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Course begins from- 25th September’23 —-

Post graduate Diploma in Psycho-therapies (PGDP) is a course that covers all major psychotherapeutic approaches, with primary focus on Rogerian principles.While the syllabus is largely based on MA/M.Sc. (Psychology and Counselling) syllabii of Indian universities, it is adjusted to the specific needs of our students at Banjara and elsewhere who are interested in learning and getting a deeper understanding of the process of counseling.

We believe that to be a counselor, along with the particular skill sets, we first need to understand ourselves. The theoretical foundation will bring in a deeper insight into the bases of the counseling process and most importantly, an awareness leading to becoming a ‘person’ as a counselor.

The syllabus includes major psychotherapy frameworks structured by Freud, Ellis, Beck among others, with a primary focus on Humanistic and Rogerian approaches. The syllabus is mainly a guideline and a reference frame – the course itself follows a non-traditional path and is more process based rather than a customary “exam-marks” style. Students are expected to listen, read, study, discuss, interact and be participatory with the topics and themes to gain a wider understanding and connective learning.

This is a process-based, theoretical and experiential based course and you will get the best out of the sessions if you come well prepared. We will also have video or live sessions with Guest speakers who will give an in-depth coverage on the topics.

The highlight of the course is a Weekly Interactive Mentoring Session, which will help you to improve your understanding of the topics previously covered in the Online class. We will also have a monthly Interactive Review Session with the faculty, to discuss the important topics covered in that month. This shall further enhance your learning and application.

Course Details

  • Six-month Online course with Live classes on first three Mondays in a month for 2 hours each (2:30 pm to 4:30 pm) and one Interactive Live Review session with the faculty on the 4thMonday (2:30 pm to 4:30 pm).
  • Your Mentor: A Group Mentoring Session every week, in a smaller group, on a convenient day decided at the start of the program by the mentor and the mentees. The mentor will be your friend and guide who will help you to enhance your learning and review your progress.
  • Weekly notes, with assignments once a month
  • Monthly live sessions by Dr. Ali Khwaja (Chairman and Founder, Banjara) and other eminent Guest Faculty.

Certificate will be awarded by Banjara Academy on full attendance, timely submission of questionnaires and assignments to the satisfaction of assessors, and proper responses in sessions. Those not coming up to the expectations of Faculty will be given a participation certificate.


Graduates of psychology or related mental health fields, social work, or practicing counselors or those who have done or are doing Diploma in Counseling Skills at Banjara Academy.

Duration of course

  September ’23 to April’24

Our Faculty

Dr. Lakshmi K.

M.A.(Psychology), M.A. (Health Counseling, SCU, USA), M. Phil, Ph.D

Lakshmi has studied and is trained in psychotherapy, counseling and clinical work in various universities including a Masters graduate programme and M.Phil from Osmania University, and a Masters in Health Counselling from Santa Clara University, USA, eventually completing her Ph.D. from National Institute of Advanced Studies (NIAS). She has been a longstanding counselor and faculty member at Banjara Academy. She has been guest and visiting faculty and visiting counsellor at Bangalore University (PG students), NID, Bangalore campus, and at NIAS, Bangalore. Lakshmi’s pet passion is knowing the self and through the self process attaining well-being and mental health. She has also been trained in grief therapy and has trained in Psychodynamic Psychotherapy from Psychotherapy Advanced Resources Centre (PARC), Bangalore.

Dr. Chandra Janakiraman

B.Sc., B.Ed., M.A. Psychology, Ph.D. in Psychology

Chandra has had a teaching experience at various educational levels – ranging from pre-school to post-graduation and university level psychology, and in in-service teacher education. She has had an exposure to different education systems – both in India and abroad, and has done coursework development. She has worked as a remedial teacher in Nan-gang Elementary School, Taipei, Taiwan where she identified and diagnosed specific problems in learning at the individual level, teaching, counseling, family counseling, etc. Chandra has also counseled and worked on empowering parents to help children who were struggling with schoolwork. In addition, she has been a Trainer/Training Mentor/Subject Matter Expert at Sri Sathya Sai Vidya Vahini and other schools, and Direct Taxes Regional Training Institute, Bangalore. Chandra has participated actively and regularly in the community volunteer program for assisting classroom teachers in a pre-school and a primary school in Bethesda, Maryland, U.S.A. (2001 to 2005). Also, she has participated in the UGC Refresher Course for Faculty of Psychology, is qualified for NET in Psychology, and has been awarded UGC-JRF and SRF Scholarships from 1993 to 1998 for Doctoral Research.

