MIA-UMB NEWS TEAM
Akansha Vaswani is a therapist and a researcher with a particular interest in the lived experiences of people’s lives. Her early history of working in community mental health settings with families impacted by disability in Mumbai introduced to her principles of family centered care, client advocacy, and narrative therapy which resonated deeply with the kind of helper she wanted to be. Through the stories and experiences she heard, she learned the importance of foregrounding context when working with difficulties in people’s lives rather than locating them in internal or inherent dysfunction. Her studies in marriage and family therapy strengthened her commitment to develop clinical practice from a social justice, de-colonizing, feminist and social constructionist lens. She has always believed that therapy must go beyond the therapy room and contribute to creating contexts that can lead to sustainable change and communities experiencing a sense of agency. In her life as a researcher some of the projects she is currently involved in include examining biases in psychiatric research, the psychosocial aspects of chronic illness and the effects of structural violence on marginalized communities.