Interns Testimonials

Sapna Kanjani

Thanks you is the least I could say to express my gratitude towards you.

The experience has been enriching. A conversation with you was like wisdom pouring in. To quote Ablert Einstein, “Education is not learning of the facts, but the training of the mind to think”. Thank you for making me think.

YOU INSPIRE ME.
YOU ARE MAKING A DIFFERNECE.

THANK YOU!

Krishna Chouhan M.A- Psychology

When I came here for my internship, I was not only nervous, but panicking.

As my sessions went I got comfortable and things were easy to understand and learn. I was looking towards practical knowledge which I got here.

We can read lot of Course books ,but what was needed I got here, all the practical knowledge under ma’am. Ma’am I love you & you are the best Professional person when it comes to your work & this makes me content with knowledge given by you!

Thank You SmileJunction!
Lots of Love

Anja Courte – Masters in Psychology from Germany

I absolved my internship at Smile Junction for some weeks to get an impression of Indian psychological counselling. I worked independently on real case studies which are recently finished or still ongoing. We often discussed questions and impressions of the cases and Dr. Bhansali gave professional input and encouraged me reflecting issues in a profound way. In addition Dr. Bhansali has given interesting theory classes once a week. I learnt a lot about a professional counselling understanding, typical cultural issues and psychological methods. I am very thankful for that experience and inspiring time with Dr. Bhansali and her team.

Arti Mansinghka – Masters in Psychology  

Smile junction as the name calls in itself always have given me a very positive feeling. Dear maam I am Greatly thankful to you and your guidance for every aspect in the field of psychology. Met only you here in jodhpur who had motivated enough to get into the field as soon as possible.

It’s been very short period with you, though learnt a lot from you. I would love to be in contact with you forever and also that you have such gracefully maintained the area of the smile junction, every time I pass by this place, the head turns to look at this place, have good memories of this place. Thank you for everything.

Priyanka Arora – Masters in Psychology  

I am blessed to be a part of SmileJunction. It was a wonderful  experience being a part of smile junction. It really spread smile all over. These internship days were Quite Interesting & Thought provoking. Thank You So Much.

Pooja Pathak – BA (Hons) Applied Psychology. Amity University – Noida  

It was great experience interning here at Smile Junction. I got to learn lot of things here. Ma’am is an amazing guide. I was taught skills to understand the cases and use questioning techniques for same. It was wonderful learning experience.

Irina Hill – Munchen Germany  

I am really thankful that I did 3 month of my psychology internship at Smile Junction with Reena Bhansali. I worked at her office every evening and the rest of the day I spent in different projects with Sambhali Trust. Dr. Bhansali is a really open-minded and interesting women! It is great to talk with her about differences between our cultures and it helps to understand India better. I read a lot of cases of her clients and discussed them with her. Also I prepared questions I would ask the clients to understand them better and to help. I developed questionnaires and conducted a study. Moreover I talked with her clients in the waiting room what helped me gain additional informations.

She gives you a lot of freedom, where you first have to get used to. It differs completely to an internship in Germany. That’s why I was confused sometimes what I should do or how fast I should work. Because I was used to have straight advises and make everything as fast as possible. But she gives you the freedom to deepen your knowledge in your fields of interest and answers the questions you have.

Additionally the meetings with other interns when she explains about counselling are really interesting. I could recommend to come here if you are able to work by yourself, if you want to see differences in the cultures and therapy methods and if you want to get different input.

Dr. Reena Bhansali really cares how you are and respects all your wishes and ideas. It is great to meet and work with an enthusiastic, hard-working and modern woman like her here in Jodhpur!

Sára Nekvasilová from Czech Republic  

The two months of volunteering at Sambhali Trust and attending the internship at Smile Junction have been great and also very challening experience for me. I’ve worked at various projects at Sambhali Trust during the days and I’ve spent my evenings at Smile Junction. And even though it has been demanding at times, I am very thankful for the opportunity to do both of these activities combined.

