The Shrinking Couch (TSC) is a website, working towards building a network of individuals sharing personal experiences, resources and ideas pertaining to mental health.
TSC aims to promote good mental health, create awareness about mental illness and advance proactive behaviors towards seeking information and availing mental health services.
Through sharing personal stories, highlighting professional work in the area and disseminating relevant information, TSC aims to reduce the stigma and treatment gap, and by doing so, build an active, collaborative, informed and non-hierarchical mental health community in India.
Our Idea: Why TSC?
Psychological difficulties are a lot closer to each of us than we believe. You, or someone you know, might be experiencing stress, mood extremities and emotional complications which are beyond our control. The path to mental health, or psychological well-being, is ridden with societal stigma and tends to be blocked by individual, familial, and community factors. Deepening the issue at hand is the glaring treatment gap, where those needing help, support or even basic information, have no access, or shy away from reaching out. Inadvertently, almost as if by being a part of this society, we have each nurtured the elephant in our rooms, homes and communities – a large but silent reminder of unaddressed issues around mental illness.
TSC addresses this proverbial elephant, despite its mammoth size. We want to introduce everyone to the idea of mental health and illness as a normal part of life, by talking about it openly, meaningfully and constructively. Our aim is to build a community which accepts, understands and provides support for anyone mental health concerns. TSC is a space for comfortable and open sharing which encourages mutual support, akin to the space provided by the stereotypical therapists’ couch, but with easier availability and a larger outreach.
We want everyone to see mental illness as an experience causing discomfort, but not as a case of weak will. We want to share the many ways of approaching mental illness as something that can be helped, overcome, fought, treated or cured, but most importantly, it must be something that is supported. TSC will bring together stories to connect the personal yet collective nature of mental illnesses, to make difficulties of this nature relate-able and less intimidating, both individually and societally.
Dr. Nivida Chandra, Founder & Editor
Nivida has a PhD in psychology from the Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi (2020). She was also a Fulbright scholar to the Silver School of Social Work, NYU (2017). Her research focused on parentification – a form of emotional abuse and neglect of children – and its long-term impact using narrative analysis. She is interested in applying her research to interrupt generational transfer of neglect using the findings of her doctoral work. TSC is the answer to all her frustrations about everything that flies under the name of mental health professionalism in India today. Outside of that, she is favored by all cats as a willing scratch post.
Krutika Bopanna, Co-founder
Krutika is an alumna of TISS, Mumbai. She has worked as a mental health professional conceptualizing and providing psychological services in multiple forms to individuals, groups and communities. At present, Krutika is a researcher in the field of psychology, associated with reputed institutes in India.
Please consider sharing your experiences around mental health or illness with us. firstname.lastname@example.org