Psychiatry & Counselling Services

‘A healthy mind is as important as a healthy body for a happy and productive life.’ The Department of Psychiatry & Counselling Services at Aster Hospital strives to improve the mental and psychological well being of our patients. We deal with all kinds of psychological issues such as stress, anger, anxiety, and depression. We have a team of a highly experienced psychologist, Cognitive Behavioural Therapist, and stress management experts. Counseling with a psychologist will treat the symptoms and the root cause of psychological ailments. Our psychiatrists have treated patients from accross the globe with a good success rate.

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We provide excellent care, right from diagnosis to the treatment and beyond at our world-class hospitals.

Services

We provide comprehensive treatment for all types diseases under one roof. Our highly experienced doctors supported by especially trained clinical staff, ensure the best care for you.

Dr. Nilam Behere-Kolekar

Dr Niliam Behare.jpg
Dr. Nilam Behere-Kolekar
Consultant Psychiatry
MD (Psychiatry)
Speciality
Psychiatry & Counselling Services
Experience
4 Years
Hospital
Aster Aadhar Kolhapur
Languages
English, Hindi, Marathi
Overview

Dr. Nilam Behere-Kolekar has completed her MD Psychiatry with distinction from the prestigious Seth GS Medical College and KEM Hospital, Mumbai and Bombay Deaddiction Centre of Excellence. She has worked as an Assistant Professor of Psychiatry in KEM Hospital, Mumbai and as a Onco-psychiatrist in HCG Apex Cancer Hospital, Mumbai. She had also been working as a Mental Health Research Scientist in the Public Health Foundation of India, Delhi and a visiting faculty of Mental Health Epidemiology in Indian Institute of Public Health, Delhi.

She has been publicly speaking on Mental Health, Addictions and Suicide prevention on platforms like Tata Institute of Social Sciences Mumbai, BMC public schools, Cine and Television Actors’ Association Mumbai and many more. She has presented her research work in Psychiatry in various National and International Scientific Summits. She has worked on pan-India Training of General Practitioners in Mental Health in Collaboration with The Live Love Laugh Foundation by Deepika Padukone and Training in Telephonic Mental Health Counselling by Lay Counsellors in Uttar Pradesh in Collaboration with UNICEF.

She has been keen on working in the field of Child Psychiatry, Addiction Psychiatry, Stress related Mental disorders and Old-age Mental Health and Dementias.

She believes that Mental Health is an essential aspect of overall health and wellbeing and hence its attainment is of par importance. She emphasizes on preventive aspects of mental health where lifestyle modifications, coping strategies and adaptive thinking patterns can help us all lead a positive life.

Area of expertise

Child Psychiatry

Experience of running specialized Child Guidance Clinics. This involves screening of children and adolescents for poor school performance, behavioural issues, intellectual disabilities, gadget and gaming addiction, autism and child abuse. Common therapies offered are Effective Parenting skills, Behavioral Contingency Management, Problem solving techniques, Play therapy and drug treatment for various other disorders.

Addiction Psychiatry

Experience of working in Deaddiction Centre of Excellence. Deaddiction management involves identification of Problem drinking, Alcohol dependence, Smoking/ Tobacco addiction, other drugs addiction and digital/gadget addiction. Short term and long term management which includes, medical management, motivational enhancement techniques, family interventions and social rehabilitation.

Depression and Anxiety Treatment

Extensive experience of management of Depression and Anxiety disorders of all ages. The management includes counselling and Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, Behavioral Activation, Problem Solving Strategies, Relaxation Therapies and Medicines.

Suicide Prevention

Has been working extensively in patient management and publicly speaking on suicide prevention on various national fora. Suicide prevention strategies include Crisis Intervention, Problem solving, Life-skills training and medical management

Old Age Mental Health and Dementia

Special experience backed by research area of interest in Dementia and old-age Mental Health. Dementia management include medical management, cognitive exercises, family interventions and Activities of Daily Living (ADL) support.