Reading the cases at Smile Junction and talking to Dr. Bhansali has helped me to understand the cultural differences and psychological and other struggles in India better. Dr. Bhansali was very open to all questions and discussion. At the same time she gave me a lot of freedom to work on my own and choose the topics that I was interested in. To be honest, this freedom has made me little insecure and unsure about my doings and I felt like I was not spending my time as productively as I could – however this was an issue mainly at the beginning and it has improved during the time. I created a therapy plan for one of the patients, to whom I’ve been also talking to in the waiting area, which was a completely new and therefore very useful experience for me. I also created few checklists about various psychological issues, which was a good training for my methodological skills. Altogether, I would say that I have gained a good insight not only into India’s culture but also into the job of a counsellor. I also feel like my own abilities and skills have been greatly challenged and hopefully improved by this experience.

At the end I am very grateful for my experience at Smile Junction. Dr. Bhansali is a very inspirational woman and I very much appreciate the time, that she has dedicated to me. She even offered me to join her lecture in one of the schools in Jodhpur, which was a good experience and mainly it made me respect her work even more. I feel that my experience has increased my motivation to continue on my own carrier path even more, which is something that I am extremely thankful for.

Karina von Moellendorff – Intern, Austria  

I’m really thankful for completing the internship at Smile Junction with guidance from Dr. Reena Bhansali. Even when I only have been working there for five weeks, I learned a lot including theoretical and practical knowledge. On the one hand Reena teached me basic knowledge what counselling includes. On the other hand I had the opportunity to make personal contact with patients in the waiting area and afterwards thinking and discussing about their therapy plans. I actually got the chance to intervene in one of the cases. I thought about some skills which could be useful for the patient.. Reena provided me confidence and let me work independently. Furthermore, she dedicated her time to answering my questions. I noticed that it is very important for her that the interns learn and get the chance to develop and grow. She shared her experiences, which she collected over time, and which influenced her to become a professional and good counsellor.

A really important aspect I was reminded is that even a therapist is human and cannot control his/her emotions all the time. There will be many more situations in which I will feel overchallenged in the position of a professional and possibly make mistakes. But this is part of the process of learning and becoming a better professional. I have big respect for Reena as counsellor and as person, I thank her that she teached me so much. It was a challenge to work during the five weeks in two different areas. During the day I used to work in different projects at Sambhali Trust and developed a close relationship to the women and children. In the evening I studied cases at the Smile Junction including difficult, hard fortunes which bear a resemblence to some extent to the fortunes of the women and children of Sambhali Trust. So at one point I was thinking about being overchallenged by my own emotions or feelings and being unprofessional because of lack of distancy. I realized fast that I do not only have to deal with the cases or the fortunes of the women or children, it’s also about cultural differences and confrontation with myself so far away from daily structures.

A feeling of powerlessness arised but I learned how to deal with it. In this way a suggestion for upcoming internships is to discuss cultural differences over and over again and including the emotional processes while working at Sambhali Trust and Smile Junction to the same time. Reena supported me and represented a person of trust for me over the last five weeks. I gained feeling of safety by knowing that I could speak to her about everything I need to. Such a pity that the time ran so fast and the internship is finished by now. I will miss her and definitely will think about the experiences I earned through her and the work at Smile Junction over and over again. Hopefully we will stay in contact. Thank you Reena for being such a great mentor, teacher, counsellor and person.

Violetta – Intern, Germany  

I spent two months as an intern in Dr. Reena Bhansali’s Smile Junction. During this time I worked on interesting case studies and thereby learned about psychological disorders, relationship problems, how to interpret and develop diagnostic tools, the basics of counselling and the relevance of the cultural background for psychological issues. Although I could not attend the counselling session due to confidentiality I talked to the clients in the waiting room. This gave me the opportunity to add interactive information to the impressions which I got after reading the cases. Apart from that, I had many interesting talks about a variety of topics and got to know the individual perspectives of Indian people on local and global matters. Dr. Bhansali gave me a lot of freedom to choose the topics of my interest and work independently on the cases. Nevertheless, she was available for feedback and discussions not only regarding the cases but also current issues in Indian society. At all times, I felt like Dr. Bhansali honestly cared about my learning progress and considered my opinion during the discussions. The internship allowed me to get an insight in in psychological disorders and counselling methods, develop my analytical thinking and ability to integrate single symptoms in a bigger diagnosis and apply the previously gained general knowledge to the individual cases. Moreover, I developed my communication skills, my sensitivity to mental issues and deepened my awareness of cultural differences. Looking back, I am really grateful for my experience and the professional supervision through an experienced counsellor like Dr. Reena Bhansali.

