DoSAA is a community of students and professionals committed to understanding social, emotional, political, and personal influences affecting South Asians in psychology and creating a forum to impact change for the betterment of South Asian mental health.

DoSAA intends to be a credible source of information and resources on South Asian mental health issues. Specifically, DoSAA spearheads efforts around:

  • Providing information on factors affecting South Asian mental health, ranging from broader concerns like immigration and acculturation to everyday issues like parenting and relationships.
  • Creating a nurturing space for mental health clinicians, researchers and students to engage in collaboration, consultation and mentorship.

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Division News

Chat Chat: Self-Compassion during COVID (and difficult times) Reflections was held on 5/28/2020, as part of the AAPA Divisions Speak Series during AAPI Heritage and Mental Health Awareness Month.

DoSAA had a very powerful and valuable discussion between our amazing speakers: Ali Mattu, Ulash Thakore-Dunlap, and Rahul Sharma and co-facilitated by Asha Unni and DoSAA Chair Devika Srivastava.

DoSAA’s FIRST ever conference on Friday September 28, 2018 in NYC at John Jay College of Criminal Justice.
The theme of the conference was “Raising South Asian Voices in Mental Health through Research, Practice, and Advocacy”.  The conference highlighted critical issues and mental health research focused on South Asian American populations while creating a forum to help foster change.  We hope to attract an audience of students, researchers, psychologists, MFT’s, social workers, and community members, and anyone concerned about South Asian American mental health.

DoSAA on July 8th, 2010 released a Statement in response to Time Magazine’s choice to publish “My Private India,” an opinion editorial piece by Joel Stein.

DoSAA on September 2011 were invited as guest bloggers by the South Asian Americans Leading Together (SAALT) to explore “Anniversary Reactions: Mental Health After 9/11.” View the article at SAALT.

Division Executive Committee

Chair: Pooja Mamidanna, M.A, M.S., LMFT

Pooja Mamidanna, M.A, M.S., LMFT, Chair graduated from the California School of Professional Psychology with her M.A in Marriage and Family Therapy. Pooja also is currently a first year PhD Clinical Psychology Student at the California School of Professional Psychology. Pooja currently works at a private practice in San Francisco (Therapy Now SF). Pooja’s clinical experience includes substance use, crisis residential treatment facilities and community mental health outpatient clinics (children, adolescents, young adults, older adults and the elderly population). Pooja’s research interests include multicultural psychology,  grief , loss, intergenerational,  and complex trauma.

Co-Chair: Sruthi Swami, M.Ed., Ph.D., NCSP

Sruthi Swami is an Assistant Professor in the School Psychology Master’s program at California State University, Fresno. She received her M.Ed. and Ph.D. in Counseling, Clinical, and School Psychology, School Psychology emphasis, from the University of California, Santa Barbara in June of 2020. She recently completed her pre-doctoral clinical internship with the Dallas Independent School District where she provided school-based mental health services to K-12 students and provided family and individual therapy at the mental health clinics attached to the school district. Her clinical interests include school-based mental health services for students in K – 12, specifically those from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds and students with anxiety, depression, Autism, and ADHD. She also has experience providing assessments and implementing interventions for students who qualify for Special Education services. Her research interests include racism and ethnic disproportionality in school systems (education, discipline, juvenile justice), school climate, early literacy assessment and intervention, early literacy practices, motivation and engagement, mental health and special education in schools, and Asian American mental health. Feel free to contact her at sswami@csufresno.edu.

Chair-Elect: Nida Mirza, PsyD

Dr. Nida Mirza (she/her) is a licensed clinical psychologist who works in private practice in the San Francisco Bay Area, providing psychotherapy services to adults from diverse backgrounds. She also works on content development and testing for the mobile mental health team at the VA’s National Center for PTSD. Dr. Mirza is serving her fourth year as a board member on the DoSAA Executive Committee and is an ad hoc reviewer for AAPA’s peer-reviewed academic journal, the Asian American Journal of Psychology. She also advises mental health tech startups in Silicon Valley by providing consultation about behavioral health, outreach strategy, and cultural humility.

Dr. Mirza completed her postdoctoral fellowship at Kaiser Permanente and her pre-doctoral internship at the Carson Center for Adults and Families. She obtained her doctoral degree in clinical psychology from the PGSP-Stanford Psy.D Consortium and her bachelor’s degree in psychology from Wellesley College.

Secretary/Historian: Sonia Amin, PhD

Sonia Amin is a 1.5 generation, Zimbabwean-born and Asian Indian descent, multilingual, cis-gender female who is currently working as a post-doctoral psychology fellow at University of California-Berkeley’s Counseling and Psychological Services, where she also completed her doctoral internship. Sonia also serves on the planning committee for Liberation Academy, an 11-month programming series that focuses on educating graduate students of color as well as mental health practitioners of color, how to begin the decolonizing process, bridging ancestral and indigenous healing with Western practices, through a social justice lens. Sonia has a Master of Arts degree in Clinical Psychology, with a child specialization from University of Detroit Mercy and recently completed her doctoral degree in Counseling Psychology at Western Michigan University. Sonia’s clinical experiences includes integrated behavioral health and sleep medicine in hospital settings, community clinics, and counseling centers. Her clinical/research interests are in bicultural identity conflicts, NSSI, intergenerational and complex trauma, racial and sexual identity development, psychological well-being, and decolonized/multicultural counseling.

Student Representative: Himadhari Sharma

Himadhari Sharma is a 4th year Counseling, Clinical, and School psychology doctoral candidate, with an emphasis in Counseling Psychology at the University of California, Santa Barbara, working with Dr. Andrés Consoli. She grew up in the Twin Cities, Minnesota, and received an undergraduate in business with a specialization in marketing from the University of Minnesota (Go Gophers!). After which she worked in the healthcare service industry and was part of the board of directors for a non-profit reproductive and mental health clinic. She completed her master’s in psychology with an emphasis in clinical psychology from New York University (NYU). There she worked on research in the realm of hearing voices, looking at various topics, such as stigma, within the general population, and gained experience in an intensive outpatient clinic for eating disorders. She has had international experience as well through her work with multiple organizations in Bangalore, India. Her current interests include multicultural psychology, access and utilization of mental health services among minoritized populations (especially South Asian communities), cross-cultural/international psychology, culturally salient and indigenous treatment/therapy methods as well as bi-lingual psychological services (Hindi/Urdu-English).

Finance Officer/Treasurer: Priya Bansal, M.A.

Priya Bansal is a third-year doctoral student in Counseling Psychology at the University of Maryland, College Park. She identifies as a second-generation Indian American, cisgender woman and is Hindi-English bilingual. Her research focuses on navigating systems of oppression, identity development, and mental health correlates for South Asians in the United States, and she centers social justice advocacy in her research, clinical, and personal work. Clinically, Priya is interested in radical healing practices and psychotherapy through non-Western frameworks. In addition to serving as Treasurer for DoSAA, Priya has been actively involved with co-facilitating the annual Summer Fellowship Program. She also participates in other leadership spaces such as serving on the board for the UMD Counseling Psychology Student Association and participating in the AAPA Graduate Leadership Institute. Priya can be contacted at pbansal@umd.edu.

Membership Chair: Pratima Pathania, M.S.

Pratima Pathania, M.S., Membership Chair, is a 5th year PsyD student at the Wright Institute and currently doing her internship at Kaiser Permanente in Oakland, CA. Her areas of interest include multicultural and social justice oriented work with marginalized communities, especially in hospital and medical settings.