Dr Ali Khwaja (Founder-Banjara Academy)


A Montessorian, an engineering graduate of IIT Bombay, MIE, MIIM, with a Ph.D in behavioral sciences, he has always carved out his own path and been a free-lancer, ensuring that work is joy every day. He is invited regularly to conduct workshops or lectures for Defence, Central Government, prestigious National institutions, schools and colleges, but he prefers to be informal, learning while he teaches, and being honest and congruent in whatever he says or does. He is the founder and Chairman of Banjara Academy, a unique institution committed to improvement of quality of life. He nurtures and motivates over 300 volunteers to give free service in 10 hospitals and the Academy’s own counselling centres. He conducts a very popular and practical one year part-time Diploma in Counselling Skills and a 6-month Certificate in Life Skills. He written over 30 books and 80 booklets on all practical aspects of day-to-day life, and writes regular columns and articles in many reputed publications, and edits a unique newsletter. His videos on Banjara’s website get thousands of viewers from all over the world. Notwithstanding all that, he loves all human beings alike, is willing to listen, and his prime focus is on empowering individuals to help themselves.

This year has been exceptionally bad for many students in terms of exams.

Board exams for lower classes were announced, cancelled, held again, and then results have been withheld.  Those appearing for regular Board exams were told that they can appear three time to improve their scores – but many are feeling the stress of preparing and appearing multiple times for these Boards. Students have been complaining of pressure from their parents, and sometimes even teachers, to continue attempts on the hope that they will get better marks. Students who appeared for K-CET came out very distraught from the examination hall because they found many questions were not from the syllabus, and even now we are getting many phone calls of students who feel they may not score well enough to get into a good college.

The basic degree is only a stepping stone to lifelong learning & growth.  Rather than preparing only for exams, those who have a positive mindset, sharpen soft skills, and learn beyond the curriculum will succeed in the long run. They can sharpen the 10 Life Skills enunciated by United Nations, i.e.  Self-awareness Decision-making, Problem solving, creative and critical thinking, communication skills, interpersonal relationship skills, and empathy.

Learn to Enjoy Stress - By Dr. Ali Khwaja

I can communicate to you for any of the following purposes:

  • To inform
  • To entertain
  • To educate
  • To convince
  • To motivate & inspire
  • To gain control
  • To seek emotional support or catharsis
  • To manipulate

It takes courage and a lot of will-power to go against the tide.  You have taken the first step in the direction of true learning and understanding of children by plunging into CCAD.  Now, as you continue your journey, ask yourself a basic question – what is the purpose of your communication with anyone any time, particularly with children? We have tried to make this a true learning exercise i.e. empowering you to start your journey of further enriching lives.  The effect will seep in slowly, but surely.  No miracles promised or delivered.  But the slow miracle of CCAD will come like the seed hidden below the ground sprouts one fine day, and then goes on growing …. and growing.  But do remember that you need constant practice, like the plant needs watering. Don’t get overwhelmed by all the exercises and activities your Mentor is giving you, just give it your best shot – ali

Ali’s Notes:

There are so many people who you interact with regularly, some on a daily basis.  A few we give great importance to, and many others we take for granted.

If you are a middle-class person you may be having part/full time domestic help at home. Either you are lucky to have reliable continuous employees, or perhaps you have had to change them from time to time.  Either way, how much significance have you given to them as individuals, as humans?

Their experiences, and hence their priorities in life, are so different from ours. Even when we get exasperated sometimes with their behaviour, we need to understand certain issues from their perspective.  Do take time to do that and see if you can understand them better individually.  This will help you too.

We did a survey to understand them, and I presented it on Fb Live which is available on YouTube later also if you wish to watch.