Awards and recognitions
  • Nominated for the most prestigious national- Marfatia Award for scientific presentation on Cognitive Impairment in Post-Stroke Patients
  • Nominated for L P Shah Award of Bombay Psychiatric Society for scientific presentation on Treatment Adherence in patients of Schizophrenia
  • Received Grant of Multi-Disciplinary Research Unit of KEM Hospital, Mumbai for Psychiatric comorbidities in Renal and Liver transplant patients
  • Empanelled as consultant psychiatrist for Cine and Television Actors Association (CINTAA) Mumbai

Dr. T R John

Dr
Dr. T R John
Senior Consultant
DNB in Psychiatry, MD in Psychiatry, MBBS
Speciality
Psychiatry & Counselling Services
Experience
32 Years
Hospital
Aster Medcity Kochi
Languages
Malayalam, English, Hindi
Overview

A Psychiatrist with more than 22 years of experience, Dr. T R John is an expert in management of behavioral and mental disorders in both adults and children. His areas of special interest include management of mood disorders, suicide prevention in people with high stress levels, women’s mental health, wellness psychiatry and psychiatric aspects of organ transplantation. Dr. T R John is also the Chief of Medical Services of Aster Medcity, Kochi.

Area of expertise
  • Stress management and implementing suicide prevention programmes in people high levels of stress.
     
Awards and recognitions
  • Postgraduate teacher in Psychiatry (Armed Forces as well as Kerala)
  • Executive committee member of IMA Kochi and Ernakulam Psychiatric Society
  • Published several research articles

Dr. Sandhya Cherkil

Dr.-Sandhya-Cherkil
Dr. Sandhya Cherkil
Neuropsychologist
PhD
Speciality
Psychiatry & Counselling Services
Experience
16 Years
Hospital
Aster Medcity Kochi
Languages
English, Malayalam
Overview

A Psychologist with more than 16 years of experience, Dr. Sandhya Cherkil is an expert in cognitive psychology, remediation, rehabilitation and psychotherapies. Trained in administering java neuropsychiatric test and implementation of mini international neuropsychiatric interview, her areas of special interest include management of stress, wellbeing, quality of life and community psychology. She works closely with all specialities/ departments with a multidisciplinary approach.

Awards and recognitions
  • Trained in administering java neuropsychiatric test and implementation of mini international neuropsychiatric interview at the Institute of Psychiatry, London
  • Developed an indigenous stress scale for assessing stress levels and determining the stressors of medical students
  • Actively involved in training Nursing and MD Psychiatry students for the past 5 years
  • Authored a book titled ’Stress, coping and wellbeing in the women spouses of mentally ill’, published by Lambert
  • Authored a text book ‘Psychology for paramedical courses’, published by Amrita Institute of Medical Sciences
  • More than 10 research articles in journals

Dr. Namitha M Das

Dr
Dr. Namitha M Das
Senior Specialist
MD in Psychiatry, MBBS
Speciality
Psychiatry & Counselling Services
Experience
4 Years
Hospital
Aster Medcity Kochi
Languages
English, Malayalam, Hindi
Overview

Trained to manage mental disorders in patients of all ages, Dr. Namitha M Das takes a special interest in suicide prevention, de-addiction treatment, and neurodevelopmental disorders like attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), autism spectrum disorders, and intellectual disabilities. A valued member of the team at Aster Medcity’s multispecialty wing, she holds a Doctor of Medicine (MD) in Psychiatry earned from Government Medical College, Thiruvananthapuram, and an MBBS from Pariyaram Medical College.

Awards and recognitions
  • Trained in general, child & adolescent and geriatric psychiatry

Dr. Girishchandra

Dr
Dr. Girishchandra
Sr. Consultant - Psychiatry
MBBS, DPM, DNB
Speciality
Psychiatry & Counselling Services
Experience
15 Years
Hospital
Aster CMI Bangalore
Overview

Dr Girishchandra is a Senior Consultant in Psychiatry at Aster CMI Hospital. His qualifications are as follows:

He has completed his MBBS from J.S.S. Medical College, Mysore, India during 1990-96 He has completed his Diploma in Psychological medicine from NIMHANS, Bangalore, India during 1996-98.

He has completed his Diplomate in Psychiatry, Examination in National Board of NIMHANS, Bangalore, India during 1998-99.
 

