Sailaja Menon

Sailaja Menon

Sailaja Menon

Counseling Psychologist


Sailaja is a Counseling Psychologist, with over 25 years of clinical experience in the field of Mental Health, Counseling, training, teaching and supervision. She graduated as the first Psychologist Specializing in Multicultural Counseling from the World Renowned and Prestigious Johns Hopkins University in the United States and following on served as a Faculty Associate in the Graduate School of Counseling for 7 years. Sailaja is an American of Indian-origin, born in Malaysia and spent her childhood there before moving to India where she spent most of her formative years. Sailaja has lived and worked in Public and Private settings as a Psychologist in the US, India, UAE, Singapore and Malaysia.

In Dubai, Sailaja has served as a Counseling Psychologist for over 10 years. She has served as a Psychologist in Dubai Health Care City and in a reputed Clinic in Jumeira, In these positions, she provided Individual and Couple therapy on various mental health and life issues to a diverse range of multicultural clients. Sailaja has worked as a referral provider for several corporates and work place institutions in the UAE for their EAP programs. In addition, due to her passion to serve the under privileged, she continues to provide therapeutic services to Indian citizens who cannot afford psychological services under the Crisis Prevention Program (CPP)that she helped to establish under the patronage of the Indian Consulate, Dubai (a first time initiative in the history of Indian missions across the world) for the past ten years. Concurrently, she also offers counseling services at the Indian Workers Resource Centre (IWRC), a Government of India, Ministry of External affairs initiative.

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 navigates my sessions on the foundations of compassion, empathy, commitment, mindfulness and sensitivity that provides my clients the confidence and permission to explore their self, overcome hurdles and learn ways to become self-sufficient and achieve their full potential .

In Singapore, Sailaja served as a Counseling Psychologist in a very well reputed Psychological Clinic in Orchard Road. She provided individual, couple and family therapy to a very diverse range of multicultural clients. During her time in Singapore, she also served as a Faculty Associate in the Department of Counseling at James Cook University, Singapore.

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

Some of Sailaja’s key Therapeutic approaches

  • Couple’s/ Marital therapy
  • Client Centered therapy
  • Acceptance and Commitment therapy (ACT)
  • Solution focused therapy
  • Cognitive Behavioral therapy(CBT)
  • Supportive therapy
  • Mindfulness and compassion based therapy
  • Critical incident Stress Debriefing
  • Family therapy
  • Psycho-Educational therapy

Some of Sailaja’s specialized Counseling Services are

  • Mood disorder (e.g. Depression)
  • Adjustment Issues
  • Personality issues
  • Marital /relationship 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

Sailaja’s 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
  • Certified Emergenetics Associate, Singapore

Sailaja’s Professional Memberships

  • American Counselling Association (ACA),
  • American Psychological Association (APA)
  • American Multicultural Counselling and Development (AMCD)
  • International Association of Marriage and Family Counseling (IAMFC)

Sailaja’s speak fluent English, Malayalam, Tamil and Hindi.

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