Rasika Karkare is an Indian Counselling Psychologist, Educator, and Mental Health Activist.
She has established Mind Voyage as one of India's top online therapy platforms. In this article, Rasika has shared some valuable insights on the different career options you have as a psychologist.
As a professional who has published a research paper on "Effective Counselling Practices in India '', Rasika Emphasises the prerequisites of practising as a psychologist in India. She quotes, "To have a successful career as a psychologist, one must make sure that they have a minimum of a Master’s degree in psychology, APA approved ethical ways of practising, and empathetic understanding towards others. Dealing with Mental health issues is a very responsible job and requires expertise from all therapists. Therefore, along with a Master’s degree, supervised work experience as a trainee is a must. Once the professional is confident and has the required skills, multiple career options are available."
The National Mental Health Survey, 2015-16, showed that nearly 15% of Indian adults need active intervention for one or more mental health issues & one in 20 Indians suffers from depression. This number has only increased in the past 5-7 years. During & post-pandemic people have realised the importance of taking care of one’s own mental health. This shows that the need for Mental health professionals in India is at an ever high. So, if you are a budding therapist looking for career options as a psychologist, you would not find a lack of opportunities.
That being said, we also found a petition on Change.org titled "Stop exploitation of Mental Health Professionals", which has been signed by over 6500 people. The petition complains about the low wages of Rs.10,000-Rs.15,000 offered to psychologists by organisations.
Here is what Rasika had to say about the exploitation, "Mental Health has been commercialised by start-ups looking to make a quick buck, and consecutively, the quality of therapy received by patients has also been affected. I struggled to find clients when I first started and found myself overshadowed by these million-dollar start-ups. Years later, I realised the ability to offer genuine and valuable help to clients set me apart, and eventually, that helped me set up my practice".
As a business coach for Psychologists, Rasika is known for promoting self-practice and emphasising offering quality as a professional on her Linkedin page. As for the different career options for Psychologists, she quotes, "You can start your private practice, do a job or work in an NGO, but always remember to ask for pay that you deserve and do not settle for meagre payments offered by start-ups. You will not find a lack of opportunities, but the key remains to have quality education, ethical practice, and varied experiences."
Finally, as a pro tip, she says, "I have seen smaller towns being left without a psychologist, while urban cities are overcrowded with professionals. Try offering services in a different service area rather than competing in your overcrowded locality. Virtual opportunities have made that possible these days."
Thanks for reading, and we hope you found this article to be informative.