Experience:

  • He worked as Consultant PsychiatristConsultant Psychiatrist Navachethana Hospital, Yelahanka, Bangalore Neuro Centre, Malleswaram, from Jan 2015, before joining Aster CMI hospital.
  • He worked as Consultant Psychiatrist and Clinical Lead Kent and Medway NHS and Social Care Trust, the United Kingdom from June 2004 to April 2014. Locum Consultant Psychiatrist from July 2014 to Jan 2015.
  • He worked as Consultant Psychiatrist and Director of Inpatient Services, Central Coast Area Mental Health Service, NSW in Australia from June 2002 to June 2004.
  • He was Registrar in Psychiatry, Alma Street Centre, WA in Australia from Jan 2001 to May 2002.


Consultant Experience:

  • He has been a Consultant Psychiatrist Since 2002 and has experience of working as a Consultant Psychiatrist in reputed Health Care systems in Australia and NHS in UK.
  • He worked as a trainee for 16 months and in June 2002 got appointed as a Consultant Psychiatrist in Central Coast Area Health Service, New South Wales after postgraduate training from the esteemed institute of NIMHANS, Bengaluru.
  • In July 2004, he moved to the United Kingdom and served as a Consultant Psychiatrist. He continued to work in Kent in the UK from July 2004 to April 2014.
  • After returning from the UK, He has been working as a Consultant Psychiatrist in some of the Hospitals in Bangalore – Navachethana Hospital, Yelahanka and Bangalore Neuro centre, Malleswaram.
  • His Clinical experience is in General Adult Psychiatrist and he has worked in various models of service delivery and been part of the changes in Mental Health service delivery in the last 10 years.
  • He has experience of working in outpatient and inpatient settings, Hospital liaison Psychiatry, Early intervention model in severe mental illness, Assertive outreach care for complex mental health problems, niche specialities like perinatal mental health and women's mental health.
  • He has been trained and experienced in mental health problems in old age and young age children as well.


Teaching Experience:

  • He had trained junior doctors in Psychiatry since 2000 when he was working as a Consultant Psychiatrist in Australia and the United Kingdom. He has trained many trainees in Psychiatry and General Practice. He has obtained certification in teaching from Kent, Surrey and Sussex Deanery.


Management And Leadership:

  • Over the years he has held different management positions as a Consulting Psychiatrist. He was a Clinical lead from September 2008 till April 2014. His duties included are overseeing the medical staff, periodic appraisals, addressing concerns and problems, ensuring effective clinical care and overall clinical leadership. He was responsible for acute mental health services provided for more than 600,000 population during his last management position in the NHS.
  • He has served as a Consultant in Australia and also served as Director of Inpatient Services for a 1 year. After returning from the UK, he had been instrumental in setting up Navachethana Hospital, a small 50 beds, multispecialty Hospital at Yelahanka. With patient-centred care and quality, Navachethana Hospital has made a good name in Bangalore. His interest was mainly in Psychiatry.


Research Experience:

  • "Phenomenology of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder", a thesis submitted to National Board of Examinations as part fulfilment of Diplomate in National Board.
  • “A Phase III Double-Blind, Multicentre, Parallel-Group Comparison of the Efficacy and Safety of Ziprasidone and Chlorpromazine in-patients with Schizophrenia who are Refractory to Standard Therapy" as Senior Research Fellow in Pfizer funded project at NIMHANS under Dr. Channabasavanna S.M. and Dr. Sumant Khanna.
  •  A Phase III Randomised Placebo-controlled study evaluating the safety and outcome of the treatment with oral ziprasidone in subjects with mania who are receiving lithium" as Senior Research Fellow in Pfizer funded project at NIMHANS under Dr. Sumant Khanna.
  •  A retrospective study analysing the “Phenomenology of psychotic depression" under the supervision of Dr. Sumant Khanna, during my tenure as a Junior Resident.
  • A prospective study looking at the “Socio-Demography, clinical profile and treatment responses in OCD” during the tenure of my Senior Research Fellow, under the guidance Dr. YCJ Reddy and Dr. Sumant Khanna.
  • "A phenomenological study of Sexual and Religious Obsessions in patients with OCD” during my tenure as Senior Resident, under the supervision of Dr. YCJ Reddy and Dr. Sumant Khanna.


