The Hyderabad Academy of Psychology

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Class of 2017

The Hyderabad Academy of Psychology (HAP) has been founded by Dr Diana Monteiro as a training academy and counseling center to bridge the gap between formal psychological education and practical application of psychology in everyday life. We are currently involved in Counselor training, Corporate training, Counseling and Outreach services and Continuing Education of professionals in the field.

The HAP is the first of its kind in the twin cities to offer Counselor training to individuals to ensure that adequate preparation in practical skills, theoretical knowledge and supervision is provided to those who are engaged in the process of helping others. The HAP also offers a wide array of seminars and workshops, throughout the year. We at HAP believe in Continuing Education of specialists and we train students in basic and advanced skills in counseling psychology. We also provide short term workshops and trainings for the professional development of psychologists and counselors.

We believe in action oriented change, and therefore are constantly widening our network of friends and support in the local and national psychology community. In addition, our plans include seeking collaboration with international universities and national organizations, so that students can benefit and grow within the field. Our students can claim the benefits of these networks through better opportunities for higher education and career placements. It is our hope that together we can take the field of psychology to new heights.

We also offer Counseling in various formats (individual, group, couples, child and career) to those in need. We ensure that the highest quality of care is provided to our clients and we follow the current standards of practice maintained the professional practice of psychology. Our Outreach services include educating the public about mental health by offering short seminars and workshops of positive mental health and well-being. We also offer suicide prevention trainings to the community and spread awareness about the warning signs and symptoms of suicide.

Our Corporate training services include trainings to help increase productivity, enhance organizational health, boost morale, attract & retain employees, promote workforce cooperation and help employees effectively manage their work and personal life. We offer consultation and assessment services to each corporate client to provide them with a distinctive training package that meets their unique needs.

Counseling and Training Team

Dr Diana Monteiro, Director

Dr. Diana Monteiro obtained her Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology from the University of Southern Mississippi, USA and worked as a licensed psychologist (in Tennessee, USA) before returning to India in 2008. Her ardour for providing psychological services made her initiate The Hyderabad Academy of Psychology in Vikrampuri, Secunderabad in 2009. At HAP, Dr. Monteiro and her team of hand-picked counselors practice counseling, conduct courses and workshops, and supervise other counselors-in-training. Dr. Monteiro was also the  counseling psychologist at NALSAR University of Law from September 2013 till December 2017.
Dr. Monteiro comes across as someone who’s intelligent, accomplished and warm, a top-notch trainer and counselor, and fun to be around. She inspires her trainees with her undying passion for Counseling Psychology.

Dr. Monteiro is often invited both locally and internationally to conduct out-reach programs. Her seminars and workshops have covered a variety of topics, which when presented in her gregarious style (so well known in the twin-cities) are often said to be inspiring. Her specialty areas include working with adolescents and adults, suicide prevention, relationship concerns, communication and multicultural issues. She is adept at treating mental health issues from a positive psychology framework and uses strength-based approaches in counseling. Her philosophy of training is based on integrity, ethics and working hard and playing hard to ensure good all round development.

Dr. Monteiro is a member of the prestigious American Psychological Association and is a licensed psychologist and health service provider in Tennessee, USA. She continues to keep her US license active to ensure she stays up-to-date with current psychological science and practice.

Dr. Monteiro's Team includes:


Insiya Abdurraheem Insiya Abdurraheem is a counselor and trainer. Having completed her masters from Osmania University and practical training from Hyderabad Academy of Psychology, she has worked in UAE and India. Through her  nearly a decade long career, she has had clinical experience and has been training counselors in training. She has also worked in corporate settings to provide psychological services. In the later years of her career she has headed the department of counseling and Special Education needs in various schools and had worked across different curriculum including CBSE, ICSE, IB and curriculum of England. She has worked closely with education authorities and boards of school to design policies for the schools and been on the panel for school inspections for quality and assurance.At the moment she enjoys spending time with her daughter who's her miniature carbon copy, conversations which are intellectually and emotionally stimulating, baking and cooking healthy and delicious delicacies in addition to multiple roles of a wife and family person.
Aarti Saxena

Aarti is a counselor and supervisor at HAP and is a prosthodontist by training with over 18 years of experience in patient care. As a result of life changes she retrained as a counselor and completed the Basic and Advanced courses in Counseling at HAP. She was her batch topper in the Basic Course and had excellent skills and knowledge in the field of Psychology. Her innate helping nature, mixed with her easy and comfortable demeanor make her an asset to have at HAP. She completed her Masters degree in Psychology and manages our Hitech city location as the onsite counselor there. She enjoys reading, painting and spending time with her daughter and husband managing her home in addition to multiple other responsbilities.

