Watch a TEDx talk on “Mindfulness of Emotions” by Sadia
Sadia Saeed Raval is the Founder and Chief Psychologist of Inner Space Counseling Center.
I passed out from St Anne’s High School, Fort, Mumbai, famous for being the inattentive dreamer. My official encounter with psychology was in an overenthusiastic class of freshers in St. Xavier’s college, Mumbai, after which there was no looking back. I loved the subject and my college and teachers provided the perfect ambience for exploring, debating and gaining a deeper understanding of the subject.
A lot of hard-work and several practical journals later, I graduated with a first class in 1997 and decidedly pursued psychology in my post graduate years.
I found clinical psychology especially fascinating as it presented a greater scope of understanding concepts of normality and abnormality which I later struggled to define and redefine. At some point I sensed ‘normalcy’ was overly hyped and looking beyond the limitations of what is normal i.e. looking at the larger picture, was the way to follow.
I cleared my post graduation in 1999 from the Department of Applied Psychology, University of Mumbai in Clinical Psychology and started an active career in the same.
Over years I attended various courses to further my understanding of psychotherapy. I have especially taken a liking to Integral Somatic Psychotherapy and Mindfulness based psycho-therapeutic approaches.
I found Mindfulness. to be a huge asset in addressing my personal struggles and helping clients to work with theirs. Mindfulness is a big buzz word in Western Psychology now, but it has its roots in India and in other Eastern traditions. That led me to a deep search for understanding concepts of mindfulness as it is based in India and marrying it with my extensive reading and research on how the west uses it, free from cultural overtones. I have undergone mindfulness training from both Indian and Western Perspectives. I attended Vipassana courses and other mindfulness meditation retreats in Dharamshala and Igatpuri in India. I have completed my basic MBSR (Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction) course founded by John Kabat-Zinn. In Australia, I attended the course on Mindfulness and the Brain by Rick Hanson involving both his key projects, ‘Buddha’s Brain’ and “Hardwiring Happiness”, based on the neuroscientific understanding of mindfulness.
I have used mindfulness and meditation extensively as a part of my therapeutic work. Over the course of time I have conceptualized the “Integrated Mindfulness Program”, which is a mindfulness program open to everyone. I felt the need for an approach that is applicable to the daily struggles of everyday urban life and that helps people to live more consciously, joyously and meaningfully. This program is a blend of my understanding of psychology and neuroscience with the concepts of mindfulness and somatic psychotherapy.The concepts involved in this program are the cornerstones of my therapeutic approach.
Over the past 18 years, I have worked as a psychologist extensively with different populations. I have had a sustained private practice right through, which eventually took the form of “Inner Space”.
Until 2011, I was also a visiting consultant at Karuna Hospital and a visiting child guidance expert at Sol’s Arc (Assessment and Remedial Center).
In my practice, I therapeutically work with adults as well as children on an individual basis. I also undertake couple, marital and family therapy.
In specialized workshops, I use IMP- Integrated Mindfulness Program for individuals and organizations. I customize IMP to address parenting issues, couple-related difficulties, and for individuals looking for self-enhancement and personal growth and development. At Inner Space my team undertakes group therapies for individuals facing common difficulties such as anxiety, depression and adjustment difficulties and special group sessions for adolescents and couples.
Other Work Experience
In addition to my practice, I have been a part time counselor and advisor for several schools-both Regular and Special schools.
I have worked with special populations such as with children and adults suffering from Juvenile Diabetes.
I have conducted mindfulness meditation workshops for daughters of commercial sex workers.
I have worked on a voluntary basis with HIV + orphans at Ashadeep and have volunteered with Borderless World Foundation, an NGO working with orphaned girl children in Kashmir and stayed with them in Kashmir on two occasions. Here is a snippet of my experiences at Kashmir (Basera-e-Tabassum: The Home)
I have designed, developed and conducted stress management and lifestyle modification workshops for several corporate organizations such as Citibank, E-serve and Tata Electricity and Manufacturing (Baroda).
I have been a visiting teaching faculty for psychology in Nair Hospital- Department for Physiotherapy and in S.N.D.T University- Department of Nutrition.
The sense of well-being that I derive from my work extends to a whole lot of my interests, whether it is experimenting with photography, learning film making, writing, meditating or simply enjoying a walk on the beach.
I thoroughly enjoy reading. A good book, meaningful article or a beautiful poem can keep my spirits up for days.
I eagerly await my weekly kathak classes, which I have now been attending for almost seven years.
I love traveling and the dynamism of culture, history, society, ethnic customs and traditions of various places truly intrigues and fascinates me.