He has received training to manage the different screening tools and rating scales (SCID III and SCID IV, PANSS, Young's Mania Rating Scale, Simpson Angus rating scale, Barnes akathisia rating scale CGI etc) as part of Phase III pharmaceutical Research study group.
 

Publications:

  • Girishchandra B.G. & Khanna S, "Phenomenology of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder-A Factor analytic approach". Indian Journal of Psychiatry, Oct 2001 edition.
  • Girishchandra B.G., Cresp R, Johnson L & Orr K, "Mirtazapine induced Akathisia", Medical Journal Of Australia, March 2002, 4;176(5):242.
  • Bhattacharyya S, Girishchandra B.G., Khanna S, “Early-Onset Obsessive Compulsive Disorder" Canadian Journal of Psychiatry, June 2003.
  • Thompson A, Girishchandra B.G., Castle D, Orr K. “Late-onset neutropenia with
  • Clozapine", Canadian Journal of Psychiatry, 2004; 49: 647-8.
  • Iwegbu N, Girishchandra B. “Drug Induced Weight Gain in Psychiatric Patients: A Review of Pharmacological Options", Kent Journal of Mental Health, 2010; 6: 16-22
  • Papers Presented:
  • Girishchandra B.G., Sumant Khanna., “Sensory symptoms in Obsessive Compulsive Disorder". Annual National Conference of the Indian Psychiatry Society, Pune, 2001.
  • Girishchandra B.G., Sumant Khanna, "Gender differences in Obsessive Compulsive Disorder". Annual National Conference of the Indian Psychiatry Society, Pune, 2001.
  • Girishchandra B.G., Sumant Khanna., "Age of onset in Obsessive Compulsive Disorder". Annual National Conference of the Indian Psychiatry Society, Pune, 2001.
  • T.C. Mahesh, Manohar A. D'Souza, Girishchandra B.G., Y.C. Janardhan Reddy, Sumant Khanna., "Religious obsessions in obsessive compulsive disorder - a phenomenological study". Annual National Conference of the Indian Psychiatry Society, Pune, 2001.
  • Manohar A. D'Souza, T.C. Mahesh, Girishchandra B.G., Y.C. Janardhan Reddy, Sumant Khanna., "Sexual obsessions in obsessive compulsive disorder - a phenomenological study". Annual National Conference of the Indian Psychiatry Society, Pune, 2001.
  • Girishchandra B.G., "Phenomenology of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder - A Factor analytic approach". Annual National Conference of the Indian Psychiatry Society, Cochin, 2000.
  • Girishchandra B.G., Ramesh Kumar T.C., Prakash H.M., Janardhan Reddy Y.C., Sumant Khanna., “Socio-Demographic Profile of OCD - An Indian Experience”. Annual National Conference of the Indian Psychiatry Society, Bhubaneswar, 1999.
  • Prakash H.M., Girishchandra B.G., Ramesh Kumar T.C., Janardhan Reddy Y.C., Sumant Khanna., "Clinical Profile of OCD". Annual National Conference of the Indian Psychiatry Society, Bhubaneswar, 1999.
  • Ramesh Kumar T.C., Girishchandra B.G., Prakash H.M., Janardhan Reddy Y.C., Sumant Khanna., “Patterns of Treatment of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder". Annual National Conference of the Indian Psychiatry Society, Bhubaneswar, 1999.
  • Girishchandra B.G., Sumant Khanna, "Profile of Psychotic Features in Depression”. Annual National Conference of the Indian Psychiatry Society, Jaipur, 1998.
Area of expertise
  • BHAGWAT AWARD (2000) for the best paper presented at Annual Conference of Indian Psychiatric Society. This is a prestigious award instituted by the Indian Psychiatric Society for the Most Promising Young Psychiatrist (Age under 35 years).
Awards and recognitions
  • Completion of Specialist Training with GMC, UK

Dr. Divya Shree K R

Dr
Dr. Divya Shree K R
Consultant - Psychiatrist
MBBS, DPM, DNB
Speciality
Psychiatry & Counselling Services
Experience
6 Years
Hospital
Aster CMI Bangalore
Overview

Dr Divya Shree K R is a Consultant Psychiatrist at Aster CMI Hospital in Bangalore.

