Interview with Kareena Mehta, Psychotherapist & Founder of Kare Counselling

Kareena Mehta

An exclusive interview with Kareena Mehta, Psychotherapist & Founder of Kare Counselling

In the world of mental health and well-being, few individuals possess the profound insights and expertise of Kareena Mehta, a distinguished psychotherapist and the visionary founder of Kare Counselling.

With a career spanning over two decades, Kareena has dedicated herself to the noble mission of helping individuals navigate the complex terrain of their emotional and psychological landscapes. Her unwavering commitment to promoting mental health, combined with her extensive knowledge and compassionate approach to therapy, has made her a respected figure in the field.

In this exclusive interview, we delve into Kareena Mehta’s remarkable journey, the founding principles of Kare Counselling, and her invaluable insights into the realm of psychotherapy. Join us as we explore the world of healing and self-discovery through the eyes of this trailblazing therapist.

Can you tell us about your background and journey that led you to become a psychotherapist? What motivated you to pursue a career in this field?

Kareena Mehta: My journey towards becoming a psychotherapist is profoundly shaped by life’s twists and turns. It all began with a significant move from Belgium to India during my formative years, a transition that challenged my sense of identity and belonging in this dual cultural context.

These experiences ignited a profound curiosity about the impact of our environment on our thoughts, emotions, and behaviors.But the pivotal moment came when I was just 13 years old. At that age, I watched a movie that would touch my heart and set my life’s course in motion.

It was “Short Term 12,” a film that delicately explored the complexities of mental health. The story captivated my imagination, and it planted a dream within me—a dream of one day establishing a mental health practice akin to the supportive group depicted in the movie.

This dream wasn’t just about a career; it was a heartfelt aspiration to create a sanctuary where individuals could find solace and support on their mental health journeys. It was a dream born from my deepest desire to make a difference in the lives of others.Today, as the founder of Kare Counselling, I carry that dream forward with unwavering commitment.

Every day, I hope that I am making my 13-year-old self proud by offering compassionate and effective mental health support to people from diverse backgrounds. This journey, rooted in personal experiences and fueled by a deep passion for mental health, continues to be my guiding light, motivating me to bring warmth, empathy, and healing to those I am privileged to work with.

Psychotherapy encompasses various approaches and modalities. Could you describe your preferred therapeutic approach and how it informs your practice?

Kareena Mehta: My therapeutic approach is tailored to meet the unique needs of each of my clients. I primarily incorporate techniques from psychodynamic and relational therapy, while also drawing insights from trauma-informed therapy, person-centered therapy, cognitive-behavioral therapy, and multicultural counseling.

My therapeutic style can be described as eclectic, client-centered, collaborative, and goal-oriented. In my work with clients, I aim to bring warmth, empathy, and unconditional positive regard, creating a non-judgmental, supportive, and nurturing therapeutic environment.

Can you explain the typical process a client goes through when seeking psychotherapy services with you? What can clients expect from their sessions?

Kareena Mehta: Building A Relationship With Your Therapist: During our initial sessions, our primary focus is to establish a strong and trustworthy therapeutic relationship. We understand the importance of trust, empathy, and collaboration in creating a safe environment for you to openly share your concerns, goals, and hopes.

Exploring and Healing: Drawing from insights rooted in psychodynamic and trauma-informed approaches, we delve into your past experiences to uncover any unconscious patterns or unresolved trauma that might be influencing your current struggles.

Our goal-oriented approach centers on fostering insight and facilitating healing in areas that may be hindering your progress. Empowerment and Goal Attainment: As you embark on this transformative therapeutic journey, our aim is to empower you with the tools and strategies needed to enact meaningful changes in your life.

By integrating elements from psychodynamic, trauma-informed, relational, and person-centered therapies, we collaborate to help you achieve your therapeutic objectives and cultivate a more authentic and fulfilling life. Together, we strive for enduring positive transformations and personal growth.

What types of issues or challenges do you commonly address in your psychotherapy practice? Are there particular areas of specialization or expertise that you focus on?

Kareena Mehta: I support individuals dealing with a wide range of challenges, including anxiety, mood disorders, family conflicts, relationship issues, low self-esteem, body image concerns, PTSD, and intergenerational trauma.

My dedication lies in empowering marginalized groups, and I have worked extensively with survivors of sexual abuse, assault, and domestic violence, utilizing a strengths-based approach. With my diverse experience in different settings, my primary passion revolves around working with people of color in the emerging adult and adult populations, all while applying a trauma-informed approach.

