photo of Pooja Lakshmin

Pooja Lakshmin

Real Self-Care

Dr. Pooja Lakshmin MD is a bestselling author, board-certified psychiatrist, keynote speaker, and a contributor to The New York Times.

Her debut book, REAL SELF-CARE: Crystals, Cleanses, and Bubble-Baths Not Included was named an NPR Best Book of 2023. Dr. Lakshmin’s New York Times essays, "How Society Has Turned its Backs on Mothers" and "Saying No Is Self-Care for Parents’" went viral, and she was recently in conversation with Tressie McMillan Cottom on The Ezra Klein Show, discussing her philosophy for pursuing real self-care in a society where commodified wellness fails us personally and collectively.

Local to Austin, Dr. Lakshmin maintains a private telepsychiatry practice through which she takes care of patients dealing with burnout and perfectionism, as well as clinical conditions like depression and anxiety. She holds a summa cum laude BA in women’s studies and the biological basis of behavior from the University of Pennsylvania, and an MD from Jefferson Medical College. Dr. Lakshmin completed her internship and first year of psychiatry residency training at Stanford and went on to finish her adult psychiatry residency at George Washington University, where she focused on global mental health and perinatal psychiatry. She has been on the faculty in the Department of Psychiatry at George Washington University School of Medicine since 2016.

Dr. Lakshmin is regularly invited to give her signature keynote: "Real Self-Care is An Inside Job." In it, she covers her Four Principles of Real Self-Care using evidence-based tools, compelling story-telling, and a dose of humor. She also sometimes works as a consultant for companies to design mental health programming.

When she's not speaking, writing or taking care of patients, Pooja likes to enjoy her partner Justin's sour cream enchiladas, watch Daniel Tiger with her toddler, and take commands from her two cats.

Programming descriptions are generated by participants and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of SXSW.

Events featuring Pooja Lakshmin
Events featuring Pooja Lakshmin