Sailaja Menon


Sailaja Menon

AH Counsellor


“I am a firm believer that in therapy what a client requires is not necessarily a brilliant mind that speaks but a patient heart that listens. This principle navigate my sessions on the foundations of compassion, empathy and sensitivity that ultimately provides my client the confidence and permission to explore their self, overcome hurdles and learn ways to become self-sufficient and achieve their full potential “

About Me

I am an American trained Counselling Psychologist with over 20 years of clinical experience in the field of Mental Health, Counselling, training, teaching and supervision. I was born in Malaysia and spent my childhood there and moved to India where I spent most of my formative years. I have travelled extensively around the globe and have spent most of my life in the US, India, UAE, Singapore and Malaysia.

Prior to moving back to Dubai in 2016, I served as a Partner at Scotts Psychological Centre, Orchard Road, Singapore where I served as a Counselling Psychologist and provided individual, couple and family therapy to a very diverse range of multicultural clients. I was also the Founder of Mantra – Counseling Wellness Care. During my time in Singapore, I also served as a Faculty Associate in the Dept of Counseling at James Cook University, Singapore. I am also an Associate of Emergenetics and conducts profiling, assessment and interpretation sessions to assist clients to achieve their full potential in therapeutic, school, corporate and health care settings.

Prior to moving to Singapore in 2013, I served as a Counseling Psychologist at the Dubai Community Health Center (DCHC), Jumeira, Dubai, UAE for over 8 years. In this position, I provided Individual and Couple therapy on various mental health and life issues to a diverse range of multicultural clients. In addition, due to my passion to serve the under privileged, I found the Crisis Prevention Program (CPP) under the patronage of the Indian Consulate, Dubai (a first time initiative in the history of Indian missions across the world) where I provided free therapeutic services for 8 consecutive years for those citizens of India who could not afford psychological services. Concurrently, I also headed the Counseling unit set up by the Govt of India – Ministry of Overseas Indian affairs at the Indian Workers Resource Centre (IWRC).

Prior to moving to Dubai in 2005, I served as the Director of Graduate Internship Field Training (GIFT) program with the Center for Multicultural Human Services (CMHS) in the Washington metropolitan area, USA. In this role, I provided supervision, conducted intern meetings, and served as a liaison with University internship programs. Over the 10 years I worked at CMHS, I also served as a bilingual therapist on a diverse range of mental health issues related to adult, family and youth. In my role as a Program manager at CMHS, I successfully closed several National/State level projects on community mental health and Refugee mental health issues. I have a special expertise in the area of Refugee Mental Health and have conducted several ‘training of trainers’ workshops for refugee service providers across the country.

During same period, concurrently, I served as a faculty at Johns Hopkins University in the Department of Counseling where I taught a graduate level class on “Cross Cultural Counseling: Issues and interventions” for over 7 consecutive years for the School Counseling, Applied Behavioral Counseling and Organizational Counseling track.

In my clinical capacity , I strongly tend to emphasize on the importance of incorporating a holistic model of services which takes into consideration the mental/emotional, physical/biological, social, community and the spiritual aspects of the client to ensure his/her well-being and self-sufficiency. My theoretical orientation is primarily client centered. Feedback from my clients state “that I tend to exhibit a very warm and relaxed approach in therapy whereby my primary and unwavering goal in sessions is obtaining a therapeutic relationship with a genuine dialogue with my clients by staying in the present and navigating different phases of life of the client as and when they are ready ” .

I believe in nurturing and modeling a safe and empowering environment which can aid a client to clarify problems, set goals and objectives, implement the teachings and learning’s from counseling in their life and achieve self-sufficiency. I strongly advocate psycho education and solution focused approaches in my sessions and am very proactive with the mantra ” Help my client to help themselves.” .Additionally, due to my advanced training in multicultural counselling I constantly adapt my techniques to best suit the client’s cultural background, ethnic identity, level of acculturation and his /her unique life experiences and situations.

I have been regularly invited for interviews as an expert in media and have published numerous articles on mental health topics in international magazines, publications and media.

Key Therapeutic approaches:

 Couple’s therapy
 Client Centered therapy
Solution focused therapy
Cognitive Behavioral therapy
Supportive therapy
Crisis intervention
Family therapy
Psycho-Educational therapy

Specialised Counselling Services:

Mood disorder (e.g. Depression)
Adjustment Issues
Personality issues
Marital issues
Acculturation / Assimilation issues
Intergenerational conflicts
Psycho education
Family conflicts
Issues of transition in youth
Corporate/employee assistance
Academic challenges and behavioral issues in youth
Cross Cultural Training
Emergenetics testing and assessment

Educational Qualifications:

 Post Masters (CAGS- Multicultural Counseling), Johns Hopkins University, USA
MS (Psychology), Radford University, USA
BA (Psychology), Presidency College, University of Madras, Chennai, India

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