Sona Rufus

Sona is a counselor and supervisor at HAP who has a Masters in Clinical Psychology from IGNOU. She is economics major who also completed her B.Ed and was a homemaker for several years. As her children grew, she retrained as a counselor and now actively sees clients at HAP. Sona is a strong, spiritual and empathic person, who is passionate about her own growth and the good of the underprivilieged. Her vision for the future is to set up a chartiable institution where she can serve the needs of the underprivileged and allow her childred to take over and carry on her legacy into the future.
Smita Balakrishnan Smita is a counselor at HAP who completed the Basic and Advanced Course in Counseling. She brings a diversity of life experience and career into HAP, having been in the finance sector since the past two decades. She completed her MBA in Finance from the Vellore Institute of Technology and embarked on a long career with the Stockholding Corporation of India. She decided to take a break from finance and retrained as a counselor. Smita is a remarkably helpful person by nature, and never hesitates to help anyone in need. Her empathy mixed with her grounding in reality makes an excellent mix for her work as a counselor, as she is able to connect with people and help them navigate through their difficulties in a realistic and workable manner.
Varun Rupela

Varun Rupela is a counselor at HAP, assists in HAP’s course offerings & is working on creating more group-based counseling opportunities at HAP. He compleed the Advanced Course at HAP and is obtaining his Masters in Psychology. He is cheerful, affectionate and free-spirited & enjoys noticing the here and now and bringing it to the attention of people around. He strives to meet you where you are with respect, authenticity and walk along a few steps. He enjoys gardening, composting, nature walks and playing outdoor sports. Varun is trained as an Arts Based Therapy Practitioner and has studied Buddhist Psychology with Snehadhara Foundation. He has assisted in personal growth based group work from 2015. He is a member and a resource person at Aastha Foundation for Human Learning and Growth. Varun is a Software Engineer by training (MS in Computer Science from Auburn University, USA), worked in Sun Microsystems and Oracle for a total of 10 years. He moved on to working on water and waste management projects with Smarter Dharma and also assisted with the Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program at Navadarshanam Trust. He has finally found himself to be naturally interested in psychology and wishes to continue to work in the field.

Bona Marie Colaco

Bona Colaco is a Clinical Psychologist licensed in India with ten years of clinical experience in counseling. She completed her Masters in General Psychology from Osmania University, and M.Phil Clinical Psychology from Sweekaar Academy for Rehabilitation Sciences. She also pursued basic and advanced courses in counseling skills from The Hyderabad Academy of Psychology. In India, she has worked with academic institutions conducting trainings in suicide prevention, stress management, study skills, and has provided individual counseling and psychotherapy. She has also worked at the Hyderabad Academy of Psychology as faculty, supervisor, and counselor . She moved to the U.S. in 2015 and has done her Masters in Counseling at Palo Alto University (PAU), California. She also worked on a Stanford Medicine project at Stanford University, Palo Alto. The project researched internet-based interventions to make mental health services accessible and affordable to college students and to help them deal with anxiety and stress. During, and post Masters, she worked at the Community Health Awareness Council (CHAC), a community mental health agency. It included working at an Elementary school as a school counselor and providing psychotherapy at the in-house clinic, working with families, couples, adolescents, and individual adult clients. Post Masters, she is now a Registered Associate Marriage and Family Therapist (AMFT) in California. She has recently moved to London, and looks forward to gaining experience working in the mental health profession in the U.K as well.
Varsha Subroy Varsha is a HR Consultant and Supervisor at HAP who has a Masters Degree in Human Resource (HR) Management. With over 12 years experience in HR, she brings a fresh and unique perpective to HAP. Varsha has been instrumental in setting up the HR function at HAP with redesigning operations, establishing key HR policies, procedures and processes, training and employee well-being. She is passionate about enabling and empowering people to be the best versions of themselves. Varsha has helped the HAP team understand the missing processes within the organization and has worked with us to implement processes that make us function in a more streamlined manner. She understands the importance of ethics in our field and was actively involved in all our courses to understand how she can help us function more effectively. As a person, Varsha would make an excellent counselor and often is the person our counselors will reach out to, to talk about the challenges they are facing. She always has a smile that is welcoming, a warm presence and an excellent interpersonal style and is an admired colleague.
Other Consultants


HAP uses a variety of other consultants as needed based on the speciality area required. We have a large network of Psychiatrists and allied mental health specialists in the city and rest of India.