Paulina – Bachelor In Psychology, Germany  

Dear Dr. Bhansali,

Having the internship at smile junction was a very interesting time. I really enjoyed listening to your passionate speeches. It is great how enthusiastically you shared your experiences with me. The tasks I was working on were both challenging and  informative. First, I felt unsure about what exactly was expected and it was sometimes hard for me to follow the feedback you gave me on my case histories because I couldn’t find the same information in the clients’ files. Nevertheless, it was a good excercise to practice my analytic thinking and I found it very interesting to read about Indian clients. Moreover, the numerous checklists I did for mental disorders were an interesting research on the one hand and a good methodical practice on the other hand.

Another part of the internship was the class about counselling which I found most interesting. All in all, I consider the internship a helpful experience and I gained an exciting insight in an Indian counselor’s practice. Thank you for all the skills and practical knowledge you shared with me. I had a great time at your practice!

Vanshika Arora  – XII (Vidya Devi Jindal School), Sirsa, Haryana

This internship has given me an exposure to think differently. And Reena Ma’am has been very supportive and helpful towards my queries. I am very thankful to Smile Junction for letting me read different cases and have my view on it. It was my time in internship program with a professional Counselling Psychologist and it will help me to have a better understanding of the subject and the people around me. I chose an OCD case study through which I was able to know more about it and what causes and how it can be treated and on how many levels is it possible. It took me to another level of understanding, which was more of practical than the theoretical exposure I had. It was a great experience. It really helped me alot.

Katharina Hirning – B.Sc in Psychology, University of Vienna, Austria

In my internship at “Smile Junction” of “ Dr. Bhansali ” I got the opportunity to receive an insight on typical Indian cases and to learn more about the work of a counsellor in India. Dr. Bhansali’s supervision taught me a lot how to get into conversation with client, identify the crucial problems which we’en’t reported explicitly and the importance of a pronounced self awareness and awareness of cultural differences! I am glad that I could work with such an impressive and experienced counsellor like Dr. Bhansali…..!

Andrea Reicher – Psychologist, Austria

Even if I’m working as a psychologist in Austria since many years it was very interesting and inspiring to read all the cases and discuss then with Dr. Bhansali who is very experienced as a counsellor. The problems of the clients are mainly the same across the countries be it India or Austria but the cases I understood here could give good understanding of the Indian society and the perception of the people on the issues. I really enjoyed the internship and I’m thankful for the chance to make it in India…..

Dayal Sodha – Masters in Psychology

Four week of internship at SmileJunction (under Dr.Reena Bhansali) was a great Experience. I am one of the most lucky students to have done my internship under such friendly Counselor. The work at Dr. Bhansali’s practice was a great experience and I gained an important insight of her work as a counselor.I as an intern was mostly working on case studies, which was very helpful in understanding the psychological issues of her clients. In this context I also found the place very comfortable to work at and with the people around me.

Divya Yadav- Bachelors in Psychology

I was a great experience at Smile Junction with Dr Reena Bhansali ma’am. I learned so much at my internship. Interning outside my city was an important life experience for me to grow on both, personal and academic front which only got fulfilled under Reena madam’s guidance at Smile Junction.

It was refreshing not to feel like the lowly intern, just filing paperwork. I was involved in the therapeutic activity going on in the clinic, such as educational lectures, intake sessions, and case studies. In the first few weeks, I observed quite a bit to get my feet wet and understand the workings of the clinic. Soon after, I was observing the non-verbal cues of the clients, reading about the particular topics in the highly resourceful reading room.

Every day I would see new patients and learn about different kinds of therapy sessions. It was a privilege to be a part of it all. I had a very well-rounded internship by being able to develop counselling skills in all the various activities I was a part of. My internship was unique in that I was highly encouraged to become involved in the therapy sessions.

This was my first internship and it encouraged me to take internships often, now. I learned so much about mental illnesses and the different ways a mental disorder may present in other cultures. Dr Reena Bhansali ma’am was amazing at sharing her experiences. I learned so much working under her. She always took the time to answer my questions and teach me valuable lessons in the realm of psychology and counselling. She helpedby always debriefing with me after tough sessions and having meetings to review my progress.

Because I come from a different state and different cultural background, I gained cultural competency through my internship. At the clinic, I had the opportunity to see first-hand the interplay between culture, race, and ethnicity and its impact on symptom presentation and treatment.

If you are on the fence, I would tell you to absolutely go! It can open so many doors for you!

