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Clinical & Counselling Psychologist In France – Exclusive Interview With Dr. Sunayana Nature Baruah

Dr. Sunayana Nature Baruah, or Su as she calls herself, is a licensed Clinical & Counselling Psychologist working in France. She graduated from the Professional Doctorate programme in Counselling Psychology of Trinity College Dublin, Ireland. She is a Chartered Psychologist with the Psychological Society of Ireland (PSI) and a member of the International Psychoanalytical Association(IPA). She has worked with adults of all age groups in hospitals, primary care clinics, and private practices across India, Ireland, and now in France. She has extensively worked with people who had experienced trauma in their lives as well as eating disorders and body image issues. Her motto: Mental health is health.


Image photo of Dr. Sunayana Nature Baruah

Dr. Sunayana Nature Baruah, Clinical & Counselling Psychologist


Introduce yourself! Please tell us about you and your life, so we can get to know you better.


I am a clinical and counselling psychologist. I first trained as a clinical psychologist back in my native India. As I continued to work, I became disillusioned by how heavily mental health relied on the medical model. That is when I decided to change my professional paradigm and return to academics. I then moved to Ireland as a result of this dilemma to pursue my second Master’s degree in Psychoanalytic Studies at Trinity College Dublin. As I finished my studies, I got into the Professional Doctorate programme in Counselling Psychology also in Trinity College Dublin. These two experiences transformed my academic, professional, and personal life and they continue to shape my work as well as who I am as a person even today. I can safely say that after having lived and worked in three countries across two continents; India, Ireland, and now France the human mind and brain have universal pursuits: happiness and freedom from suffering. 


Can you share some background about yourself and your qualifications as a psychologist in France?


After moving to France due to having family here, I applied for the license to practice as a psychologist which was a long and arduous process as none of my qualifications were from France. I then opened my practice here in Bordeaux, in the southwest of France which enabled me to provide my services to the public here as well as continuing to meet and offer psychological help to people online who cannot come meet me in person due to geographical constraints. 


What specific psychological services do you offer on your website, and what approach or therapeutic modalities do you specialize in?


I work with adults both individually as well as with couples especially intercultural ones. My specialty is working with people who have experienced psychological trauma and abuse. If that trauma manifested for them in the form of eating disorders, depression, anxiety, attachment difficulties and addiction issues, then that would come under my area of professional focus. Even though I am an integrative psychologist, which means that I am trained in multiple therapeutic approaches towards helping people, I specialise in an approach called EFT; Emotion Focussed Therapy. As the name suggests, I work directly with emotions to help people overcome their trauma and heal their emotional identities, and lead better, healthier, more integrated lives.


How do you ensure a positive and comfortable experience for clients visiting your site and seeking psychological support?


My website is accessible to all and is free from technical jargon that can, at times, make therapy or reaching out to a psychologist seem cryptic or difficult. I aim to make mental health support accessible to all and that starts with the initial contact made by people which is generally through my website that comes up with a quick Google search. For anyone keen to take a look, visit my website.


What measures do you have in place to ensure the confidentiality and privacy of your clients, both online and in person?


Confidentiality is the pillar of my work as a psychologist as trust within the therapeutic relationship is the foundation for promoting healing and transformation. To ensure the same for people coming to see me in my office, I provide a secure, safe, and anonymous environment.


For online sessions, I only use a secure platform specifically designed for therapy that upholds strict guidelines for confidentiality and encryption. I pay a monthly subscription to use this platform and provide access to it for my clients. I maintain highly secure case notes that are only accessible to me. Written permission with a signature is required from people if they need access to my case notes. These notes are held for seven years after termination of therapy. 


Are there any community initiatives, events, or resources related to mental health and well-being that you are involved in or recommend for individuals in France?


If you are a non-French person living in France, I would recommend calling the English helpline of AMELI( 09 74 75 36 46; from France, 0033 974 75 36 46; from other countries)which is the national healthcare service in France if you do need mental health support services provided by the state. You can check out Monpsy.fr if you need short-term mental health aid(eight sessions of thirty-minute duration each) that will be covered by the state if you hold a valid French health card(carte vitale). If you are experiencing abuse at home, contact Maison Des Femmes in your city and/or SOS Hommes Battus. For any urgent care, you can always reach out to the emergency services in France by dialing the number 15 or 18 (or 114 by SMS). For any other support required, you can always reach out to me. Stay safe and take good care.


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