Our Student Testimonials

I noticed that you tried your best to maintain a high level of quality through out the course and I just loved that! Almost every class was filled with insights in some area or the other. Sometimes it was insights about counseling, and some times it was insight about psychology and many times insight about self. I noticed one special thing about your classes that nobody wanted your classes to end! We loved to still sit around and listen from you, no one felt like you had to stop that we had to rush home.
One of the precious thing that I learnt from this training is that, counseling needs to be deep, and with applying the right skills on the right time, we can actually go deeper and deeper in helping some one. Before this training I used to stuck with the shallow kind of counseling and did not realize the power of going deeper in counseling and helping the client, but now I realize that I can in fact help the clients much better if I carefully use the skills that learnt and go deeper in understanding and help the client to lead a whole life.
Another highlight is about the supervision. It was tough thing to identify and accept the area that I needed to improve, however I am so grateful to you for the supervision, that really opened my eyes to see and realize that I need to go a long way and need to work really hard.. very hard if I need to stay in this field of counseling.

Saji K Mathai, Batch 8,  2014

I enjoyed the interactive classes, and particularly enjoyed the interesting and thought provoking anecdotes that Diana shared with the class. I will admit that initially I was somewhat apprehensive as I did not have a background in Psychology; however, Diana was brilliant, her enthusiasm and positive attitude really rubs off on you. I also enjoyed interacting with the classmates of different age groups and we became good friends over the course of the semester. I especially enjoyed the delicious samosas and bajjis which were served for Tea and also our classmates bringing cupcakes and brownies. I look forward to being associated with HAP and also doing the Advanced Course in Counselling from HAP

Kumudini V, Batch 7, 2013

Wonderful course and a must for anybody who wishes to see a change in himself/herself and help others through counselling. The course is structured very well with equal balance to theory and supervision. Learned a lot and Dr. Diana's in depth subject knowledge and energy is highly infectious. Keep up the good work... All the Best!!

Praful Sahgal, Batch 7, 2013

The Basic Course that I attended at the HAP ( Batch IV) from June to Dec 2011 was a truly rewarding experience. Dr Diana Monteiro's approach cast a spell on me, as on all other students, and we found ourselves fully “involved” in what we were discussing in the class. The course content was carefully thought-out and well-integrated. There were tests from time to time that kept me on my toes and were helpful as feedback. The supervision sessions helped me translate classroom learning to its application; good intent to effectiveness.

“Diana” has a unique style of teaching that makes her session sometimes feel like a revelation. Even students who had completed their Masters in Psychology found their understanding becoming very clear in these classes. The special quality of her classes convinced me that for anyone in this big city of Hyderabad intent on a career in psychological counselling, this course is simply not to be missed. Equally strongly, I recommend the course to all graduates with even a layman's curiosity and interest in psychology. I wonder who cannot benefit from such a wonderful course at some point or the other in their career. The “examined life” a person can lead after such an exposure is bound to make it an enhanced one.

Ramesh Krishnamurthy, Batch 4, 2011

New learnings, vibrant atmosphere, passionate work , great camaraderie but above all superb teaching by Diana - felt like a college girl once again at 50+ at HAP !! Looking forward to the next advanced course ! "

Sheela Ramakrishnan, Batch 6, 2013

I have completed the basic course in counseling from HAP and am currently pursuing the advanced course.What differentiates this course from others being offered in the same field is Dr Dianas brilliant teaching,stimulating classroom discussions and hands on experience of counseling clients under  Dianas able supervision .

Jaishree Narayan, Batch 6, 2013

The HAP is one of the blissful experiences of my life. It brought about a lot of awareness in me with regard to myself, my behavior in relation to others and Psychology. Diana's classes have been experiences to cherish. It also helped me see and experience so many lovely relationships with my teacher, batchmates and seniors. It has also been remedial to me in many ways. It has initiated sensitization in me to many things about thoughts, feelings and behavior. And I hope I make productive use of the inputs gathered by me so that I develop more as a human being. It is also my deep desire to pursue Psychology further in a full-fledged manner and practice counselling. 

Sandhya Ramchandani Kaura, Batch 3, 2010

Students comments on Basic and Advanced Course Evaluations

"The Helping skills that were taught to help us to deal with clients was very good. so enjoyed this course. The counseling and training was just awesome"

"Attending classes was very important and most valuable to understand and gain more knowledge. However, the amount of knowledge that I have gained from this course is incredible."

"The practical experience provided was most valuable. I learned a lot in the course and I liked it a lot. Before joining this course I did not have much language in psychology but now I can proudly say I know something. Thank you so much."

"The role plays taught me a lot and the skills, theory and most important of all the supervision was very valuable. The suicide assessment was very interesting and an eye opener. I have learnt a lot during my practical training, but I am not confident about learning the theory part. However, after this course I have become more confident and feel I am able to understand and help people better."

"Supervision was extremely helpful and valuable."
 
Batch 4 & 5 Graduation
Batch 6 (2012)
Counseling Role-play (2012)