Degree Date


Document Type

Dissertation - Public Access

Degree Name

Psy.D. Doctor of Clinical Psychology

Academic Discipline

Clinical Psychology

First Advisor

Mudita Rastogi Ph.D

Second Advisor

Carolyn Gralewski Ph.D


Common mental disorders in India are on the rise and are adding to the national burden of mental health care on a day-to-day basis. The demand for treatment of mental illnesses has risen considerably, though there is a shortage of mental health professionals who can deliver counseling services. The Indian government has made efforts to improve the scalability of services by training lay health counselors to diagnose and conduct brief counseling with the mentally ill and those involved with their care. Despite efforts to scale up services, the treatment gap still exists, as mental health services are not uniformly distributed. Considering that psychotherapy is based on Euro-American concepts of mental health care, but India is a complex amalgamation of cultures, there is a need for a culturally sensitive model of counseling. Thus, this clinical research project was geared toward creating a culturally sensitive model of counseling that can be used to train lay health counselors to conduct culturally appropriate therapy. Hence, this theoretical model of counseling uses sociocultural factors to conceptualize the mental health issues of Indian clients and indigenous methods along with an evidence-based approach to inform psychotherapy interventions. Finally, the Indian sociocultural aspect is integrated into the fundamentals of therapy to improve client retention and reduce the treatment gap.