Neha Bhat (ABT, ATR-P) is a licensed Sex and Trauma Therapist who practices psychotherapy from an art-based, creative wellness and feminist lens between India and the USA. Having worked in sexual-assault-trauma care at global institutions like the University of Michigan, the Art Institute of Chicago, Rush Medical Centre and the Tata Institute of Social Sciences, among others, she employs trauma-focused therapy from a depth-based, multicultural context for people who have survived and perpetrated sexual violence and teaches therapists to use art as a tool of living and coping against systems of oppression.
Neha began her career in the theatre, art and film industry in Mumbai, where she worked as a dramaturg and performer, which is also where arts-based therapy sparked her interest as an area of further study. Her professional networks in the film and theatre industry both in Mumbai and in Chicago have impacted her work greatly as a sex therapist, resulting in her consulting on various films, documentaries and reality TV shows written around sex and intimacy across various OTT platforms including Amazon Prime, Netflix US and Lionsgate Play.
Neha is currently working on her first book, an empowering work that directly addresses how problems of mental health and questions of sexuality can be tackled in a rapidly changing India. This book is represented by A Suitable Agency.
Education and Background:
I studied Mindfulness-oriented Art Therapy from an Indian Buddhist lens in Pune, India, and Social-justice oriented clinical Art Therapy and Counseling from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, where I focused on studying sexual trauma. I then undertook advanced training in marriage and family therapy and couples therapy under the Gottman Method and the Terry Real Institute. I have extensive training and 11+ years of work experience in sexual trauma therapy with supervisors both in India and the United States of America, including Sarita Ganesh, Dr. Jayashree George, Dr. Savneet Talwar and Beth Enterkin.
Over the past 11+ years of clinical practice, I have served the following categories of people :
- children between 5 and 15 years of ago, with special needs, on the neurodivergent spectrum (Autism, ADHD and so on) as an art therapist and teacher
- adult survivors of sexual trauma and adult perpetrators of sexual trauma – individuals, couples and family units impacted by sexual violence
- higher educational institutions and Title IX offices in the US, in offering better pathways of access to justice and healing to survivors of sexual violence.
- adult women (both cis, trans and non-binary) under incarceration – both in Indian and American prison systems
With multiple Masters degrees, advanced training and clinical licensure in India and the United States, I aim to continuously improve my understanding of psychotherapy and serve people better.
(or a few things that might be helpful to know about working with me):
- I practice therapy from a queer, intersectional trauma-informed, depth-focused, anti-caste, social-justice perspective. I work well with clients who are queer, marginalized and/or bicultural in India, in the US, and other parts of the world online and in-person.
- I am spiritually focused and culturally informed. I enjoy working with such complexities in our everyday lives to guide people to arrive at complex, enriching answers for themselves about the many aspects of human life.
- I have a wide range of work experience in working with neurodivergence as powerful uniqueness. I believe that broken systems will shift when we accept our own uniqueness and differences in a less conflicted way.
- I am depth-based, which means any project I take on will have me offer you a deeper insight into what you may not be seeing. I am not open to quick consultation calls by media houses or writers who might want a sex therapist’s advice. If you’d like to have insight on your project, please consider budgeting for the same from the beginning for quality outcomes.
- I am not a sex educator. I do not provide consultations for individuals, companies, schools or colleges on sex education. Here is a list of sex educators I recommend. Sex therapy is part of a larger therapeutic relationship with a trained mental health professional, I’m a trauma therapist who has been extensive training in working with sexual trauma, kink, alternative sexualities and the like.
- I do not endorse health products, or natural healing products in general on my social media. If I occasionally do endorse a brand/show that is spreading a sensible message to a large audience, it comes from my own professional expertise and ethical alignment.
- I have designed my practice in a way that I can offer sliding-scale therapy slots to people in need and relief funds to organizations who do rescue work. I do not accept requests for free labor of any sort and often channel resources from work to areas in need.
- I develop and offer free mental health resources to the public in a few places:
– On Medium
– On Instagram
This is my way of creating open access for more people to do inner work practices for a more mature, emotionally healthy, mentally well society.
- If you have benefitted from the same and are not a current client at the practice, please consider buying our practice a book that strengthens our ability to run a sustainable practice: https://www.buymeacoffee.com/nehabhat
Public Bio (short):
Neha Bhat specializes in feminist oriented, trauma-informed art therapy and counseling
between India and the U.S. She employs trauma-focused therapy for survivors of sexual violence, offers crisis-counseling, and uses art as a radical tool of living and coping against systems of oppression. Her work as an interdisciplinary artist informs her professional counseling practice, enabling her to bring into the clinical setting elements of play through visual art, theatre, and movement in the clinical setting.