In the United States, Sailaja served as the Program Manager for Refugee Mental Health Program and successfully closed several National/State level projects on community mental health and Refugee mental health. She has a special expertise in the area of Refugee Mental Health and have conducted several training / workshops for mental health and refugee service providers across the United States. Sailaja has contributed to publications on Refugee mental health and a cross cultural health care booklet for health care providers working with Refugee and immigrant communities. Over the 10 years she worked in the USA, Sailaja also served as a bilingual therapist on a diverse range of mental health issues related to adult, family and youth. She also served as the Director of Graduate Internship Field Training (GIFT) program at the reputed Center for Multicultural Human Services (CMHS) in the Washington Metropolitan area, USA. In this role, she provided program management, training, supervision and served as the liaison with University internship programs for Psychology, Counseling,Social work and Public Health.
Concurrently, due to her deep interest in teaching and research, she served as faculty at Johns Hopkins University in the Department of Counseling where she taught a graduate level class on “Cross Cultural Counseling:- Issues and interventions”, a mandated course for licensure for over 7 consecutive years for the School Counseling, Applied Behavioral Counseling and Organizational Counseling track.
Sailaja’s counseling approach
In her clinical capacity, Sailaja strongly emphasizes 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 well-being and self-sufficiency.
Her theoretical orientation is primarily client centered; however, however she is eclectic in her approach and often integrate other models of therapy such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Solution Focused Compassion based therapy, Mindfulness based therapy,Emotion focused therapy, Acceptance and Commitment therapy.
Sailaja works primarily with couples, individuals and families on a broad range of mental health issues.
With Couples, Sailaja has worked extensively on issues related to- relationship issues, breakdown in communication, trust and confidence, loneliness and sadness, inability to adjust to a marital life ,conflicts with extended families, infidelity, addictions, anger management and abuse.
With Individuals, Sailaja has worked extensively on depression, anxiety, personality issues, anger management, stress management, and issues related to adjustment and acculturation in new surroundings, relationship issues and management, workplace conflicts,loss of identity and grief and loss.
With Families, Sailaja has worked extensively on issues related to intergenerational issues, parenting, conflict management, grief and loss, stress management, abusive and dysfunctional family functioning.
Sailaja believes in nurturing and modeling a safe and empowering environment which can aid a client to clarify problems, set goals and objectives, implement teachings and learning’s from counseling and achieve self-sufficiency. She strongly advocates psycho education and solution focused approaches in her sessions and is very proactive with the mantra ” Help my client to help themselves.” Additionally, due to her advanced training in multicultural counseling she constantly adapt her techniques to best suit the client’s cultural background, ethnic identity, level of acculturation and his /her unique life experiences and situations.
Sailaja have been regularly invited for interviews as an expert in media , TV and radio and has published numerous articles on mental health topics in international magazines,publications and media