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About Interior Gardening

I founded Interior Gardening in October 2018 with the vision of creating emotionally safe and non-judgemental spaces facilitated by trained and ethically practicing professionals. Over the years, that vision has evolved, and now includes fortifying the mental health community in India not only through therapeutic offerings, but also by supporting the professional growth of colleagues, and creating resources that are accessible and community-oriented.

I believe that it is in nurturing each individual garden that we can create a more accepting and loving community (read ecosystem) together. Gardening, to me, showed up as a perfect metaphor to talk about cultivating ecosystems (individual and community-wide) of mental health care that allow for recovery and growth to be sustainable and equitable for all through different seasons.

From 2021-23, Interior Gardening was host to Consultants Akshata Parekh, Radha Joshi, and later Manvi Sharma. Through their time and efforts at Interior Gardening, each of them has significantly contributed to the vision I held at the time, and I am forever grateful for our association and their support in mine and Interior Gardening's transformations.

My Commitements

About Niharica

*mutters to self* You keep telling all your colleagues to. Now it's time for you to update yours. You can write this. Just introduce yourself. *spends the next few weeks avoiding the self-placed demand.*

My interest and work in the fields of Psychology and Mental Health were, at a young age, driven by my 'curiosity about the human mind'. That drive made a lot more sense after I came to terms with my late-diagnosed neurodivergent identity and saw the young person who had been grappling with ways to navigate socially and decided to, literally, study human behavior to cope.

My professional self has evolved over the years of experience working in the mental health field in various capacities, as a result of the privilege I've had to hold space for stories of people whose lives have been similar and drastically different from my own. I chose, contrary to my original training, to see the client across from me in therapy as a person - an organism impacted by, reflective of, and responding to their ecosystem - not just a 'failure to be a productive member of society'. Nature is queer. As a part of it, why would humans not reflect the same diversity that we admire in thriving natural ecosystems? Why would we not think, feel, process, believe, move, identify, love, advocate, protest, resist, and self-actualize in different ways that make sense to our needs within our own ecosystems? Why would we deserve any less acceptance and celebration for our diverse natures than...butterflies?


It feels then that my place in this world of mental health is to use my skills to continually humanize us to ourselves - to consciously subvert the systems that thrive from us becoming complicit in our own dehumanization. My various service offerings over the years have been dedicated to offering folks the spaces and resources that encourage them to see and treasure their own humanity and connect with others' too.

Outside of work, I'm usually - dealing with existential dread, collecting books and eventually reading some (entirely separate activities), getting into my latest cozy game hyperfixation, and unlearning/discovering what it means to be human.

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Education and Certifications

M.Sc. Clinical Applications of Psychology - 2015

Kingston University London, U.K.

B.A. Psychology - 2014

Foundation for Liberal And Management Education (FLAME), Pune

Foundations in the Therapeutic Value of Art - 2016

Artsphere, Pune

Dance Movement Therapy Therapist Training - 2018

Artsphere, Pune, in association with CMTAI & ICD, Paris

Intensive Course in Visual Art Therapy - 2019

Artsphere, Pune

Queer Affirmative Counselling Practices - 2022

Mariwala Health Initiative, Mumbai

Past Work Experience

  • Private Practitioner (Founder, CEO, Admin, Accountant, Social Media Manager, Marketing Head, Website Designer, Content Developer, Graphic Designer, Writer, Program Developer, Program Coordinator, Business Development Head, ​Therapist, Mentor, and probably more) - Interior Gardening Psychological Services (2018-ongoing)

  • Consulting Psychologist:

    • Tenerity Pvt. Ltd. (2021 - 2023)

    • Tavisca Solutions Pvt. Ltd. (2019 - '21)

    • Just Being Center (2019 - '20)​​

    • Soulsphere (2019 - '20)

    • Taal Inc. Therapy Room (2019 - '20)

    • Nanihi Centre - (2017 - 2019)

  • Clinical & Wellbeing Services Co-ordinator:

    •  Bapu Trust (2016-17)

  • Consulting Psychologist & Trainer:

    • Sentient Leadership (2019 - '20)

    • Collective Quest (2019 - '20)

  • Teacher/Trainer:​

    • Abeda Inamdar College - Introduction to Psychopathology Course (2018)​

    • The Secret Ingredient & Akshata Parekh's Expressive Arts in Therapy Course - Ethics Module (2022)

    • Introduction to the Therapeutic Value of Arts with Susan Bullough-Khare - Teaching Assistant (2019)

    • Boston Word School - A-levels Psychology (2017-18)

    • Comprehensive Sex Ed for School Girls - curriculum design and workshop (2018)

  • Volunteer/DMT Facilitator:

    • Saathi Haath Badahna (2017)

    • FLAME University (2017)

Repeated Organisational Clients Include

  • ​Teach For India

  • ThoughtWorks

  • Savitribai Phule Pune University

  • Abeda Inamdar College

  • Red Hat, and more.

Formal Presence

Continued Professional Development

  • Legal Rights of Therapists - webinar by Indian Association of Dance Movement Therapy (Online, 2023)

  • Neurodivergent Navigation Summit - by Casey Jordan (Online, 2023)

  • PgCert in Attachment Theory - course by International Attachment Network (Online, 2021)

  • Gender, Sexuality, and Mental Health from the Margins - workshop by Mariwala Health Initiative (Online, 2021)

  • Gender and Sexuality in Therapeutic Work - webinar by Anshuma Kshetrapal & Soulsphere (Online, 2020)

  • Understanding Gender-based Violence from Therapeutic Theoretical Perspectives - webinar by Anshuma Kshetrapal & Soulsphere (Online, 2020)

  • Drama Therapy Masterclass with Bruce Bayley - workshop by The Arts Therapists CoLab & Artshpere, Pune (2019)

  • Introduction to Music Therapy - workshop by Artsphere, Pune (2019)

  • Becoming & Being a Reflexive Practioner - webinar by Anshuma Kshetrpal (2019)

  • Focusing (Level 1) with Fiona Parr - workshop by Just Being Center, Pune (2018)

  • Creative Movement Therapy Association of India (CMTAI) Annual Conference, Bangalore (2017)

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