Locations: Mumbai

Sponsor: TISS

Rahbar (guide or companion in Urdu) was established in 2019 under the aegis of the School of Human Ecology, Tata Institute of Social Sciences as a platform for promoting training and supervision for mental health practice in India.



Rahbar is guided by the philosophy of co-creating safe and supportive supervisory spaces for mental health professionals. This philosophy of supportive supervision has been anchored in a framework of values that places the supervisor-supervisee relationship at the centre of a supervisory approach that is:

  • Collaborative and responsive
  • Culturally and contextually sensitive 
  • Social justice informed
  • Strengths-based
  • Diversity affirmative 



There is limited research and documentation on psychotherapeutic and supervisory processes in the Indian context. Rahbar’s objectives in this domain have been conceptualized as below:

  • To conduct high-quality research on psychotherapy and supervision in the Indian context with the aim of documenting current practices and mapping the needs of supervisors and supervisees. 
  • To build a culture of evidence-based practice in supervision by creating supervisor training frameworks that are drawn from empirical research in the Indian context. 
  • To build contextual models of supervision unique to the socially embedded realities of mental health practice in India 
  • To evaluate the feasibility and impact of training and professional support interventions for supervisors. 

Training and professional development

Rahbar acknowledges that there is a major gap in the field with respect to the need for professional development and support among mental health professionals and the availability of trained supervisors to address these needs. Rahbar’s objectives in this regard are as follows:

  • To develop contextualized frameworks for supervisor training which are anchored in social justice and the cultural landscape of mental health practice in India  
  • To weave key concepts from theory and research on supervision (e.g. models of supervision, supervisee development) into the training framework and encouraging critical reflection on their applicability in our context
  • Adopting a developmental perspective which is responsive to supervisor and supervisee professional development across various stages in the professional arc. 
  • To collaborate with mental health professionals in remote parts of the country and facilitating professional development and creating supportive spaces using peer networks and technology
  • To create a database of supervisors in India, highlighting their experience, training and philosophy of supervision.