Dr. Mona Bapat earned her PhD in counseling psychology from Arizona State University, and she is a licensed clinical psychologist in Indiana and Illinois. She has over 15 years of clinical work experience in settings such as university counseling centers, community mental health centers, private practice, and nursing homes. She has provided individual, couples, family, and group therapy for a wide range of issues from depressive disorders to parenting to opioid use disorders.
Mona is a staunch advocate of destigmatizing, and increasing awareness of, mental health issues and treatment. Before starting with Love to Know, she did freelance ghostwriting for over two years on topics such as mental health, substance use disorders, and workplace issues. She has also reviewed academic articles for IOatWork.com.
She also spends some time providing consultation to a couple of different mental health clinics, which involves supervising clinicians, auditing charts and doing projects and workshops as needed. Information on her consultation work can be found at www.drmonabapat.com.
The focus of Mona’s graduate research was intimate partner violence. For her master’s thesis she studied attitudes and reactions that people had from reading a domestic violence vignette. For her doctoral dissertation, she studied how college females cope with dating violence. Mona has published both of these studies as first author in academic journals, and she has written parts of other published academic articles with her colleagues as well.
She has worked with patients on issues such as:
- Mood and depressive disorders
- Anxiety disorders
- Parenting and family issues and communication
- Couples’ communication
- Intimate partner violence
- Stress management
- Career and academic concerns
- Suicidal ideation
- Addiction and substance use
- Multicultural issues
- Women’s issues
- Geriatric issues
Mona’s work experience also includes providing alcohol and drug education to college students. She has developed and delivered outreach programs on college campus on varied topics such as stress management, imposter syndrome, coping with gender discrimination, and using improvisational theatre techniques to build leadership skills.
Mona has also delivered a parenting psychoeducational group program to parents who were separating or divorcing, to help their kids adjust to the change.
Being a second-generation Indian American has given Mona first-hand experience with multiculturalism and inter-cultural communication. She is passionate about helping people with different backgrounds better understand each other.
In addition to visiting extended family in India, Mona has done a volunteer-abroad program in Ghana for 7 weeks, and she did a Spanish immersion program in Costa Rica for 6 weeks.
She also finds inter-lingual blunders amusing; she can speak her mother-tongue Marati at a conversational level and has had fun with her cousins combining the two languages such as speaking Marati with English grammar and vice versa.
Mona is also very passionate about and interested in helping people with time management, work-life balance, and living their best lives. She practices what she teaches clients regarding self-care and maintaining a balance of work, hobbies, and time with loved ones.
When she is not working, Mona enjoys being with her husband and dog. She also enjoys reading, movies, board games and exploring hiking trails. In addition, Mona tries to keep fit by doing high impact 45-60-minute workouts 4-5 times per week such as jogging, kickboxing classes, and high impact and high intensity (HIIT) cardio workouts.
Mona has a background in Bharat Natyam, a South Indian classical dance form, and she has been involved in community theatre since she was a kid. She still participates in community theatre and has also become a part of the PlayZoomers family with whom she has performed in a few live plays via Zoom.
She loves comedy and has dabbled a bit in stand-up and improv herself. For fun on the side, she is working on turning her stand-up material into videos that she hopes will eventually go online.
Mona has also been cast in the PlayZoomers project “Act Me a Story,” which involves recording readings of children’s books that are disseminated to underprivileged kids.