Karuna, psychologist in Mumbai Smiles
Today we want you to get to know Karuna better, the team’s psychologist, and also the work she does at Mumbai Smiles. This is her story:
My name is Karuna Anand Kithani. I am a psychologist and I have specialized in different areas such as support for couples or the educational environment. I have worked for many years as a student counselor, clinical and cognitive behavioral therapist. I have also worked to raise awareness about the prevention of child sexual abuse.
I currently work as a psychologist at Mumbai Smiles. When I found out about the job opportunity, I was very interested, and here I am. Since March 2022 my responsibility is to promote mental health to all the people we work with, through counseling sessions and therapeutic methods, and also to the team.
I work four days a week at Mumbai Smiles. I spend two days at the Udaan shelter for survivors of trafficking. I plan group sessions or individual counseling sessions depending on the needs of the women living in the house. The rest of the time I work for the project 2Access to school” with its young people and I also organize activities for the team and the nursery school teachers.
I have many plans and ideas to carry out. However, due to time constraints and long distances from the city, sometimes I feel that I lack time to do everything I would like. Still, I am happy to see the great coordination and support between the teams, thanks to this I can work efficiently and minimize that feeling.
I enjoy my work. I love working for society. And in addition, the support, understanding and cooperation of the team members are excellent, which gives me strength for more productive and creative thinking. I am passionate about seeing how through shared work someone’s behavior changes in a positive way.
My goal is to help people not only solve their problems, but also empower them to maintain balance in their personal and professional lives. Provide them with strategic management skills to avoid mental stress, and more so in traumatic cases like the ones we sometimes work with.
My job is not to tell people what to do, it is to find out during verbal and non-verbal communication and observation sessions to what extent a person can be encouraged to change.
It worries me to see that today many young people are aimless during their student period. Your only goal is to complete your graduation and get a certificate. But life is not that. Therefore, I would like to make a proposal to all educational institutions to encourage the participation of youth in NGOs and through this commitment promote their development as well as community development.
I want to give a message: evaluating your own mind and your life choices always helps reduce burnout and stress.
Thank you Karuna, let’s keep pursuing shared goals!