Isabella (Lalou) Holdt, Masters in Psychology. University of Copenhagen

My internship at smile junction has been a very interesting and instructive experience. I have learned a lot about the mental health system in India and gained a unique insight into the psychological issue of the clients. During my time at SmileJunction I have worked with many diverse cases and problems and I also had the chance to talk to some of the clients. Dr Bhansali is a very knowledgeable and inspiring psychologist and I learned a lot from her instruction and supervision.

Melina Hiller ( Psychology Student ) (University of  Bremen, Germany)

I did my internship with Dr. Bhansali in march 2015. Though 4 weeks are a way too short period of time to fully understand the work of a counseling psychologist, Dr. Bhansali managed to organise the time in a way that I could benefit as much as possible from it. She has a pretty clear vision of what her interns should achieve during their stay at Smile Junction but she kept in mind my limited amount of time. Still, I had to perform a lot of interesting tasks and was always kept busy.

At the beginning, I mainly studied cases that Dr. Bhansali has been (or still was) working on. I was asked to discover their issues and why they have come to see a counselor. It was difficult to write the case reports as it requires a lot of insight to evaluate a person’s problem by only reading a bunch of data derived from different selfdescription-tasks and various scales without ever meeting the client. All the more interesting it was when Dr. Bhansali discussed the cases with me afterwards. It was fascinating to see to which extent my assessment had been right. The discrepancies reflected how important it is to always focus on the patient himself and not on one’s own perception and understanding of a problem. I also received some theory lessons, I learned about counseling and related problems and challenges. Dr. Bhansali always made clear that I directly had to apply my freshly gained knowledge by letting me reread case studies or discussing possible treatments for her clients. She was always open to any of my questions and constantly tried to adjust her program according to my interests.

In addition to my internship, I half-time volunteered at Sambhali Trust, a NGO whose focus is the development and empowerment of women and children in Jodhpur and surrounding districts. The project I was placed in due to my psychological studies is called “No Bad Touch”. Me, another volunteer and a local employee visited several schools and taught children, teachers and parents about child sexual abuse.

Dr. Bhansali proved herself to be a remarkably flexible and considerate supervisor. For instance, when I asked for two days off to visit another NGO located in Delhi she arranged my work in a way that I could take some of it with me and didn’t miss out on anything.

On some days, Dr. Bhansali makes appointments outside the office so I didn’t meet her everyday. However, even if Dr. Bhansali herself wasn’t available, I could come to Smile Junction and work on the case reports or any other task she had given to me. Her assistant Sapna was always there, she is a nice and lovely person and always willing to help (be it with the case studies, Dr. Bhansali’s handwriting or simply getting a nice rickshaw back to my guest house).

My time in India was probably the best way to benefit from my semester break both for my studies as well as for my personal development, experience and fun. However, if the next interns can spare some more time, I would definetely recommend them to stay longer since 4 weeks flew by incredibly fast (not to mention my visit happend to meet several indian festivals such as wonderful Holi, where no one is working anyways).

Thank you Dr. Bhansali and Sapna, it was a great and enriching experience working with you and I hope you keep up your amazing work!

Viola Sistemich, 22th April 2014

I completed an internship at Smile Junction from 3rd March till 26th April 2014 which was a very enriching experience for me. I am very impressed by Dr. Bhansali’s work and her counseling competences. She is covering a lot of different aspects of counseling like career counseling, working with children with school backwardness or learning disabilities, relationship counseling as well as general counseling. I am glad that I got the chance to be a part of Smile Junction for two months and to interact and work with several clients.

Dr. Bhansali guided me through my tasks and sessions very well and it was a pleasure to work with her. It makes me happy to see that there are many people in Jodhpur who believe in counseling and the work of Smile Junction. I am very glad that Dr. Bhansali gave me the chance to get to know so many different aspects of her counseling work and I can highly recommend visiting Smile Junction if you have any sort of problems, you will be in good hands.

Nicole Hantzsche, April 2014

For my Masters degree in Psychology I needed to do an internship under the supervision of a Psychologist. As I am very interested in getting to know new cultures, I thought I might as well go to India for this purpose – and wasn’t that just the best I could do! Via the website worldunite.com, I found Dr. Bhansali and learned about her practice and work at Smile Junction. During the five weeks of working for her, I gained an important insight of her work as a counselor. I was mostly working on case studies, which was very helpful in understanding the psychological issues of her clients.

