the University of Pennsylvania, USA. Prior to working at Ummeed, she has worked in the Northeast Community Center, USA providing individual and group therapy services for adults with mental health issues.
In addition to all of this Shamin is extremely sporty and enjoys swimming and trekking. Shamin’s love of life is contagious and makes her one of the pillars of the Ummeed family!
Raviraj lives with his sister, mum, dad and an amazing group of friends. He is an occupational therapist who practices sensory integration and narrative ideas with children, families and communities around them at Ummeed Child Development Center. Ummeed is a not for profit which collaborates with children experiencing/or at risk of disabilities and their communities to create an inclusive world for all. He believes in his heart that all the problems in this world are rooted in the oppressive structural systems rather than in our bodies or our identities. Children’s books, postcards, paper crafts, soft oil pastels, magical spells, songs and poems are scaffolds that help him to co-create nourishing magical spaces with communities and people.
Priyanka is trained in clinical psychology with the chief area of interest being child, adolescent, young adults and family mental health. After completing her M.Phil in Clinical Psychology from the University of Kolkata, she has been a mental health practitioner over last 12 to 15 years. She met Narrative ideas in 2016 at the conference hosted by Ummeed Child Development Center in Mumbai and was drawn TO THEM since. She imbibes narrative practices in her clinical work. The organization she belongs to, Mental Health Foundation, has community training and capacity building as one of its core areas of service and she saw an instant connect there. She has been instrumental in bringing Training in Narrative Ideas to Kolkata through inviting the rigorous training programme that was successfully under way at Ummeed, Mumbai to her city Kolkata.
She has been a learner and a coordinator for the training at Kolkata over last 3 years.
She hopes to support the peer group supervision culture in her city.
She teaches in the Masters in Psychology programme at West Bengal State University and visualizes what training in mental health can look like.
Peggy Sax, Ph.D. (Middlebury, Vermont), is the founder and Executive Director of Reauthoring Teaching – a global learning community of narrative therapy practitioners, teachers, and enthusiasts. Having apprenticed herself to narrative therapy since the early 1990s, Peggy also works in independent practice as a Licensed Psychologist, consultant, international teacher and international trainer. Her association with The Ummeed Mental Health Team is a source of profound joy and a gift that keeps on giving. Peggy is the author of several articles, the book, Re-authoring Teaching: Creating a Collaboratory. Whether online, on-the-road or within her beautiful home state of Vermont, it gives her great joy to bring together favorite people, ideas and practices – to learn, engage, play and replenish together.
Jehanzeb Baldiwala is a therapist, supervisor, trainer and part of Ummeed Child Development Center’s management team since 2004. She has aligned herself with narrative ways of working over the past 15 years. Her work at Ummeed includes consulting with families and children individually and in groups in responding to a range of issues including Anxiety, Depression, School related issues etc, in addition to training and supervising the mental health team at Ummeed.
She was instrumental in developing a year-long mental health training program in collaboration with Narrative Practices Adelaide and Reauthoring Teaching, Vermont which has been running successfully for the past ten years. She and her team have also developed and implemented a training program that focuses on training community workers to use narrative ideas and practices in providing mental health support in their own communities since 2014. The program is a first of its kind in Hindi. Over the last 5 years, she has been exploring training and the use of narrative ideas in diverse settings outside of counselling and in different parts of India.
She has a keen interest in exploring narrative ideas in supervision and organizational development, as well as in the development of professional identities of mental health workers and allied professionals, and has helped with the design, implementation and documentation of supervision processes at Ummeed as well as developing ways to explore long term training and support for professionals in using narrative ideas in supervision.
She leads the training vertical at Ummeed and is excited to develop training programs across different audiences such as parents, teachers, professionals and community workers with the hope of creating a center of influence for child development and disability.
Formerly Director of Family Support and Social Rehabilitation Services at the North East Community Center, for MH/MR, Philadelphia USA, she has a Master’s degree in Applied Psychology from the University of Mumbai.
A clinical psychologist by training, Diptarup has been working for one and half decades as lecturer, mental health researcher and lately a faculty-consultant in one of the oldest mental health care institutes in India. His search for a more socially and personally meaningful practice of psychology led him to travel between the mainstreams and the margins. His travel through critical psychology, positive psychology to finally settle down with narrative ideas and practices a few years back was both a journey in landscapes of thoughts as well as in geography – from a metropolis in South India to a small town in North Eastern India.
