Debasmita Phukan has an M.Phil in Clinical Psychology from the LGB Regional Institute of Mental Health, Assam. She completed her Masters in Psychology from Delhi University and has a wide range of work experience, ranging from working in a mental health NGO to being a freelance writer.
Debasmita’s relationship with her writing is closely tied to her ideas about psychotherapy, as writing is a way to be more compassionate, to break prejudices and biases, and to be more open-minded. Debasmita has always wanted to work with young people and she finds her experience in the SSC to be rewarding as she is closely attuned to the interests and lives of the student population. Debasmita finds that having been in a variety of spaces, from the tea gardens in Assam to the bustling city life of Delhi, helps her in relating to people with different experiences and problems. She believes that conversations need to resist snap judgments or conclusions, and finds that the nature of attention one gives forms much of the quality of any conversation.
Among her many interests outside psychotherapy, Debasmita enjoys early morning walks amidst dewdrops, the sight of the late night sky, and staying indoors while pottering about the house. Debasmita likes spending time in solitude, and the longest period she spent indoors without realizing how much time had passed, was three weeks. Debasmita finds contentment through the activity of learning from and listening to many diverse lives in this small but very cosmopolitan campus town.
Kangkana Bhuyan has an M.Phil from NIMHANS Bangalore in clinical psychology, and she completed her Masters in Psychology from Delhi University. She worked at the LGB Regional Institute of Mental Health in Assam before she joined the Student Support Centre team in Manipal.
Shafeer K V
People and the stories that they narrate, of their own lives, have always interested Kangkana, and she finds that getting to know people is like getting to know herself. She thinks of listening as an activity that involves active thinking. Kangkana has always felt drawn to psychotherapy, and perceives it to be her calling. The Student Support Centre is a refreshing space for Kangkana, with the young people she encounters here, and she describes her experiences with psychotherapy as a fulfilling way to learn, grown, and progress. She believes that psychotherapy is a shared experience, and one discovers oneself through it. In her spare time she loves reading fiction or traveling, amongst other hobbies, and she doesn’t mind slumming it out, as she puts it. Despite being allergic to cats, she loves spending time with them. Kangkana is excited and happy to be part of the Student Support venture, as she believes that experiencing an organization at its birth is a unique experience.
Shafeer K V has an M.Phil from LGB Regional Institute of Mental Health, Tezpur, and he completed his M.Sc in Psychology from Pondicherry Central University. Prior to joining the Student Support Centre team in Manipal, he worked at a private clinic in Kerala for three months.
Bhavishya A Kalyanpur
His interest in psychotherapy stems from his love of reading and listening to stories. As he sees it, every individual is an amalgamation of their life stories. His role as a therapist, he would say, is to edit the difficult stories in one’s life to make it more reader-friendly. Books, music, and movies constitute the three pillars of his life. His other areas of interests include photography, poetry, and discussions and debates with people about a wide range of topics. Shafeer considers himself to be a curious mind—always eager to learn and know more.
The difficulties he faced during his M.Phil years have been instrumental in his awareness of the challenges that young adults encounter on a regular basis. It is this awareness that motivated him to become a part of the vision of the Student Support Centre. In fact, he prefers working with college students because he believes that he is able to empathise more easily with them. Through this, he hopes to help them achieve a sense of balance and understand the importance of mental health.
Bhavishya Arun Kalyanpur has an M.Phil in Clinical Psychology from the LGB Regional Institute of Mental Health, Assam. She completed her Msc in Applied (Clinical) Psychology from Pondicherry Central University and has lived in different parts of India, never tied down by singular identities or geographical attributions. Having considered several career choices since childhood, a love for language and challenges, and a commitment to the Humanities drew her to psychotherapy.
Bhavishya finds each day to be a new opportunity for learning, and it is this same spirit that she brings to her role as a therapist. Perceiving it as a two-way process, Bhavishya finds that the therapist is as much a learner as a facilitator, as people cannot fit into profiles and constantly reshape categories. Bhavishya likes the analogy of a marathon for therapy - she finds that each person she engages with is running their own marathon, and she hopes to run alongside and be present in whatever manner of reassurance is needed. She is enthused about working with young people in Manipal, finding the space as well as the atmosphere likeable and moldable. Outside psychotherapy, Bhavishya has an eclectic range of interests, and believes in investing time in ‘self-care’ activities', her preferred coinage for learning and honing new skills using the internet. Finding a deep joy in self-taught activities, Bhavishya’s current interests include hip-hop dancing, cooking, cubing, and training her voice.