Areas of expertise:

  • Anxiety Depression (Mood disorders)
  • Family Conflict 
  • Multicultural and Immigrant Issues 
  • Interpersonal Relationship Issues 
  • Self Esteem and Body Image Issues 
  • Sexual Abuse and Domestic Abuse 
  • Trauma and PTSD 
  • Intergenerational Trauma 
  • Women’s Issues 
  • Life transitions 
  • PCOS and Infertility

Mental health stigma is still prevalent in many cultures. How do you work to reduce stigma and promote mental health awareness in your community?

Kareena Mehta: Mental health in India faces substantial stigma and misconceptions which acts as a significant obstacle for individuals seeking help, as they fear being judged or discriminated against. Compounding this issue is the critical shortage of mental health professionals, with only one psychiatrist available for every 100,000 people and one mental health practitioner for every 10,000 people.

This scarcity severely limits access to essential mental health care services.  As a psychotherapist at Kare Counselling, my mission is to actively reduce stigma and elevate mental health awareness within my community.

I achieve this through various avenues, including educational initiatives, workshops, and maintaining an online presence to share valuable resources. Collaborating with local organizations and facilitating support groups are essential components of my community engagement.

At Kare Counselling, we prioritize cultural sensitivity to ensure that our mental health services resonate with diverse backgrounds. Additionally, my advocacy efforts for policy reforms and my commitment to continuous learning allow me to stay updated with the latest practices, ultimately contributing to a more empathetic and supportive environment where individuals are empowered to seek help for their mental well-being.

Psychotherapy often involves helping clients develop coping strategies and tools. What are some common techniques or exercises you use to assist clients in managing their mental health?

Kareena Mehta: In my practice, I employ a comprehensive approach to assist clients in managing their mental health effectively, beginning with trauma-informed care as the foundation, ensuring a safe and supportive therapeutic environment. Mindfulness techniques follow, promoting present-moment awareness and emotional regulation, empowering clients to navigate their emotions with greater ease. Psychodynamic exploration allows clients to delve into their past experiences, fostering insight and self-understanding.

Relational therapy plays a pivotal role in building trust and promoting healing within the therapeutic relationship. Finally, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) equips clients with practical tools to identify and reframe negative thought patterns and behaviors, facilitating healthier cognitive processes.

This integrated approach aims to provide a holistic and tailored therapeutic experience that supports clients in managing their mental health challenges and achieving their therapeutic goals.

Self-care is crucial for mental health professionals. What strategies do you personally use to maintain your well-being and prevent burnout?

Kareena Mehta: As a mental health professional, I hold a commitment to self-care as a means of maintaining my well-being and preventing burnout. I regularly engage in personal therapy, valuing the opportunity to process my own emotions and experiences. Seeking out regular supervision not only provides me with guidance but also serves as an invaluable source of emotional support.

I place a strong emphasis on physical well-being, incorporating exercise, mindful nutrition, and sufficient sleep into my routine. Additionally, setting clear boundaries between my work and personal life is a non-negotiable practice, allowing me essential time to recharge.

Lastly, my connection with a supportive community of friends, family, and colleagues is a cornerstone of my overall well-being, reinforcing my ability to provide the best possible care to my clients while nurturing my own mental and emotional health.

In today’s digital age, teletherapy and online counseling have become more prevalent. What are your thoughts on the benefits and challenges of providing therapy through these platforms?

Kareena Mehta: In today’s digital age, teletherapy and online counseling offer a balanced mix of both positives and challenges. On one hand, they provide remarkable accessibility, transcending geographical boundaries, and reducing stigma associated with seeking help.

In my practice, I work with clients worldwide, including those from the US, Africa, the Philippines, and India, showcasing the global reach of virtual therapy. However, it’s important to acknowledge the challenges such as technological issues, the potential loss of non-verbal cues, and privacy concerns.

Despite these challenges, I firmly believe that teletherapy can be highly effective for many clients. However, it’s important to recognize that the suitability of teletherapy is a very personal decision, and what works best can vary from one individual to another.

What advice do you have for individuals who are considering seeking psychotherapy but may be hesitant or unsure about taking that step?

Kareena Mehta: For individuals who are contemplating seeking psychotherapy but feel hesitant or unsure about taking that step, I would offer the following advice: First and foremost, be patient with yourself as you embark on this transformative journey. Take the time to research and educate yourself about psychotherapy, its various approaches, and what to expect.

Finding the right therapist who specializes in the areas you want to address is crucial, and many therapists offer an initial consultation to discuss your concerns and gauge your comfort level. Set realistic expectations by understanding that therapy is not a quick fix; it’s a process that takes time and commitment.

Don’t hesitate to express your concerns and hesitations to your therapist, as what you discuss is confidential. Lastly, know that seeking therapy is a courageous and proactive step toward self-care and personal growth, offering valuable tools, insights, and support to help you navigate life’s challenges and achieve your personal goals.

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