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Dr. Mithila Desai - Clinical Psychologist | Founder of Young Achievers Career Guidance Company & Power of Mind Clinics | Entrepreneur

Dr. Mithila Desai

Dr. Mithila Desai

Dr. Mithila Desai

Crucial Success Skills Forged Through My Journey

Early Life Experience : I was born in 1965 into a Maharashtrian nuclear business family, blessed with the unique qualities often attributed to a middle child. My upbringing was characterized by progressive parents who instilled in us the values of autonomy and the freedom to express our feelings, needs, and desires. Their unwavering trust provided me with both wings to soar and roots to anchor me. Raised with a delicate balance of discipline and freedom, our household fostered open conversations on any topic, even those considered taboo. 

Shouldering responsibilities from a young age made me fiercely independent, a go-getter, and imbued me with empathetic and adaptable qualities, essential for leadership. Our family ethos revolved around supporting the needy, ensuring there was always food and assistance available. It's this foundation that cultivated a deep awareness of my inclinations, purpose, and passion, leading me to pursue studies in humanities and psychology.

Crafting Creative Opportunities from Every Challenge

Rising Above Struggles : I owe much of my academic journey to a remarkable mentor—a retired scientist from the Dr. Homi Bhabha Institute. While commercial classes were all the rage, my mother's wisdom led me to him. He not only taught me math and languages but also recognized my academic strengths and weaknesses. It was under his guidance that I embraced social and behavioral sciences as my primary focus. Memorable experiences from my childhood shaped my path, from assuming the role of a big sister to leading as captain of my RSP team and eventually becoming head girl. These milestones, along with being selected for an interstate cultural event, underscored my school's ethos of holistic development. 

Though I missed out on inter-school dance, drama, and sports activities, the emphasis on leadership laid a strong foundation for my entrepreneurial journey and instilled in me the belief to lead rather than follow blindly. Choosing psychology as a career in 1986 was no easy feat. With only 30 seats available at Mumbai University and limited access to reference materials, the journey was riddled with challenges. Psychology books were a rarity, accessible only through membership at the American library in town—a privilege not easily obtained. Yet, reflecting on those struggles today, I find myself fortunate, for they have only served to deepen my appreciation for what I've gained and achieved.

My Impact

Defining Moments : Life is a rollercoaster of experiences, a journey filled with both highs and lows. It's in facing uncertainties and encountering new people and situations that we truly learn lessons often absent from textbooks. The 1990s posed significant challenges for the field of psychology. Awareness about mental health was lacking, and stigma loomed large. Confronting rigid belief systems, entrenched patriarchy, and self-righteous attitudes presented formidable hurdles. Personal losses, physical injuries from major accidents, and the constant upheaval of relocating from one city to another compounded these challenges. 

Balancing the demands of being a working mother added yet another layer of complexity. In such trying times, it's easy to succumb to emotional distress. However, I found solace in living in the moment. Our past hardships serve as invaluable lessons in the present, just as our thoughts about the future guide our actions. Living in the moment has become second nature to me, a state of mind often referred to as mindfulness. This innate ability has been instrumental in navigating life's adversities.

Scaling New Heights in Personal and Professional Triumphs

Importance of Mentorship : Before embarking on a career in mentorship, it's crucial to identify your niche. Are you drawn to relationships, clinical issues, child psychology, or perhaps employee concerns? Understanding the specific problems, you aim to solve and the individuals you wish to assist is essential. Until you pinpoint what sets you apart, effectively conveying your skills and the assistance you offer to clients can be challenging. 

Furthermore, determining which topics to address and which to omit may prove difficult. However, cultivating a deep love for the subject matter, coupled with empathy, compassion, and strong listening and interpersonal skills, can greatly enhance your effectiveness as a mentor. These qualities not only enrich your practice but also foster meaningful connections with those you seek to help.

The Synergy Between My Path and Recognition Values

Accolades : Through my impactful work, I have been honored with prestigious awards, establishing myself as a beacon in the field of mental health. My commitment to holistic care has earned recognition and respect within psychology and therapy communities. NASP Award for Excellence in the Provision of School Psychological Services by the Indian Education Society in 2006. Excellence in Clinical Psychology Awards for significant contributions to relationship counselling in 2012. 

Global Women Achievers Award and Psychological Transformer in 2018. Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam Health Award for service excellence in mental health in 2023. As the founder of the career guidance company "Young Achievers," I am dedicated to supporting students facing academic challenges through personalized one-on-one and group counselling sessions. Additionally, I collaborate with parents and teachers to navigate the intricacies of personal and professional life dynamics. 

As an Employee Assistance Program (EAP) consultant, I am affiliated with renowned corporations, focusing on addressing clinical aspects of employees' well-being. I operate centres in Andheri and Borivali, catering to the needs of individuals in the western suburbs. Furthermore, I serve as a guest columnist for esteemed publications such as Femina, Midday, and Psycho Logs magazines, contributing my insights as a writer to numerous print media platforms.