Prafulla holds an M.S. in Counselling Psychology from Chatham University, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Prafulla began her career in the field of biotechnology and genetics. While offering genetic counselling to her clients she became convinced for the need to do more and decided to pursue psychology instead. Since then she has worked with diverse age groups and volunteered in several organizations that deal with mental health and wellness. She worked as a crisis counsellor in the U.S. before she moved to Manipal with her family.
At SSC, Prafulla has brought in her earlier experiences of organizing and leading workshops to spearhead group sessions. Her work here is closely aligned to the principles of holistic living that she applies to her own life. Being an ardent practitioner and instructor of meditation, yoga and alternative means of healing, Prafulla is keenly aware of the reciprocal relationship between the mind and the body and seeks to help clients develop a healthier lifestyle to achieve overall wellbeing.
At home she enjoys making pottery and watching old movies and British period shows.
Shobhana completed her M.Sc. in Applied (Clinical) Psychology from Pondicherry Central University and has an M.Phil. in Clinical Psychology from the LGB Regional Institute of Mental Health, Assam. A year before joining SSC, she worked as an Assistant Professor at a college in Chennai that centred on youth development.
Shobhana traces the origin of her drive to pursue psychotherapy to a personal crisis while still in school, when she had approached a counsellor. Amazed at what was achieved in less than an hour, she recalls deciding right then to study psychology. Through challenges faced and overcome, and the personal growth she strives for consequently, Shobhana is aware about the strength in vulnerability. She considers psychotherapy to be one of the most unique and important experiences of one’s life, and as a therapist, is committed to give her clients all that it has to offer.
Deeply conscious of the environment, Shobhana strives towards sustainable living and enjoys upscaling waste material. She finds her energy boost in music and peace of mind in nature.
Anjana is the Office Associate at the Student Support Centre and is integral to the everyday functioning of the centre. She has completed her Masters in Commerce from Poorna Prajna College, Udupi, and is now pursuing her MBA through distance learning.
From sorting out the different appointments and maintaining monthly reports, to keeping track of all the meetings in the SSC and the requirements of the therapists, Anjana is a big part of keeping the Student Support Centre up and running. She enjoys the warm and friendly environment of the centre, and loves the most vital part of her job which requires her to interact with different kinds of people. While already fluent in 7 different languages, she believes this to be a wonderful opportunity to hone her communication skills. She enjoys listening to music, drawing mehndi designs, talking to her friends, going on walks with her mother, traveling, and being around dogs and in nature.
Nagaraj is SSC's General Duty Worker. He is responsible for carrying out everyday tasks, from filing and data entry to taking phone messages, integral to the smooth functioning of the centre. He likes that everyone at SSC work together, accommodating each others' work-styles. He feels that the best part about working here is the contentment he experiences when the clients who come to SSC seem less distressed when they leave.
After completing his SSLC from Government College, Udupi, Nagaraj worked at Sikkim Manipal University. Carrying out his duties according to his work ethic is of great importance to him. When not at work, he enjoys reading, watching and playing cricket, and going to the movies. Nagraj aspires to someday build his own house.
Gayathri Prabhu is the Coordinator of the Student Support Centre and faculty at the Manipal Centre for Humanities at MAHE. She received her PhD in English from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, USA, and her MPhil from Swansea University, Wales, UK. She has served as a member of the Insitutional Ethics Committee, Kasturba Medical College and Kasturba Hospital, Manipal (2014 - 2018) and as the Dr TMA Pai Chair in Indian Literature (2017 - 2019). Gayathri is the author of three novels and a memoir, and regularly offers courses on Medical Humanities. Increasingly convinced about the merging of teaching and advocacy, the Student Support Centre is a project that is close to Gayathri’s heart and she attributes its existence to the combined efforts and goodwill of several people in the University. Outside of work, she finds joy in yoga, birding, long walks and rainy days. As the Coordinator, Gayathri's work at the Student Support Centre ranges from designing the centre’s ethos, to execution of outreach programs, to ensuring that the Centre remains a warm and trustworthy space for students. If you have any feedback or thoughts, please write to her at firstname.lastname@example.org