Q&A Rishma Khubsing – psychologist

Introducing Psychologist Rishma Khubsing

My name is Rishma Khubsing, I’m 34 years old and my roots come from India. I was born in Deventer, the Netherlands and have been living in Amsterdam for six years now. In 2008 I graduated with a Masters on Mental Health Science at the University of Maastricht. I have been working as a psychologist at the Arkin Foundation for six years now, which is a large mental health institution in Amsterdam. I can proudly announce the official support of the Arkin Foundation of my efforts for this project in India. Additionally, in the summer of 2016 I will be specialized in three mental health disciplines: health psychologist (BIG), cognitive behavioral therapist (VCGt) and EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) therapist. The experience and knowledge I have gained during my studies will be of great use for the mental health care project in India.

My spare time I like to spend with my loved ones. Furthermore spirituality has an important role in my life. I am co-chairmen at the Save by Seva Foundation and have initiated project Dawn. I am also the executive psychologist who will be carrying out trauma treatment in India.

Q: How did the idea of ​​the Save by Seva Foundation came to be?

A: In 2014, I saw a Dutch television program called ‘Rich and Poor’ on living conditions in India. Child slavery was also discussed. Kailash Satyarthi (Nobel Peace Prize winner, 2014) and his team have managed to liberate over 80,000 of these child slaves in the last 30 years. His story touched me so deeply that I contacted Kailash and his team; I met them and a number of freed child slaves on my trip to India. The sight of these children sparked my desire to help them to a better future.

Q: What kind of psychological treatment will be given to the children?

A: The children suffer from complex trauma and will therefore benefit from an evidence-based psychological treatment, including EMDR. Additionally they will be taught new coping strategies, such as mindfulness techniques and yoga. During treatment, the effect will be measured in preparation for refining the treatment process. Based on the measurements and evaluation a scientific essay will be published. This way the knowledge gained can be passed.

Q: Is trauma treatment actually necessary for these children?

A: The children have endured years of oppression, exploitation, abuse and mistreatment. Therefore, they are traumatized and they run the risk of having their lives affected, for example by the development of behavioral and/or personality disorders. However, in India there is no mental health care such as we have in the Netherlands, so these children can not be helped for their psychological problems. I want to change that.

Q: How will the raised funds be used?

A: The raised funds will only cover the expenses of this project, such as the flight ticket to India, the medical supplies for trauma care and supervision sessions with fellow psychologists. Also some personal expenses to bridge the gap of my unpaid leave. The psychological treatments I’ll provide are all on a voluntary basis; there will be no compensation for me in giving treatment to the children. At the end of the project I will also be issuing a report with a full cost breakdown, so it will be completely clear the donations have been spend well.

Q: Does this project also partner with other Dutch psychologists?

A: In mental health, it is common to follow supervision and participate in peer groups to benefit from each other’s knowledge and experience. This also helps to treat patients in a responsible manner. Therefore, every week there will be long distance supervision from India with fellow psychologists from the Netherlands, mainly child and youth therapists.

Q: What does the name Save by Seva stand for?

A: Save stands for saving the children. We want to achieve that by providing psychological treatment on a voluntary basis to the children. In Hinduism and Hindi (the Indian main language), this is called Seva: selflessly helping others. Furthermore, Save and Seva are an anagram.