Thursday, 25 August 2016 - 8:01
Paving the way for a new paradigm in psychological wellness

Sri Lanka’s first fully integrated provider of psychological training, treatment and research, the Psychological Sciences Institute (PSI), celebrated the official commencement of its operations with an inauguration ceremony on 22nd  July 2016.

The inauguration ceremony was presided over by Chief Guest, Chartered Occupational Psychologist and Founder of Oxford Psychometrics (UK) Dr. Chintha Dissanayake and respected Consulting Psychiatrist, Dr. Mahesan Ganesan. Also gracing the occasion were leading figures in the field of Psychology and Psychiatry including eminent Child Psychiatrist, Professor Hemamali Perera.

Established with the goal of powerfully enriching standards of psychological health and well-­‐being on a national scale, PSI will continuously augment its service offering in order to effectively contribute towards the urgent task of improving standards of knowledge and treatment of persons dealing with psychological conditions in Sri Lanka.

“Over the last three decades, Sri Lanka has made important, but limited progress in terms of education and treatment in the field of psychology. Through PSI, we hope to catalyse the next phase of development in our field.

“By creating inclusive spaces where students, professionals, and clients and come together in a safe and open environment for the first time, we are paving the way for a totally redefined outlook on psychological services in Sri Lanka,” PSI CEO and Managing Director, Sharkshini Mathivanan explained.

Holding a degree in Psychology and Communication from Monash University and an MSc in Management from Birbeck, University of London, Ms. Mathivanan is deeply committed to the task of developing quality psychological services in Sri Lanka, together with PSI co-­‐founding Directors and qualified Clinical Psychologists, Dewaka Wanigaratne and Suhaila Shafeek-­‐Irshard.

Mr. Wanigaratne gathered extensive experience in the field of Counselling following the completion of his Diploma in Psychology and Counselling from Aquinas University College (an affiliate of Galway University, Ireland). Mr. Wanigaratne is a qualified    Clinical Psychologist with a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology and Counseling form Aquinas University College, Colombo, Sri Lanka and a Masters of Science degree in Clinical Psychology from St Agnes Center for Post Graduate Studies and Research (affiliated to the Rajiv Ghandi University of Health Sciences), India. He is a member of the British Psychological Society and a registered medical practitioner in Clinical Hypnotherapy.

Mrs. Shafeek-­‐Irshard is a registered Clinical Psychologist with a Degree in Psychology, Economics and Sociology from Jyothi Nivas College (Autonomous), Bangalore, India and a Masters in Clinical Psychology from St Agnes Center for Post Graduate Studies and Research, (affiliated to the Rajiv Gandhi University of Health Sciences), India with a specialization in Psychometric and Psycho-­‐ diagnostic assessments to meet a range of Clinical and talent assessment needs. In addition, she has has experience in carrying out assessment and remediation for Learning Disabilities using the Alpha to Omega method. She is Sri Lanka’s first Working Memory Coach and Trainer who has been specially trained to offer the Cogmed Working Memory training program in the island.

Initially offering comprehensive classes in Psychology for London Advanced Level and a series of developmental workshops in academic writing for A/L and Under-­‐graduate students, PSI will gradually expand the scope of its academic programme to include Post-­‐Graduate qualifications in Counselling and Clinical Psychology.

Additionally, PSI will also incorporate various community outreach programmes, working with schools and other allied professionals to build greater awareness about persons suffering from common psychological issues and available avenues of treatment and support.

Parallel to its academic programme, the institute will also link up with leading professional psychologists in Sri Lanka to provide comfortable therapy and assessment rooms, thereby providing clients with a more accessible, private and approachable treatment experience. In that context, PSI has already commenced working with school children in spreading awareness about depression and suicide prevention.

Treatment at PSI will be offered based solely on the clinical diagnoses and recommendations of psychologists at the centre however Masters Graduates in Psychology will also be offered an unprecedented opportunity to take on internships which will include research fellowships and clinical training experience.

The institute will also provide access to a host of cutting-­‐edge tests and assessment tools – including psychometric and psycho-­‐ diagnostic assessment tools, dyslexia screening, and learning disability tests -­‐  which had previously only been available at overseas treatment facilities.

Given the PSI’s own adherence to the scholar-­‐practitioner model, research forms a fundamental component of psychological practice at the institute. Addressing the need for timely, localised psychological research will therefore be another key priority for the institute.

In that context, PSI is currently developing its research arm with a view to finalising its first research papers and general articles over the course of 2017.

For more information about the Psychological Sciences Institute visit:

(From left to right) Mr. Dewaka Wanigaratne, Ms. Sharkshini Mathivanan, Mrs. Suhaila Shafeek Irshard

Dr. Chintha Dissanayake

Dr. Mahesan Ganesan

Dr. Chintha Dissanayake

Dr. Mahesan Ganesan

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