Dr. Greeshma Nataraj: Healing with Grace and Compassion

Dr. Greeshma Nataraj
Dr. Greeshma Nataraj

A luminary in the field of psychotherapy and holistic healing, Dr. Greeshma Nataraj embodies a diverse skill set that includes counselling psychology, hypnotherapy, neuro-linguistic programming (NLP), cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT), inner child healing, past life regression (PLR), naturopathy, shadow work, Reiki, Grand Master Lama Fera healing, and tarot card expertise.

Her holistic approach to healing and personal growth sets her apart in the industry. With a substantial online presence, Dr. Greeshma shares her insights and wisdom through engaging YouTube videos, reaching and impacting thousands across society. Through her organisation, Greeshma Nataraj Counselling Café (GNCC), she has touched the lives of many individuals, particularly garnering acclaim in Kerala, Kochi, for her client-centric approach and ability to facilitate profound breakthroughs.

Clients flock to Dr. Greeshma for her proven self-development curriculum and result-oriented techniques, which guarantee tangible improvements in all facets of life. Her innovative strategies generate lasting transformations, offering clients permanent solutions to their challenges.

Central to Dr. Greeshma’s philosophy is the belief that “Our thoughts and emotions shape our reality, and by cultivating emotional balance, we unlock solutions to even the most daunting problems.” She empowers individuals to discover their inherent purpose and guides them on the path to fulfilment and success.

Catalyst for Change

Dr. Greeshma embarked on her journey in psychotherapy and counselling with a blend of academic pursuits and personal experiences. Armed with a Master’s in Integrative Counselling and Psychotherapy, she supplemented her knowledge with short courses in child development and other related fields, eventually earning a diploma.

Dr. Greeshma’s journey into this profession was ignited by a series of life’s trials and tribulations. In 2000, during the Y2K era, she confronted the devastating loss of her first child in an accident shortly after her marriage. Amidst the grief, she found herself unfairly blamed for prioritising her career over family, save for the steady support of her husband.

During two years of bedridden recovery, she observed society’s failure to comprehend the essence of personal freedom and independence beyond career pursuits. Then, she resolved to create a haven where individuals could untangle their innermost thoughts and emotions without fear of judgment.

Driven by empathy and a desire for societal change, Dr. Greeshma committed herself to help others navigate life’s complexities.

Overcoming Setbacks

Dr. Greeshma candidly reflects on her journey, acknowledging the stigma that once shrouded mental health in her life. Her family’s firm support and belief in her transformative potential propelled her towards the study of psychology, a decision she holds dear.

Growing up in India, where cultural norms heavily influenced perceptions of mental well-being, Dr. Greeshma felt a profound calling to address the prevalent challenges her friends and neighbours face. Motivated by a desire to make a meaningful difference, she embarked on the path of establishing a counselling cafe, drawing from her struggles and experiences.

Despite enduring personal setbacks and health issues, Dr. Greeshma found solace in the dedicated support of her loved ones. Through her journey of self-discovery and recovery, she gained a deep understanding of human suffering and resilience, enabling her to empathise with those who sought her guidance.

Travelling across India exposed Dr. Greeshma to a myriad of perspectives and personas, enriching her understanding of human nature and fortifying her resolve to serve others.

A Multidimensional Method

Dr. Greeshma explains her multidimensional approach to therapy, which she tailors to an individual’s unique needs and goals. She views counselling as a collaborative process, where she works closely with clients to understand their challenges and emotions.

Drawing from evidence-based therapeutic modalities, Dr. Greeshma crafts personalized solutions for her clients, considering their personalities and desires for improvement. Some seek guidance, while others are eager to dive into personal and professional growth.

Incorporating elements of life coaching, Dr. Greeshma helps clients navigate their current challenges while envisioning a fulfilling future. She also utilises hypnotherapy to address subconscious beliefs and stress management, recognising that many issues stem from early experiences and ingrained patterns.

Breaking Stigma

Dr. Greeshma recognises that despite living in what some call the Zen generation of 2024, societal taboos still surround discussions about psychology and counselling. There’s a lingering stigma, with some perceiving seeking help as a sign of mental instability or weakness. This mindset often discourages individuals from seeking the support they need.

Even in today’s educated society, the fear of being labelled as “mad” or “mentally unstable” persists, perpetuating the reluctance to seek professional assistance. Dr. Greeshma understands the negative connotations attached to the term “mental health services” and deliberately avoids it in her practice.

Instead, she has created a warm and inviting atmosphere in her cafe-like space, designed to ease apprehensions and promote open dialogue. By offering coffee, healthy snacks, and detoxification drinks, Dr. Greeshma aims to cultivate an environment where clients feel comfortable discussing their concerns, much like meeting a friend for coffee.

Addressing Anxiety and Nurturing Relationships

Dr. Greeshma finds her calling in addressing the intricate dynamics of anxiety and relationships, areas she has intimately experienced and grown through in her own life. Recognising today’s fast-paced, instant gratification culture, she believes that nurturing healthy relationships is vital for individual well-being.

Drawing from her journey and understanding, Dr. Greeshma emphasises the significance of relationships as the cornerstone of human existence. She views them as the vessel that navigates life’s challenges, offering stability and connection in an ever-changing world.

Through her practice, Dr. Greeshma aims to provide individuals with the tools and insights needed to navigate anxiety and cultivate fulfilling relationships. She understands the nuances of give-and-take, the importance of communication, and the dynamics of compromise within relationships. Her passion for relationship counselling stems from her transformational journey, where she once held reservations about marriage only to gain profound insights upon entering one. Dr. Greeshma believes that addressing anxiety and anger within relationships is vital, as they often intertwine and affect various aspects of human connection.