She completed her M.B.B.S from Bangalore Medical College in May 2002 and D.P.M from National Institute of Mental Health And Neurological Sciences, (NIMHANS) in May 2007. She completed sub-speciality education with a Certificate course in Palliative care on 5th January 2009. It is a 6week course by the Indian Association of Palliative Care.
 

Experience:

  • She was a consultant Neuropsychiatrist and in charge of De-addiction People Tree hospital Yeshwantpur from December 2013 before joining Aster CMI Hospital.
  • She was a Research Officer in AIIMS, New Delhi from April 2012 to May 2013
  • She has experience as a Consultant Psychiatrist at ISIC super speciality hospital in New Delhi from March 2011 to March 2012.
  • She has experience as a Junior Consultant VIMHANS in New Delhi from December 2010 to March 2011.
  • She was a Senior Resident and in charge of the Department of Psychiatry at Bowring Hospital, Bangalore. Medical College and Research Institute, Bangalore, India during 30th April 2010 to July 2010.
  • She was a Resident in the Department of Psychiatry at Amrita Institute of Medical Sciences in Cochin, Kerala, India during 1st Feb 2008 to 8th Feb 2010.
  • She was a tutor at Christian Medical College, Vellore, India from August 2007 to December 2007.
  • She was a Junior Resident at National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences (NIMHANS) in Bangalore, India from May 2005 to May 2007.


Research Experience:

  • She was a co-investigator for the study “EFFECTS OF LITHIUM-ECT COMBINATION TREATMENT: A COMPARATIVE STUDY.” The results were published in the Indian Journal of Psychological Medicine in 2007 The prospective study which enrolled about 30 patients on Lithium who were administered ECT along with an alike number of patients as controls who were ECT alone. The study was carried to determine the difference in cognitive side effects of the two groups. It is the first such study to be conducted in this field. In 2006, the study won the South Zone award for Young Researchers at the Indian Psychiatric Society Conference.
  • She completed a study titled “PREVALENCE OF PSYCHIATRIC MORBIDITY IN CHILDHOOD ASTHMA" in December 2009. The study threw up some novel data about the uniqueness of psychiatric morbidity faced by Indian asthmatic children. It has been tendered to Indian Pediatrics (Journal) for publication and is presently under peer review.
  • She was a primary investigator for a short term research project titled "UTILITY OF THE YAMAGUCHI ET AL CRITERIA FOR THE DIAGNOSIS OF SOJIA IN COMPARISON TO THE ILAR CRITERIA. ”The project was sponsored by the Pediatric Rheumatology Clinic in Amrita Institute of Medical Sciences and completed successfully in Jan 2010. The results of the study were presented at the EULAR conference held in Rome in June 2010.
  • She was a Research Assistant for the study named " A STUDY OF THE ASSOCIATION BETWEEN HYPERMOBILITY AND CHRONIC MUSCULOSKELETAL PAIN: A PILOT STUDY." It is also known as HAMS study. The study protocol was published on the national clinical trials website hosted by NIH, USA and FDA, USA. NCT01032863. In March 2010, the study was completed and the results were shown at the EULAR conference in London in May 2011.
  • Teaching Experience:
  • Dr Divya Shree K R has a total teaching experience of 4 years and 4 months for undergraduate MBBS.


Publications:

  • Dr Divya Shree K R was 2nd author for “Effects of Lithium ECT combination treatment: A comparative study." It was published in Indian Journal of Psychological Medicine.
  • Dr Divya Shree K R was Co-author along with Dr Prabha Chandra (Professor of Psychiatry in NIMHANS) in the "Handbook of Psychiatry: A South Asia perspective”for the Chapter titled "Current Issues in Women's Mental Health in South Asia.”


Psychiatry CME & Conferences:

  • Continuing medical training on ECT in NIMHANS on January 15th 2006.
  • Biological psychiatry symposium by the Indian psychiatric society in NIMHANS November 2008.
  • Postgraduate training program by the Indian psychiatric society of Cochin Kerala on 8th June 2008.
  • NIMHANS - RCPSYCH conference at NIMHANS in March 2010.
  • ANCIPS conference in NIMHANS in January 2013.

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