Degree Date


Document Type

Dissertation - Public Access

Degree Name

Psy.D. Doctor of Clinical Psychology

Academic Discipline

Clinical Psychology

First Advisor

Penelope Asay, Ph.D, ABPP

Second Advisor

Dipali Bharadwaj, Psy.D.


This study was an exploration of spirituality, cultural upbringing, and deeply rooted Eastern philosophy and their conscious and unconscious impact on the way Hindu psychologists practice in the field. The purpose was to take into consideration the four major theories of Hinduism and to assess whether psychologists of Hindu origin integrated them into their clinical work. The study used qualitative methods, specifically interpretative phenomenological analysis, as the main strategy of inquiry for data collection and analysis. The goal was to broaden the understanding of how spiritual beliefs can inform a psychologist’s clinical approach and lead to a better understanding of how such practices and the integration of spiritual theories can enhance clinical practice. Additionally, the study shed light on conflicts that may exist between psychologists’ personal beliefs regarding cultural expressions of mental illnesses compared to the expressions of mental illnesses from the model in which they received training. The study demonstrates the importance of further research regarding Hindu clients and the stigmatization of the mental health field within South Asian culture. This may also encourage an open dialogue around the use of spiritual and religious beliefs in psychotherapy. It is an important point of inquiry for both research and clinical psychology, as it broadens the discourse around integrated healthcare and diversity.



I dedicate this dissertation to my Feba, Nirupa Mehta, who taught me to be a Vedantist and encouraged my interest in Vedic literature and philosophy. Whose light is forever with me and whose words of wisdom continue to flow through my heart and mind.

To Anjani and Akash, who have changed my world and continue to motivate and inspire me daily. Remember that no dream is to small, I hope you both continue to strive for what is in your hearts and shine brightly every day. Mommy loves you both my wind and my sky.