He completed his Masters from Delhi University and later his M.Phil and PhD from NIMHANS, Bengaluru. Diptarup’s current work engagements are all influenced by narrative ideas and practices- whether it is coordinating the psychotherapy training program for trainee clinical psychologists at his institute (www.lgbrimh.gov.in), or starting a small centre for psychological care and community mental health promotion for the college youth of Tezpur called Youth Wellness Hub aka HUB, or conducting intramural and extramural research studies to understand and celebrate how young people meet the challenges of their lives. One such is University of Leeds (UK) led qualitative research project called ‘The Big Picture’ which explores resilience of young people in Assam by negotiating challenges of substance use. The latest entry in Diptarup’s life has been Theatre of the Oppressed and he sees a great possibility of bringing NP and TO together in his work. He just needs to work around his ‘theatre-shyness’ a bit and looks forward for some help from his nine-year old daughter!
America Bracho is the Chief Executive Officer of Latino Health Access (LHA). This organization has been committed since its inception to intervening at the community level, with comprehensive strategies that address the root causes of disease and despair through quality preventive services and educational programs, emphasizing responsibility and full participation in decisions affecting health. LHA engages and empowers the community, forges partnerships and advocates achieving health equity for all.
Dr. Bracho says “Our 23-year experience of community engagement has offered us a treasure of lessons that we continue to incorporate in our strategies as they become more realistic and effective. It has not been simple or easy. In general, we know that the presence of institutions in our communities sometimes makes it harder for regular people – for the whole community – to feel they are part of a process for generating solutions to issues that directly affect them. LHA, is a Community Based Institution that employs University Experts and Community Experts. The engagement and inclusion of Community Experts as co-workers has offered and continue to offer endless opportunities for learning, unlearning, challenging assumptions, questioning privilege, re-defining our paradigm and refining/improving strategies in true collaboration with communities inside and outside the organization.”
In her TEDMED TALK’16 ‘What Happens when patients become leaders on the health team’ she shares stories of commitment and dedication of community health workers and stories of their knowledge and skills to heal the community they inhabit. You can listen to her talk on the following link: http://www.tedmed.com/talks/show?id=75778
Aileen is a part of the multi-disciplinary team at Sethu Centre For Child Development & Family Guidance, Goa. She co-ordinates the ‘From Disorder to Order’ project at Sethu, a comprehensive programme for children with ADHD and their families. She thrives on the enriching narratives of working with young people experiencing the struggles and successes of ADHD. Aileen also conducts assessments for children experiencing learning difficulties. On completing her training in Narrative Therapy at Ummeed in Mumbai, Aileen’s enthusiasm for hearing and validating the life stories of children through conversations with them has increased ten- fold. She has a Masters in Psychology with a Specialization in Clinical Psychology from S.N.D.T Women’s University, Mumbai.
Aditi Shah is a therapist and has been working with Ummeed’s Mental Health Team since 2018. Aditi graduated from S.N.D.T. University, Mumbai with a Master’s Degree (MA) in Applied Psychology. She has been trained in Narrative Ideas and Practices and her work involves working with children with disabilities and their families and providing them with mental health support on an ongoing basis.
Aarathi Selvan is the founder director of Pause for Perspective. She has a decade and a half of experience in working, supervising and teaching in the field of Counselling. She is a mindfulness certified teacher and a narrative practitioner who weaves both these practices in her work with people.
Ahana Ghosh is a mental health practitioner who has been working as a part of Ummeed’s Mental Health Team since 2018. She completed her Masters in Counselling Psychology from Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai, where she was deeply influenced by understandings of intersections between the social, the cultural and the political and the profound impact existing systems have on people’s identities and therefore, their mental health. She prefers to express herself through music and doodles- both of which allow her to hold on to moments that are otherwise fleeting.
Ahana got the opportunity to dive into narrative ideas and practices right after her Master’s when she joined Ummeed. Her personal and professional journey since then has been swiftly steered by her refuelled hope to revive stories, skills and know-hows that stay dormant in the corners of people’s minds, often as an attempt to protect them from the currents of dominant discourses. She currently consults with children who experience disabilities and their families while holding close the key idea of multiple-storied lives and her hope to continue creating safe spaces for people to find connections- much like stargazing on a starry night.
