About

KindSpace is a mental healthcare organization which offers therapeutic groups for people living through difficult circumstances to share, listen and get better together.

Each KindSpace provides a professionally led, compassionate and inclusive environment, where people can find a community and be heard without judgment. Each group offering is carefully designed to address some of the most challenging and often invisible issues we face as a society.

Our organizational aim is to change the meaning of what it means to access mental healthcare, and most importantly, what it feels like to be helped and held through one’s difficulties.

Why KindSpace care groups?

We believe that every one of us needs support in our lives – we might be grieving the loss of a loved one, we might be struggling with our identity, we might be going through a separation. We might have long standing issues with anxiety, we might have a history of trauma unwilling to let go of its hold on us.

We often feel alone and disempowered in going through experiences every minute of every day, for years. We don’t know who to ask. We don’t know what services can help us. We are afraid to ask lest we seem weak. Sometimes we reach out and are met with platitudes – it will pass, you have to be strong, you’ll soon see a silver lining, others have it worse. Or we’re met with the unavailability of others – friends, family or professionals cannot find for us the time that we need. In this atomized and performance-oriented world, it is becoming increasingly hard to be vulnerable and feel emotionally supported. 

At the same time, we each have the need and ability to connect to others going through something similar. At KindSpace, we believe in the ability to give to others and receive in return the nurturance that we miss from our lives. We believe that listening and sharing to one another are equally fundamental to our emotional healing. No matter where you are and whatever you’re going through, there are others who truly understand you and want to support you.

Our team

Dr. Nivida Chandra

Founder-Director

nivida@kindspace.in

I am a psychologist and research scholar, specializing in the emotional abuse of children in India. I am also the founder-editor of The Shrinking Couch, where I published informational and experiential articles for those affected by mental health concerns (theshrinkingcouch.com). My doctoral work was on the emotional neglect of children in urban India (parentification). I hold a PhD in psychology from the Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi and was awarded the Fulbright fellowship to New York University (NYU).

I have been struggling with existing models of psychotherapy – both in theory or practice – for well over a decade. KindSpace is my solution to at least some of the problems presented by the current discourse of emotional wellness. Self-care and other-care go hand in hand for me, and I hope that we can begin to openly acknowledge our common humanity – we ALL go through difficult times and need help, and we each have the ability to help others through these challenges. I would love to talk to you about any and all of this, so please write to me if any of this intrigues or excites you.

Dr. Sugandh Dixit

Advisor: Clinical Psychology & Research

sugandh@kindspace.in

I received my doctoral training in clinical psychology from Duquesne University, Pittsburgh USA. I have worked with survivors of interpersonal violence at Sakhi for South Asian Women, New York, and worked with students at the Carnegie Mellon University Counseling center, Pittsburgh and Pace University counseling center, New York. I have facilitated stress management, trauma informed, and inter-personal groups for diverse clinical settings both in the US and in India. Most recently, I was the the Program Leader for the community mental health program at Bapu Trust, Pune, where I work from a socio-psychological lens with individuals from low-income neighborhoods. I also maintain a private practice.

I advocate for mental health to move away from the notion of “fixing” the individual to acknowledging the impact socio-cultural factors on an individual’s wellbeing. Ideas of gender, trauma, social justice and eco-friendly practices are close to my heart. I try, in my work, to listen to what truly matters to people, and enable to find meaning and agency in their own lives. I bring these ideas to KindSpace with the hope that we can similarly enable many more people.

Manasi Chandavarkar

Advisor: Community & Communication

manasichandavarkar@ gmail.com

I work in the areas of education and development, particularly focusing on early childhood development in low-resourced contexts. I have an undergraduate degree in Psychology, and a Master’s degree in Education from University of Edinburgh, UK. I have been with the Centre for Learning Resources, since 2011, where I have undertaken research, design, training and implementation of several large scale and pilot projects in partnership with multiple stakeholders (families, communities, frontline workers, schools and Anganwadis, local and multinational donors, government functionaries from ICDS and health departments). My work is informed by the areas of child development, public policy, social justice, human rights, culture, gender and sexuality. My work has taken me across urban and rural geographies in several Indian states, which has led me to interact with communities and individuals with very diverse lived realities and narratives, humbling me, urging me to unlearn and re-learn continuously. 
 
My ongoing personal journey related to mental wellbeing grounds me. I continue to explore mindfulness and self-compassion as I go about seemingly everyday, often invisible distressing experiences. KindSpace is my hope to come together with others who are similarly on their journeys towards wellbeing, particularly those who are living amid daily, unnamed experiences of distress.