Dr. Greeshma seeks to empower individuals to discover themselves and evolve within their relationships in her work. She finds fulfilment in guiding others toward healthier, more fulfilling connections, knowing that the impact extends far beyond the individual to enrich the fabric of society itself.

A Journey of Resilience and Compassion

Dr. Greeshma reflects on her journey with a sense of gratitude and resilience, acknowledging the support of her family and her innate ability to connect with people regardless of gender or background. While she hasn’t faced significant gender-related challenges in her career, she acknowledges that some individuals may feel uncomfortable discussing certain issues with a female psychologist, requiring her to demonstrate competence and understanding.

Her family has been a constant source of support, creating an environment of harmony, balance, and understanding. Even her 14-year-old child has shown support and understanding for her work. While language barriers and societal stigmas have presented occasional obstacles, Dr. Greeshma remains committed to breaking through these ceilings and ensuring fair decision-making processes.

Despite facing personal challenges, such as the loss of her child and subsequent health struggles, Dr. Greeshma finds strength in her family’s guidance and support. Her passion for her work is evident, as she emphasises her desire to guide and support others through their struggles, even if it means encouraging them to make difficult decisions or find independence.

Prioritising Purpose

Dr. Greeshma believes that in healthcare, being genuinely supportive and caring should be the primary focus, with monetary rewards naturally following. She reflects on the shift in perceptions towards careers in psychology, noting that while COVID-19 has brought attention to the field and attracted individuals seeking glamour and financial gain, her motivation has always been rooted in a sincere desire to understand and reduce mental health struggles.

For Dr. Greeshma, the driving force behind her career is the desire to bring happiness and relief to individuals experiencing mental health challenges, regardless of financial considerations. While she acknowledges that money is a consequential aspect, she emphasises that it should not overshadow the core mission of providing compassionate care and promoting well-being.

Breaking Barriers

Dr. Greeshma earnestly addresses the need to challenge societal stereotypes and gender disparities that persist in the Z generation. She emphasises women’s inherent strength and capabilities, advocating for equal opportunities and recognising their leadership potential.

In her view, the key to empowering women leaders is prioritising work-life balance, offering flexible working hours, and acknowledging diverse cultural values. Dr. Greeshma believes mentorship programs, diversity training, and inclusive environments are essential for nurturing female leadership. She highlights the importance of recognising women’s unique strengths and contributions, citing examples like Indra Nooyi, who balances professional success with familial responsibilities. Dr. Greeshma underscores the resilience and dedication of women who navigate challenges in various fields, from healthcare to aviation. However, she acknowledges that women themselves can sometimes perpetuate stereotypes and barriers to their own empowerment. Dr. Greeshma stresses the need for a positive mindset shift and cultural transformation to overcome such challenges.

Dr. Greeshma also addresses cultural differences, emphasising the importance of respecting diverse perspectives and traditions. Dr. Greeshma cautions against unquestioningly adopting Western ideals and urges recognition of women’s emotions and individuality beyond superficial appearances.

Supporting Women Leaders in Healthcare

Dr. Greeshma offers valuable advice to aspiring women leaders looking to establish themselves in the healthcare industry. She emphasises the importance of believing in oneself and recognising that while theoretical knowledge is crucial, practical implementation requires understanding the unique individuality of each person. She discourages entering the field for glamour or monetary gain, instead urging women to pursue healthcare with a genuine desire to contribute to societal well-being.

Dr. Greeshma advocates for creating an environment that supports women in healthcare, including flexible working hours and adequate parental leave policies. She underscores the significance of cultural competence training and celebrating diverse perspectives to ensure inclusive healthcare practices. Moreover, she suggests prioritising research initiatives focused on women’s health and addressing societal crises.

A Vision for Mental Wellness

Dr. Greeshma expresses her professional goal of establishing her Counselling Cafe as a sustainable resource for those unable to afford mental health services. Her vision is to create a space where individuals who can afford it pay for the services, thus enabling her to extend support to those who cannot. She aims to educate and empower individuals like herself, who possess emotional depth and a desire to contribute to society.

In addition to providing counselling services, Dr. Greeshma is focused on introducing various therapeutic modalities, including Reiki, pranic healing, and Lama Fera, to reduce dependency on medication for mental health issues. She emphasises the importance of empathy and listening in therapy, recognising that suppressed emotions often manifest as reactions without proper support.

Dr. Greeshma aims to raise awareness about mental health on a broader scale in India, where it is much needed. She envisions collaborating with insurance companies to make mental health services accessible to all, regardless of financial status. She seeks partnerships with hospitals and individuals who prioritise patient well-being over financial gain.

Driven by her commitment to supporting others and her innovative approach to therapy, Dr. Greeshma feels she has achieved personal and professional growth through her counselling cafe. Her ultimate goal now is to sustain this endeavour for the betterment of society, reaching out to as many people as possible and continually exploring new therapeutic approaches.

A Journey of Self-Discovery

Dr. Greeshma’s recently published book, ‘I THOUGHT I DID,’ offers insights into psychology, psychotherapy, and counselling, focusing on self-discovery within relationships.

The book discusses how psychotherapy sessions can assist individuals in understanding themselves and their connections with their life partners.

‘I THOUGHT I DID’ is available on Amazon, Flipkart, and Google Store.