Shaneel began working in Special Education in Scotland, UK, in 2001 and focuses mainly on individuals on the Autism Spectrum. Her work includes parent and teacher support, working in partnership with the child and their significant others. This involves liaison between home, school and professionals involved with the child. One of her main areas of interest is providing school/organisation-based solutions for children with ASC.
Shaneel currently works with the Mental Health Foundation Kolkata Team. She is a key member of the training initiatives of MHF, training teachers, carers and professionals on Autism and related Developmental Disorders.
She has been involved in research projects on ASC and community mental health under the umbrella of her organisation, Creating Connections. She was the Principal Investigator on India’s first large-scale research project on the Prevalence Estimate of ASC funded by Autism Speaks.
Her second job is that of a Latin Dance instructor, which she does with her husband who is a full-time dancer. She uses this platform to raise awareness about ASC within the community, and working on inclusion for those who require a social outlet in a sheltered informed environment. She also enjoys writing and editing, and does this as often as possible in her work space as well.
PhD, MHSc, BHSc(OT), NZROT
Shoba is a New Zealand trained and registered occupational therapist. She has worked in a variety of mental health service settings, including refugee and migrant mental health services, first episode psychosis/early intervention, and community group programmes.
Since completing her PhD in occupational science, she has held various roles in academic institutions in New Zealand, the UK and India. Shoba currently works as a freelance academic, offering consultation services to academic institutions and postgraduate students in the area of qualitative research. She serves as the senior associate editor with the international Journal of Occupational Science.
Throughout her career, Shoba has been an active researcher in the field of health and migration, presenting at international conferences as well as authoring numerous scholarly journal articles, reports, and book chapters. She is the co-editor of the book, Qualitative Research Methodologies for Occupational Therapy and Occupational Science.
Shoba was born in England and grew up in New Zealand. She has been living in Chennai, India since 2014.
Vijay is trained in Narrative Therapy and Conflict – Clarification along with Nirupa.
He is also a successful businessman, proud grandparent and a lifelong learner.
Vahishtai Daboo is the founder of INTEGRATED, a consultancy service that provides a holistic approach for developing ‘Listening and Spoken Language’ for children with hearing differences, their families, professionals and centres. She is a Listening and Spoken Language Specialist Certified Auditory Verbal Therapist (LSLS Cert. AVT.) from the Alexander Graham Bell Academy, U.S.A., an independently governed, subsidiary corporation of the Alexander Graham Bell Association for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (A. G. Bell). The AG Bell Academy exists to ensure that children who are deaf or hard of hearing and their families have access to listening and spoken language services from knowledgeable, skilled, credentialed providers. Vahishtai is among the first 5 in India to have achieved this certification. https://agbellacademy.org
In addition to the above, Vahishtai has completed the one-year Mental Health Training Program (MHTP) with Ummeed Child Development Centre, in the field of children with disabilities. This enables her to counsel families using the Narrative Approach, a respectful, non-blaming approach to counselling. https://ummeed.org/therapy/mental-health/
Vahishtai has over 16 years of experience in the field and has been trained and mentored by experts of international repute. She has also worked with and headed reputed centres for children with hearing differences. She is the Co-Founder and Managing Trustee of VConnect Foundation, a Parent Support Group, founded in 2007. http://www.vconnectfoundation.org
Vahishtai’s source of inspiration stems from her journey of ‘Listening and Spoken Language’, with her son, who has been mainstreamed from the very beginning. Her dream is for every family, who has chosen ‘Listening and Spoken Language’ as a communication option for their child, to have access to excellent LSLS AV therapists, professional services and expert counselling for their child to become a contributing member of mainstream society.
