I was born In Mumbai, India to two medical doctor parents who moved to Flint, Michigan where I was raised. They migrated to America to give their children more opportunities, such as a life with greater concerns than the day-to-day struggles and discomforts that they faced growing up in India. What my parents were not prepared for is the challenges of raising children in two very different cultures. I particularly struggled, as it was not easy for me to find my path. If you can relate you know that with South-Asian culture we care so desperately about what other people think of us. Especially if you are an empath like me. Because what other people think is so deeply rooted in my culture, I tended to only share the good and keep the bad hidden away. This made it difficult to talk about the realities of being me, an Indian-American girl. As a result, I felt lonely, not good enough, lost, and confused.
My journey may sound bleak, but I would not change it for the world. It is a funny thing how life struggles can actually lead you to the path you were meant to follow.
My journey did not lead me to what was expected (medical school). Instead, it led me to a Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology from SUNY Buffalo with a specialization in Health Psychology. During my internship at the Atlanta VAMC and post-doctoral fellowship at Emory University, I worked with patients with chronic medical conditions such as cancer and HIV. I was technically in the medical field, but in a way that was more aligned with my strengths.
As rewarding as it was to work with a medical team, very often I would become frustrated with the box I felt like I had to work within to support my patients. Traditional psychotherapy left me wanting more for my patients and for myself. Often, I would feel the same way I did growing up; that I did not fit in due to my belief that at the core we can all heal ourselves. As human beings our stories are complex, and they shape who we are. Diagnosing patients after sitting and listening to their complex stories for an hour just did not sit well with me. I “knew” I needed to establish something that resembled me and my unique personality.
I have finally gained the courage to establish something that is my own: Inara Therapy + Wellness. It is a practice that speaks to my own healing journey. A practice that no longer separates my personal experiences from what I offer professionally to patients that choose to work with me.