I am a global nomad. Born to Indo-Caribbean parents who had immigrated to New York City, I am a product of at least two diasporas. One from India, and then again from Guyana. The journey is still ongoing. Halfway through 1st grade, my family left the Midwest for Singapore on an expatriate contract where I grew up with international peers. I experienced my first culture shock before age 10 when we briefly moved back to the States. Was I really American? Where was home really? Throughout my childhood we moved across diverse cultural landscapes: back to Southeast Asia, the foothills of the Rocky Mountains, summers at a ranch in rural central Texas, and then Austin, which ‘became’ my hometown. It was much later that I learned to describe myself as an adult “third culture kid”— someone who had moved between cultures before having the chance to discover their own cultural identity.
I continued to travel and study abroad through college and my doctoral program: Argentina, Mexico, Brazil, and even took a ‘postdoctoral gap year’ in Europe and studied Spanish. By the time I had finished my fellowship in Clinical Psychology at my third VA medical center, I knew to embrace my international calling. I accepted my first expat position teaching in the Fiji Islands. I discovered the challenges of constantly pivoting in new contexts, but also the rewards. This enabled me to merge my passions in becoming an international psychologist dedicated to improving mental healthcare everywhere. In Fiji, I met my partner (who is French) and just a few years later, we married and relocated to Africa.
I’m currently based between Texas and Cameroon. I’ve transitioned again…this time as a part of a couple, instead of as single person, or as a child. ‘Home’ has now been in 5 Texas counties, 5 US states, 7 countries, and 6 continents (counting Oceania). I’ve finally found an ‘inner home’ across borders and time zones. I love applying my personal expertise and scientific knowledge of what it means to be internationally mobile in the services I provide for individuals, couples, and families. In the midst of learning another new language and yet another way of life, I’ve launched the private practice of my dreams – a therapeutic home for global citizens!
I see you. I get you.
From one global nomad to another, welcome home.
THE LONG BIO
Dr. Neeta A. Ramkumar is a licensed psychologist, consultant, and the founder of Psychology Across Borders, PLLC. She is dedicated to facilitating international partnerships that will expand access to mental health care and psychology training globally.
Dr. Ramkumar earned a Doctoral degree from an American Psychological Association (APA) accredited training program in Counseling Psychology at Texas A&M University where she also received a Master of Science diploma in Educational Psychology. Dr. Ramkumar completed her Bachelor of Arts, in both Psychology and History, from University of Texas at Austin.
Dr. Ramkumar completed her APA accredited clinical internship (New Orleans) and postdoctoral fellowship (Houston) and at US Veterans Affairs hospitals and specializes in the treatment of trauma. Her international career took off in 2015 as a lecturer at the University of the South Pacific in the Fiji Islands where she focused on mental health capacity building in island nations. Dr. Ramkumar designed a telepsychology training program to launch the practice of professional psychology in the region. In this position she also served as a consultant and trainer for various community agencies (counseling, disability, education, law, medical, etc.).
Dr. Ramkumar concerns herself with questions of how psychologists of the Global North can support psychologists of the Global South in advancing psychology. She believes that local and global networks must exchange knowledge for us to have accurate understandings of the human mind and behavior.
Internationally, Dr. Ramkumar has focused on cross cultural/indigenous aspects of psychology practice and education, and a handful of understudied psychosocial issues: youth suicide, intimate partner violence, LGBTQA stigma, and disaster mental health. Her US-based research agenda focuses on how family dynamics and multicultural factors affect the course and treatment of PTSD and other mental health outcomes in Veteran, Firefighter, first responder, and caregiver populations. Dr. Ramkumar also has a special interest in how psychological constructs such as self-compassion, mindfulness, and resilience influence the relationship between personality and mental wellbeing.
In addition to devoting many of her academic and professional years in Texas and Fiji, Dr. Ramkumar has lived in several other countries for various lengths of time including Singapore, Malaysia, Argentina, France, and Spain. She continues to travel extensively and enjoys working with clients, students, and colleagues from diverse backgrounds. Dr. Ramkumar is currently based between Texas and Cameroon, where she runs an online practice and provides consultancy services for the global community.