Ujjaini Srimani has practiced as a Consultant Psychiatrist in Kolkata, West Bengal following her medical training, MD (Psychiatry). While searching for broader lenses to understand people Narrative ideas and practices opened her eyes to many possibilities. This led to a significant shift in her focus of work as she found deeper resonance in narrative therapy than prescribing medicines for mental ailments the way she has been taught in medical institution. Since 2018, she is working primarily as a therapist trying narrative work with adults and is taking baby steps to figure out ways to integrate Psychiatry and narrative ideas in clinical settings in her regional context. She proudly identifies as ‘queer’ and is involved in works towards better mental health of people belonging to gender sexual minority community. Her work in this area includes doing counseling in an NGO-run low fee counseling cell catering to people from GSM community, conducting workshops on gender-sexuality, public and media appearances, taking active part in making medico-legal guidelines for Gender Affirmative Therapy for transgender people etc. She follows Buddhism and Buddhist view of understanding mind and life motivates her to live with humble acceptance of the unknown.
Trishala Kanakia is a mental health counsellor and has done her Masters in Clinical Psychology from the Department of Applied Psychology, Mumbai University. Trishala is also trained in narrative ideas and practices. She primarily uses that approach in her therapeutic conversations with children, adolescents and adults currently at Mansi Therapy, Kolkata.
In Mumbai, she has worked with Ummeed Child Development Center using narrative practices in her individual and groups sessions in the context of developmental disabilities. She also enjoyed exploring creative documentation in her work with children and families. Trishala continues to work as a researcher with Ummeed on exciting research projects about narrative ideas and practices. She also has had the privilege of co-facilitating reflective journey metaphor groups with Shaneel, a mental health worker and is extremely thrilled to share about the same at Weaving our Voices.
In the therapeutic spaces she hopes to deconstruct therapy practices and create safe spaces for people to explore preferred identities.
Trishala loves spending time with her dogs Blackberry and Bravo, and with family and friends.
Ph.D., Licensed Psychologist CO 4142
Associate Professor of Psychology, Metropolitan State University of Denver
Travis Heath is an Associate Professor of Psychology at Metropolitan State University of Denver. He has practiced in Los Angeles, California, is currently a licensed psychologist working in private practice in Denver, Colorado, and is co-founder of Rocky Mountain Narrative Therapy Center (RMNTC). The work he has been focused on includes shifting from a multicultural approach to counseling to one of cultural democracy that invites people to heal in mediums that are culturally near. Writing he has contributed to has focused on the use of rap music in narrative therapy, working with persons entangled in the criminal justice system in ways that maintain their dignity, narrative practice stories as pedagogy, and a co-created questioning practice called reunion questions. His practice has been apprenticed by David Epston, substantially influenced by the work of Makungu Akinyela, and inspired by collaborators such as marcela polanco, Tom Carlson, Sasha Pilkington, and Kay Ingamells. He has been fortunate enough to run workshops and speak about his work in Australia, Canada, Denmark, Hong Kong, Norway, United Kingdom, and United States. He is scheduled to teach in Auckland, New Zealand in November, in Mumbai, India in January 2020 and in Ystad, Sweden in August 2020.
Sonali Jain lives in Mumbai, India. Having completed Master in Social Work from Nirmala Niketan College of Social Work, Mumbai, she has over 16 years of experience of working in social development field.
At present, she is associated with a non-profit organization- Ra Foundation, which through its education program nurtures the children living in difficult and challenging environment from schooling till they complete graduation. Her work involves guiding and supervising children between age group of 8-18years. An exposure to Narrative Practices have helped her to make a breakthrough in her conversations and developing close connection with children, their guardians and team members.
I’m Shweta Srinivasan, a 25-year-old mental health therapist. My practice is informed by Narrative Therapy and Queer Affirmative Counselling. I’ve completed a Master’s degree in Clinical Psychology from Mumbai University and an Advanced Diploma in Counselling Psychology. I’ve been consulting with adolescents and young adults in therapy for the past 3 years, along with facilitating workshops on mental health in schools, colleges, and in public spaces. In addition, I consult with corporate employees in therapy as a part-time counsellor. In the NGO space, I facilitate a free support group for families and individuals who have lost a loved one to suicide.
I’ve co-founded and presently running an online platform called TheMindClan.com that offers resources for mental health care and hopes to dismantle the cookie-cutter approach. My heart lies in making visible people’s little acts of resisting the dominant, rescuing their “utopia” or preferred worlds, and getting to know who they really are behind the shadows of problem stories.
Outside of work, you might find me with a hot cup of kadak chai/tea, devouring a cheesecake, crooning to alternative rock and Bollywood dance numbers, or staring at trees in awe.
