Faculty Sponsor

Jim Nelson


Arts and Sciences



Presentation Type

Poster Presentation

Symposium Date

Spring 5-1-2020


With a steadily growing population that has just reached over 1 billion people, India is on track to become the most populated country on earth. With this population continuing to grow, the issue of mental health within the subcontinent is becoming increasingly important. The “Western” ideas and concepts of mental health are heavily considered as taboo within many parts of India due to socio-cultural reasons, limiting the response to mental health problems. However, the integration of indigenous concepts and techniques from Ayurvedic medicine can ameliorate socio-cultural concerns and thus be the key to make progress addressing mental health in India. Ayurveda has been established as the traditional system of healthcare in India for thousands of years. The basis of Ayurveda revolves around the three Doshas, which are different combinations of characteristics that influence our physical and mental tendencies. The three Doshas are Vatta, Pitta, and Kapha. These Doshas along with their meanings and characteristics that they represent in terms of well being have great potential to be integrated alongside western measures of mental health in a clinical setting. For this poster, I will cover a few examples from classical Ayurvedic thought and contemporary discussions that detail how Ayurvedic techniques can be paired with mainstream western measures of mental health to assess and treat these health issues.

Biographical Information about Author(s)

I am a psychology major at Valparaiso University with interests in cross cultural psychology and sociology. I selected this topic for my project because I was interested in learning about the social dynamics of mental health within the context of my Indian culture. I ultimately plan on pursuing industrial/organizational psychology and I strongly feel that learning about psychological concepts within different cultural contexts will help me with this goal because it involves communicating with people from a variety of different backgrounds.