In this context, I also had the opportunity of talking to some of them, which helped in getting a better insight of their issues. During my final week I helped in compiling a list of symptoms of psychological disorders for Dr. Bhansali’s work as a teacher for students who want to become a counselor. I am very thankful that Dr. Bhansali trusted me with the tasks given as this way I could reach a great understanding not only about general psychology, but also a lot about the Indian culture and its social structures. I really enjoyed working at Smile Junction and always felt very welcomed.

Unfortunately time flew by way too fast and as soon as I felt familiarized not only with living in India but also with the daily routine at Smile Junction, I already had to say good bye and had to leave this world, in which there are still so many things to discover. To sum up the experiences of my intership at Smile Junction, I’d like to say, that I had a fantastic time and learned a lot about the Indian culture, global psychological issues and how to properly bargain with a rickshaw driverJ. As a recommendation for any successional interns: stay at least for two months (if not even longer…it’s definitely worth it!).

Many thanks to Dr. Bhansali and Sapna! It was great working with you! “I was an intern with Smile Junction during the summer of 2013. Working with Dr. Bhansali was an incredible learning experience and she took the time to mentor me even though she runs a very busy practice! I was impressed by Dr. Bhansali’s dedication to her clients and the community of Jodhpur; she is highly educated and experienced in the field of counseling psychology and works hard to help her clients reach their full potential in life.”

Sarah K. Hatcher, MA, Counseling Psychology Doctorate Student, University of Memphis, Tennessee, USA

“I was an intern with Smile Junction during the summer of 2013. Working with Dr. Bhansali was an incredible learning experience and she took the time to mentor me even though she runs a very busy practice! I was impressed by Dr. Bhansali’s dedication to her clients and the community of Jodhpur; she is highly educated and experienced in the field of counseling psychology and works hard to help her clients reach their full potential in life.”

My internship at Smile Junction – Amelie Mansfeld (August -September 2014) ( Leopold Franzens Universität Innsbruck- Germany)

This summer, I absolved an internship at the practice, “Smile Junction” with Dr.Reena Bhansali. Spending time with her gave me a great insight in the work of a counselling psychologist. Apart from hearing about her newest cases, I was able to discuss case historys with Dr.Bhansali, which I found was very interesting and instructive. In the theory-lessons she gave, she introduced me to the basics of counselling.

I appreciated that she offered up time for those lessons, as they helped me gain a different view and a more professional opinion. I also got the possibility to create my own studies on a topic I chose. After collecting the data in India, we plan to collect data in Germany compare the results in a cross-cultural study. I am really excited about this opportunity and I am looking forward to continue working with her.

Marie Claire ( Student of Psychology- University of Konstanz Germany)

During the period between August and November 2014 I completed a psychological internship at Smile Junction with Dr. Reena Bhansali. During my time there I got to examine cases that Dr. Bhansali had dealt with in the past and discuss them with her.

Furthermore I got to research different topics of my choosing, being given access to a lot of literature and other to work with material by Dr. Bhansali. I very much appreciated the material and literature I was able to use, as it was very helpful for my purposes. In addition to this I got to develop my own studies, which was a very interesting task. As she is very busy, Dr. Bhansali sometimes lacked the time to discuss certain assignments, however overall my time at her practice has been most instructive and I believe the experience will be of great benefit to me in the future.

Sonja Wolfensberger ( November 2013-2014) (Bachelor of Psychology- University of Zurich Switzerland)

I am doing a 50% internship with Dr. Bhansali and spend the rest of the time volunteering in the different projects of Sambhali Trust. There is plenty of work for psychologists and Dr. Bhansali is kindly giving me advice on how to address the specific issues of the children and women in the projects. Also, I am working on the Sambhali No Bad Touch Project which is a prevention campaign dealing with sexual child abuse.

This covers a standard 8 hour work day. At her clinic, Dr. Bhansali treats children with learning disabilities and she is a counselor for private clients with diverse psychological issues. Interns are not able to sit in with the therapy sessions as this disturbs the privacy policy of her practice.

However, she will discuss her cases with the intern and provide interesting writing tasks. I am doing this internship right now and I strongly recommend it for psychology students who are interested in learning about the life of a psychologist working in a private practice in India. It was very inspiring to meet Dr. Bhansali and I thoroughly enjoy the professional and cultural exchange with her.