Shahid Shaikh is a Program Facilitator at Apni Shala. He facilitates Social Emotional Learning sessions in government schools of Mumbai. He seeks and believes in creating safe spaces for everyone. When Shahid is out of his classroom facilitation, you will find him doodling and writing poems. His keen interest in sharing the art of poetry has led him to be the co-founder of SHOR, a Poetry Club.
Psychotherapist , Partner POSH at Work
Samriti Makkar Midha is a trained and practising Psychotherapist with over 3500 hours of counselling experience of working with a diverse adult population on a breadth of personal and professional issues. Her work covers areas of self- development, emotional regulation, workplace issues, inter-personal relationships, identity, marriage, parenting, abuse & violence and coping with critical situations. She has a strong theoretical foundation having done her B.A. Psychology (Hons.) from the University of Delhi and M.Sc. Psychology (Clinical) from Christ College Bangalore followed by getting certified in CBT, REBT and Narrative Therapy.
Samriti is co-founder of POSH at Work, firm that assists organizations in complying with Law against sexual harassment and creating healthy safe workspaces. Apart from serving as an external member on Internal Committees (IC) of several organizations and handing inquiries into formal complaints, she conducts organization wide training sessions to create awareness among employees and leadership teams about gender, power, to facilitate understanding into psycho-social factors of abuse and harassment.
She seems to believe that narrative ideas have made possible to view the person for who they are and not from lens of the problem, regardless of its enormity. The shift in understanding from client is someone who needs to be rescued from their problems to client has skills and inviting them as co-consultants in therapeutic conversations have made possible for conversations and understandings that are helpful for people she consults with. She hopes for a world where such an understanding becomes a dominant idea creating a safe and accepting environment for everyone.
Rohit Kumar, through his work and education, has come to believe that schools are places for an enriching socio-cultural dialogue that can empower or subvert its pupils, depending upon how the school is imagined, designed and brought into action. Rohit holds an M.A. in Education from Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai and Masters in Software Systems from Somaiya Institute of Management Studies and Research, Mumbai, India. However, he thinks his most important learning comes having worked with youth at The Akanksha Foundation, American School of Bombay and Apni Shala Foundation. Currently, Rohit is working as the CEO at Apni Shala and works as a consulting staff at Seeking Educational Equity and Diversity (SEED) project by Wellesley Center for Women, Wellesley College, USA where he co-facilitates diversity workshops for educators.
Ranjana Chakraborty has done her Masters in Microbiology and had worked in the pharmaceutical and education sector for 8 years. She is an enthusiastic parent professional who has been working in this field since 2011.She is a special educator and a facilitator at PlayMagix (a play based early intervention program to enhance social skills) at Mental Health Foundation. She is also a proactive board member at Autism Society West Bengal. Through personal experiences she had explored novel playful ideas to enhance children’s interaction to their environment. Her current work is being highly influenced by the narrative ideas, where she strives to bring forward the wonderfulness in other’s lives. Her main focus area is individuals with Autism and their families across different array of work from Parent Child training program and YAAR (Young Adults with Autism Reachout)-a social club for young adults at ASWB and to PlayMagix at Mental Health Foundation.
I done my master in social work and last 18 years I am working in social work field. I also done two fellowship with Pukar organization with college youth perspective. Last twelve year I am working in Akanksha specially education, children, parents, and community. Now I am as senior manager of social work department and handling parent engagement and community engagement program in Akanksha Foundation. Narrative therapy not only give me skill and knowledge but also changed me Insight and my believe and value became strong.
Rakesh is involved in Career Counseling Training and Personal development seminars for 10th standard students from Municipal and Government aided school through Ernst & Young Foundation. He also is a part of the Skill enhancement, Personality Development and English training session for college students through Ernst & Young Foundation. He also does Mental Health Counselling of youth & family on 1 to 1 basis.
Rakesh is a B.Sc. (Statistics) from Mumbai University and has been a part of the year – long training in Community Mental Health Training Program based on Narrative Therapy from Ummeed Training Center in 2016-17. His hobbies include travelling, music and reading.
