Manisha Punwani, Md

About Dr. Punwani

Manisha Punwani, MDDr. Manisha Punwani is a Board Certified Adult Psychiatrist and a Board Certified Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist. She is born in Mumbai, India and was interested in mind body connection since an early age. She went into medical school with the ambition of becoming a Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist. Her dream was to combine medical, holistic, complimentary, spiritual and integrative sciences with psychiatry. She believes that the child and family must be treated as a whole.

She studied Acupuncture and Acupressure in India. In 1996, Dr. Punwani graduated from from Kasturba Medical College, Manipal under Mangalore University in India. She came to New York in 1998 and started her Residency in Adult Psychiatry Program from 2000-2003 at Brookdale University Hospital, an institution affiliated with SUNY Downstate Medical Center in Brooklyn, NY. In New York she was involved on the Ethics Committee, actively participated in the New York Member-In-Training Committee. She was selected as the Member-In-Training Representative from New York in the American Medical Association Resident fellow section and won the William Sorum award for her work with residents, students and community. It was around this time she developed strong interest in Buddhism and Zen form of therapy. She learnt meditation and mindfulness techniques during her residency training.

She went to Massachusetts in 2003 to pursue a Fellowship in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at the University of Massachusetts School of Medicine. She trained in CBT, ERP and also trained in Narrative Family therapy at the Family Institute of Cambridge. She won the Paul F. Briscolli award for her research in 'Impact of Direct to Consumer Advertising on patients in Outpatient Psychiatric Clinics'.

After her fellowship in 2005, she was in Maine working with the underserved population for two years. She worked to develop the Inpatient unit for Children and Adolescents using the Collaborative problem solving approach. Her efforts won her praise and recognition for the work.

She moved to Southern Illinois University School of Medicine (SIU) in 2007. She served as Unit Director at the Juvenile Forensic Unit. She was promoted to Associate Director, Adult Psychiatry training Program in 2008 and further promoted to Director, Adult Psychiatry training Program in 2009. This was her full time job until August 2012. While at SIU she also developed a Family Forensic clinic, an Autism clinic and saw her own patients mostly practicing CBT and ERP in Children and Adolescents with Anxiety. She was awarded Faculty of the year in 2009 and Psychotherapy Mentor of the year in 2012.

Dr. Punwani moved to San Francisco in 2012. She served as an Associate Professor and Fellowship Training Director for the Child and Adolescent Psychiatry training program at University of California, San Francisco School of Medicine. Her clinical experience was focused on running a Child and Adolescent Anxiety and OCD clinic. She saw patients in her faculty practice with diagnosis of anxiety disorders, OCD, and children and young adults with Autism spectrum disorders.

She won the Junior Faculty Award in 2012 by the Association of Academic Psychiatry. She since 2013, has successfully developed and continues to dedicate her efforts in expanding her Integrative Psychiatry practice that specializes in treatment of Anxiety disorders, OCD and Autism. She also practices Tele psychiatry to provide her established clients the flexibility of continuity of care. She has extensive experience in working with Twice exceptional children, who are intellectually gifted but struggle with emotional challenges, ADHD or learning disabilities.

She would like to dedicate her future career path to developing the field of Integrative (Complimentary and Alternative Medicine) Pediatric and Adolescent Mental Health with special focus on Anxiety disorders, Autism spectrum disorders and Obsessive Compulsive Disorders.

She uses a developmental, family and systems based approach in her assessment. She then develops a strengths based and integrative treatment plan. She is trained in and practices Cognitive Behavioral therapy, Exposure Response Prevention therapy, Psychodynamic psychotherapy, Parent Behavioral Management Training and Narrative Family therapy.

Dr. Punwani has multiple presentations, workshops, and seven publications to her name, which can be found on PubMed. She is currently working on two research projects entitled 'Assessing grief in families whose children are diagnosed with mental illness' and 'Impact of Consumer Advertising on Parents who have children diagnosed with Mental illness'. She is an animal lover and has 2 Maine coon cats which she rescued and adopted from NY. She loves to practice meditation, read and travel.