Liz Garone
June 5, 2024
Clinician Spotlight - Richa Kalra

The writing was on the wall – or at least on the computer screen – for Dr. Richa Kalra to become a psychiatrist. 

“Back in the day, I was the ‘MSN Messenger therapist’ for all my friends starting in my pre-teens,” says Dr. Kalra. “I think it was intuitive for me and so I naturally gravitated towards psychiatry when I went to medical school.” 

Dr. Kalra says she loves getting to know and understand people on a deep level. “Psychiatry gave me the ability to know people beyond the surface and be part of their journeys in a meaningful way.”

She builds connection with her clients through active and engaged listening paired with a genuine interest in what a client is saying to her. These are the most important approaches in building a deep connection, she says. “It allows you to internalize what they are saying and respond with specific questions that allow you to get a deeper understanding of the circumstances. Consistently doing this builds trust.” 

For Dr. Kalra, it is also important to bring a part of herself to the table. That way, “vulnerability can be encouraged and clients truly know that they are in a judgment free zone.” 

When she isn’t working, she finds happiness spending time with her community. “That means disconnecting from technology and spending intentional time building bonds, sharing unique experiences and creating memories,” she says. She also gets a lot of joy from a good dance class and traveling. But what gets her most excited is being on screen, on stage or in an acting class. Dr. Kalra is pursuing an acting career simultaneously with her career as a psychiatrist. 

“It’s something I’ve been doing since I was young and have done several theater shows and short films over the past several years. Modeling used to be a bigger part of the picture, but I have segued mainly to acting now,” she says. “I think we all owe it to ourselves to keep the passions we cultivated as children alive as much as we can.” 

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