Reach me @: M: 98215 61235 | E: [email protected]
Prathama Raghavan is a developmental psychologist with a PhD from Université Paul-Valéry, Montpellier, France. Currently works as a school counsellor, Mental Health and Disability Support worker in Kathmandu, Nepal. Her work and life is informed by feminism, neurodiversity, narrative approaches and poetry. She consults with children, young people, adults and families, ‘excavating’ stories of resistance and persistence, on a journey to finding out ‘what the world is trying to be.’
Prathama has been using the narrative practices in her private practice as well as her work as school counselor. Her individual consultations with students in the school as well as the ’school as a safer space’ activities are informed by the narrative practices. Students know-hows and preferred ways of being from individual consultations continuously shape the work she seeks to do with the larger school community.
Parul Kumtha is mother to a young autistic adult. She is one of the founding parent-trustees of the family support group Forum for Autism. After training in Narrative Practices, she has collaborated with other mental health support professionals to set up A.S.K. (Adult Support Kendra), a much needed initiative for adults with developmental disorders and special needs. Recently, she has assisted adults with developmental disorders to work in inclusive employment situations that focuses on creating valued social roles for them via an entrepreneurial venture ‘Kabir’s Kreations’. Her basic learning and profession continues to be that of a Universal Design architect and she employs these capacities to create barrier free and inclusive spaces for persons with disabilities. Through it all, Parul is rooted to Ummeed as a counselor and enjoys being called upon to address parent groups on varying issues. She is privileged to be mentored by the Ummeed Mental Health Team in her narrative practices, which pervade all spheres of her engagement with special needs, indeed everyone.
Nirupa Bhangar, an educationist and social change maker, has had around fifty years’ experience that covers academics, social development, training for the Corporate sector and working with Adults with special needs. Her last job ending in 2014 was as Director of Anchorage. Subsequently, she has been serving on the Advisory Board for promoting English learning through rural areas of Maharashtra and is part of a network, ASK, Adult Support Kendra, that offers support services to Adults with special needs and caretakers.
She completed her training in Narrative Practices in 2013 to support her in enhancing her work with special adults and has subsequently been applying narrative ideas for individual and group work. Since a year, she and her husband who has also done the course in Narrative Practices, offer Chai and Chat services from their home, individual conversations using narrative principles.
Alternating between social documentary photography and long-term personal projects, my initial forays led me to various parts of India, Nepal, Sudan, Malaysia and other countries in the Southeast Asia.
Professionally I work as a social documentary photographer /photojournalist/communication consultant – independently taking up national and international assignments with Development Organizations, NGO’s, Press agencies and Publishing Companies.
Since early 2017, I have been working on two long term personal projects: one about my parents – exploring and studying the effects of patriarchy and toxic masculinity and how that created a lot of turbulence in our lives due to an atypical family structure. It has been a very therapeutic process. Ever since I started using photography as therapy for myself.
Around the same time, I started capturing my state of being through photographs as I had been experiencing some internal conflict for a few years.
I aspire to use photography as a tool to voice out stories about issues and communities I feel strongly for. After being enrolled in the MHTP this year, these aspirations have only been reinforced.
Manisha Bhattacharya is a Clinical Psychologist from Kolkata who is working with the individuals with Autism and their families for last 6 years. She is associated with Autism Society West Bengal, Mental Health Foundation and Crystal Minds. She loves to work with adults and adolescents with Autism and explore their perspectives about this social world. After her exposure to narrative ideas she has been focusing more on the emotional well – being of adolescents and adults with ASD. Manisha resonated with the narrative idea of making visible the persons’ agency of their own life and in that process taking a few more steps towards empowerment. Manisha highly believes in promoting neuro-diversity and celebrating the personhood. Narrative has given her a new way to explore these ideas.
Sapling Nursery and Dayhome, Baner, Pune.
“Never give up on an individual, they deserve to be believed in!”
Kamla has lived by this, going to all lengths to ensure every staff member has received what it takes to nurture them – a shoulder, two minute stand up talks in between classes, meals at extended working hours, courses, pep talks, the works. In turn, each teacher goes that extra mile for every child in her class, knowing well, the wonders that trust can do.
In this, Sapling Nursery is something more than just a play school; it is an opportunity for anyone who interacts with her or with the school, to learn and grow as a member of the Sapling family.
