Upcoming Events

Upcoming Workshops

Diploma in Cognitive Analytic Therapy


A diploma in Cognitive Analytic Therapy is being offered by our sister organisation -  The Banyan Academy of Leadership in Mental Health. The course will be taught by international experts in CAT.

Graduates will receive a certificate from the International Cognitive Analytic Therapy Association in Cognitive Analytic Therapy.

We invite mental health professionals (social workers, counsellors, psychologists, psychiatrists) with an array of experiences to register for this diploma course.

Registration opens July 15 

Diploma Leaders


Ann Treesa

Counsellor, CAT Practitioner

Ann Treesa Rafi is a counsellor and CAT Practitioner. She was working as assistant professor at Sampurna Montfort college and an affiliate with Montfort counselling centre. She is currently an adjunct faculty at Christ University, Bangalore. She has been using CAT extensively in her clinical work adapting the model further to fit well with the Indian Society and culture.

She has an interest in understanding how relational procedures can be presented symptomatically as addictions and abusive behaviours. She has presented on CAT in India, at various conferences and is a member of the Indian Association for Cognitive Analytic Therapy.


Jessie Emilion

Counsellor, Cognitive Analytic Psychotherapist and Trainer

Jessie Emilion is a BACP accredited Counsellor and UKCP registered Cognitive Analytic Psychotherapist and Supervisor. She has been working in the NHS for 20 years in various capacities as a senior clinician, trainer and manager. She has a particular interest in bi-lingualism, culture, language and race and the impact of these factors on mental health. As a trained interpreter she has extensive experience of working with refugee communities, asylum seekers and voluntary sector organizations both as a clinician and an interpreter.

She teaches on the CAT programmes in the UK, India and in Qatar. She is central to the Introduction of CAT in India and has developed the model further by incorporating religious, cultural and societal values, making it adaptive, appropriate and relevant to the Indian Society and the Indian Psyche.


Deborah Russell - Caroll

Clinical Psychologist, Trainer and Supervisor in CAT

Deborah Russell-Carroll is a qualified Clinical Psychologist  as well as an accredited Psychotherapist, Trainer and Supervisor in Cognitive Analytic Therapy (CAT).  She has been working within the Irish Health Service for over 30 years.  Her current role is that of Principal Psychologist Manager in Dublin South Central where she directs and manages the psychology service with a staff of 60 psychologists.

She continues to train Clinical Psychologists and other disciplines in Cognitive Therapy within the Irish Health Services.  She teaches and trains on CAT courses within the Irish Republic as well as in India.  She has a special interest in Victims of abuse and trauma and those with personality disorders.

Post Graduate Diploma in Applied Buddhist Psychology

OCTOBER 2018 - APRIL 2019

This post-graduate diploma course aims to introduce the theory and practice of Buddhist Psychology through the Nalanda tradition of intellectual understanding, contemplation and action.

It will include interactive and experiential classes across 5 modules for graduates from any stream of study.

We also offer the option for participants to join us on a two-day retreat rather than the 6 month course. (see below - Moving to Stillness - Retreat)

Course Faculty


Asha Pillai-Balsara

Executive Director, WCCL Foundation

Asha Pillai-Balsara is currently the Executive Director of WCCL Foundation, an NGO dedicated towards establishing Arts-Based Therapy & Study of Mind in India. She is a Board Member of the Dzongsar Khyentse Chökyi Lodrö College of Dialectics, which is a Shedra (a leading Buddhist monastic college) located in Chauntra, Himachal Pradesh; and of the Khyentse Foundation and visiting faculty for the Post-Graduate Certificate Course in "Applied Mahayana Buddhist Psychology & Ethics" at the Savitribai Phule Pune University.


Dr. Nivedita Chalill

Psychiatric Social Worker & Arts Based Therapist

Dr. Nivedita Chalill is a trained psychiatric social worker and arts-based therapist with over 18 years of experience in mental health. She has completed her Ph.D and M.Phil from the Tata Institute of Social Sciences (Mumbai). She began studying Buddhism from the Tibet House, the Cultural Centre of His Holiness the Dalai Lama. She currently runs ARTH, a mental health initiative for adults with mental health issues, and runs a Buddhist Psychology Course called "The Bodhi Tree" in Mumbai.

Moving to Stillness - Retreat


Participants will learn to recognize and manage their physical and emotional well being. The aim is to develop a range of practices for a grounded body as well as emotional stability for profound change to their daily life and relationship to self and others. These practices include gentle mindful movements of yoga combined with breathing and relaxation practices that bring the body and mind into a calm, balanced state for the deepening of awareness meditation.

Date: Saturday 27th - Sunday 28th October 2018
Time: 9am - 4:30pm (non-residential)

Fee: Rs. 2,000 (inclusive of refreshments & lunch)
Mode of payment: Cheque or DD in favour of ‘BALM Trust’ payable at ‘Chennai’ or Internet banking to SB A/c: 8411432649, IFSC code: KKBK0000469, Kotak Mahindra Bank, Anna nagar, Chennai 600 040



Ven. Ani Pema

Venerable Pema (Karen Schaefer) was ordained and trained in Bhutan and Taiwan. Prior to taking up Buddhist studies, she studied classical Yoga and Indian Philosophy for 8 years in an Ashram in Maharashtra.  At the request of her teacher she directed an Ashram and meditation centre in Sydney, Australia for six years where she taught meditation in prisons, hospital and other community situations. She has graduated in Transpersonal Psychology in California, and practiced as a counselor and human resource trainer in corporations in the US and Australia. She is a skilled counsellor, and yoga therapist specializing in anxiety and trauma disorders. She has been a student of Dzongsar Khysentse Rinpoche since 1990. She has led and taught in personal extended retreats in India, Thailand, Australia, New York and Hawaii. Her teaching emphasizes an integration of physical, psychological and wisdom wellbeing practices and inspires other to seek a wholistic approach to their personal practice and work.

Upcoming Conferences

Mental Health and Inclusive Development 2019


Much progress has been made in the area of community based inclusive models of care for individuals living with severe mental illness. This conference aims to bring together mental health professionals, academics, user-survivors and caregivers to discuss and showcase effective approaches to care that drive social inclusion.

Visit the MHID 2019 Conference Website at www.mhid2019.com

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