Kamla Idgunji, Founder Principal of and Facilitator at Sapling Nursery, Pune, has been in the field of education for the past 44 years. From its inception in 1994, Sapling Nursery has been an inclusive play school. The program has been devised in a way to cater to the needs of all learners and is regularly modified to cater to the newest need. Teachers work closely with the parents, taking up the joint responsibility towards a happy and meaningful stimulation.
I currently work at Nishta, a neurodevelopmental centre, as a mental health professional. The centre adopts an interdisciplinary approach to health care. This allows for occupational therapists, speech and language pathologists, physiotherapists, special educators, and pediatricians to work together in the same environment. With the introduction of the narrative lens, ideas of agency and power have enabled a collective shift in framing the mental health system at my workplace. Contextualizing my work as a psychologist, I work with families in order to understand home environments, social and emotional health, to facilitate resource building and enabling helpful communication between various facets of the individual’s life.
I am Deepali. I am working as a Teacher and ABT practitioner from last 7 years in very special school (Canshala) for cancer effected children. Who are coming to Mumbai for their treatment. I am belive in magic.
In 2018 I have started my own initiative work for people as ”ArtBeat”. Now ArtBeat is working on hidden stories of people under new project ”Once upon a time.”
I have been interested in Pediatrics ever since I can remember. I have graduated from KEM hospital and Sion Hospital in Mumbai for my undergrad and postgrad in Pediatrics respectively. Did a few years in London, where I also got my MRCP. Have always had a desire to do things differently in healthcare and realised very early that emotions and mental health contribute a lot to overall well – being, especially in children. have been blessed to be able to be a part of the Narrative Philosophy at Ummeed and am currently working at the N.H. SRCC, Children’s Hospital as a General Pediatrician interested in promoting family centred care , through Narrative ideas, under the Family First Programme.
Beena Prithiveeraj is a certified special educator (RCI) and a counsellor with a certified training in Mental Health (Ummeed CDC). Beena is associated with We CAN,Resource Centre for Autism from 2003 and with Action For Autism from 2001 and serves on the Board of AFA. She is also a parent to a young adult with autism. She uses the ideas and practices of narrative therapy both in individual and group sessions in her counselling and consults with families of people with disabilities.
Born in 1963, Arpita spent early childhood in the Himalayan Terrains of Doors region of West Bengal. She received school level education in different district towns and finally came to Kolkata in 1981 for studies in College and University. She completed her MSc in Economics from the University of Calcutta in the year 1988. As a professional, Arpita has a varied experience which includes teaching Economics in a college, imparting IT education and developing software, building maps, charts & teaching aids for schools, and running GIS institute & making GIS maps etc. From the very childhood in her lived experience she has discovered different types of discriminating norms immanent in our practice of which the most widespread is gender. The vast exposure in the professional life helped Arpita to understand the unwritten structural disparities prevailing in the job market as well as in the society too. At the same time, in her journey, she recognizes the fact that the real strength of people goes unnoticed in the mainstream culture and knowledge. Mainstream knowledge dominates many other forms of knowledge. The voice of local, marginalized (be it on the basis of mental illness, physical disability, gender-sexuality, race, caste or economic condition) and ordinary are not heard.
The variety of jobs gave Arpita a fascinating opportunity to meet different people. In her lived experience she was facing too many questions which demanded further search. Perhaps all these drew her towards psychology, social psychology and close to the world of mental health. Since 2009, she pursued relevant studies like MA in psychology from IGNOU, Counseling course from JU, Post PG Diploma in school counseling from CU etc. Currently she is doing her Ph D on Stigma and marginalization associated with mental illness, from Psychology Department of Calcutta University. She is attached to a Kolkata based private hospital as a counselor and also works in the SPU unit of Applied Psychology, CU.
She loves Mountains and Forests; nurtures passion for music. She believes that nature and music can immerse oneself deep into one’s comfort zone. Arpita has a special interest in feminism and related issues. Learning Narrative Practices from UMMEED was a magical moment for her to get a direction for her work. The idea of Narrative Practices has brought new hopes in her life.
Contact: [email protected]
Phone: +91 9830688126
WhatsApp: +91 9804205018
Work: Play for Peace (www.playforpeace.org)
Global Training & Community Events and Asia Regional Coordinator
Location: Mumbai, India
Language: English, Hindi, Marathi
Email: [email protected], [email protected] +91-8767560940
Archana Magar is an experiential educator working in the field of Experiential Education through Play for the past twelve years. She is associated with Global Community of ‘Play for Peace and works with schools, organizations, institutes including corporate organizations to promote right based approach, leadership and capacity building, child rights, inclusive education, zero violence and playful teaching techniques for marginalized communities through training processes and workshops. Currently, Archana is mentoring Play for Peace Mumbai club and holding Play for Peace leadership module at different places. She is associated with Government Observation (Juvenile) Home in Mumbai to promote Right to Play, Participate & safety of children in conflict with law and children in need of care & protection.
Archana is Play for Peace’s Certified Global Trainer enjoying over ten years field training with youth in diverse settings. Involved with Play for Peace since 2008. Through Archana’s leadership initiatives Play for Peace community has grown to include thousands of children, youth and adults in over 11 states in the country. She worked with Khula Aasman as a consultant which works on Expressive Arts Based Therapy for de-stressing and on mental health of women and Children at risk. Practicing and incorporating narrative ideas in Play for Peace is an initiative and exploration with the ideas such as people being experts of their life. Through facilitating cooperative games, people become leaders and make own decisions. They take risks and start exploring their own skills.
Archana successfully began incorporating Play for Peace into her narrative therapy sessions in December 2018, and it will be a steady component of future sessions. In her work with palliative care patients with cancer, she uses Play for Peace games to create the feeling of joy and laughter. This creates a safe space for participants to share stories they find within themselves.
Coming from a small town in Maharashtra, Archana having inclination to adapt to the big city. She realized that her passion is to connect with children and youth naturally and engage with them under any circumstance to empower and support their development.
She has finished her Masters’ in Communication Media for Children from S.N.D.T. University, Pune. She has learned film making, and directed documentaries based on Child Rights. She enjoys making films on children, education and youth change makers.
Alfonso Díaz is the founder of the Colectivo de Prácticas Narrativas. He works as a community worker, a therapist and a teacher. In his community work Alfonso has collaboratively developed community projects to generate alternatives to extreme poverty, and to promote autonomy and territory, as well as projects to respond to gender and State violence.
As a teacher he created and coordinates the International Diploma in Narrative Practice, in collaboration with the Universidad Campesina Indígena the Masters in Narrative Practice in Community Work and Education, and in collaboration with the with the Universidad del Medio Ambiente the masters in Narrative Practices in Therapy.
In addition to teaching in Mexico, Alfonso teaches and has lead training teams in Canada, the United States, Chile, Argentina, Sweden, and Spain.
He has been involved in community projects in different parts of Mexico, Canada and the United States. In Mexico City he does individual, couple and family therapy.
Amrita Nair with a Bachelors degree in Psychology from Mumbai university, and a Masters degree in Social Entrepreneurship from TISS, is a part of the founding team of Apni Shala. Before founding Apni Shala, Amrita worked with the Akanksha foundation and Aasara Home for boys. She has also been trained in personal counselling and Rational emotive behaviour therapy. Since 2013, she has been an active facilitator of Theatre of the oppressed. She was part of the DBS-TISS Social Entrepreneurship Programme from 2013 to 2016 and is currently a WIPRO seeding fellow. In 2016, she attended the New Leader’s Week with the National SEED project and has been facilitating Mumbai based SEED groups. Currently she is working as the Director for Research, Development and Advocacy at Apni Shala.
Anand Kumtha has trained in narrative practices for mental health support. Parent to a working adult son with autism, he is one of the founding and a core group members of Forum For Autism (FFA), a family support network. Additionally, he is a core group member of The Anchorage, a sheltered workshop for special adults and also a committee member of the Recreational Activity Club set up by the Association for the Welfare of Persons with a Mental Handicap (AWMH), Maharashtra. He is also a part of Adult Support Kendra (ASK), that provides mental health support to adults with special needs and their families.
Having previously researched on the mathematics and cognitive aspects of strategy games, he has conducted sessions and workshops on and evolved some Play Ideas for Special Persons (Page: Khel Khel Mein). Currently, Anand is part of a team researching and collating good practices in centers serving persons with autism.
An Associate Professor of Mathematics and Statistics, Anand heads the Counseling Cell & the Special (Needs) Cell, besides the Department of Mathematics, Statistics & Computers at K.P.B. Hinduja College of Commerce.