Ramani Suryakantham Durvasula (born December 30, 1965) is a licensed clinical psychologist, professor of psychology, media expert, and author. She has been sought out in various media outlets for her expertise on narcissistic personality disorder and narcissistic abuse, including Red Table Talk, Bravo, the Lifetime Movie Network, National Geographic, and the History Channel, as well programs such as the TODAY show and Good Morning America.
Ramani Suryakantham Durvasula was born in Englewood, New Jersey on December 30, 1965. Her mother is Sai Durvasula. She also has a sister, Padma Salisbury.
In 1989, Durvasula obtained a Bachelor of Science in Psychology from the University of Connecticut. She has also received a Master of Arts in Psychology and a Doctor of Philosophy in Clinical Psychology from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) in 1997.
Durvasula in Careers in Psychology
She has a private practice in Santa Monica and another in Sherman Oaks, Los Angeles. She is also Professor of Psychology at California State University, and a Visiting Professor of Psychology at the University of Johannesburg. Books she has authored include “Don’t You Know Who I Am”: How to Stay Sane in the Era of Narcissism, Entitlement and Incivility, Should I Stay or Should I Go: Surviving a Relationship With a Narcissist, and You Are WHY You Eat: Change Your Food Attitude, Change Your Life, as well as peer-reviewed journal articles, book chapters, and conference papers.
Durvasula first appeared on television on an episode of Remote Control. She was the co-host of the show My Shopping Addiction on the Oxygen network, and has provided expert commentary on the TODAY show and Good Morning America. Channels such as Bravo, the Lifetime Movie Network, National Geographic, the History Channel, Discovery Science, and Investigation Discovery have also featured her. In the Fall of 2010, she starred in the Bravo series “Thintervention,” where she led group therapy sessions to help six participants find out the source of their overeating. She is co-host of the podcast Sexual Disorientation. She has been interviewed on internet media platforms as well, notably MedCircle and TONE Network. She has spoken at TEDx Sedona and South by Southwest. At the American Psychological Association, she was on the Committee on Socioeconomic Status from 2014–2017 (serving as president in 2016), and is a member of the Advisory Board of the Minority Fellowship Program. The National Institutes of Health has funded her research on personality disorders; they approved a $1.5 million grant for her to study the link between HIV and mental illness. The four-year study, that included 288 patients, determined that 92-percent of participants had experienced depression, substance use disorder or another Axis-I disorder, and that nearly half met criteria for at least one Axis-II disorder (e.g. antisocial personality disorder, borderline personality disorder, or narcissistic personality disorder).
In 2003, Durvasula received the “Emerging Scholar” Award from the American Association of University Women and the “Distinguished Woman” Award from the CSULA. California State University was named Outstanding Professor of the year in 2012.
Durvasula resides in Los Angeles, having lived there since 1991. On August 31, 1996 she married Charles Hinkin, and they have two daughters, Maya and Shanti. The couple separated in 2008 and divorced the following year.
In an interview with Prevention magazine, Durvasula recounted beginning to struggle with her weight in her mid 20s. After having children, however, stress from balancing her career and personal life caused her to seek "solace" in food. The fellow mothers at her daughter's school, who she says were generally svelte, were unkind to her. In preparation for a wedding, she tried on several saris her mother had brought her from India, but none of them fit. Tearful, she committed to losing weight, and began a regimen of daily walking, smaller portions, and produce at every meal. She lost 65 pounds after a little over a year.
- Sexual Disorientation with Dr. Ramani (2017–present) (Host)
- The Psych Central Show – (2018) "Why Does the Narcissist Always Get the Girl?" (Guest)
- The Psych Central Show – (2018) "Help! My Coworker Is a Narcissist!" (Guest)
- LAHWF (2018) – "Chatting with an Expert on Narcissism"
- Being Well with Dr. Rick Hanson (2019) – "How to Deal with a Narcissist" (Guest)
- Speaking of Psychology (2019) – "Recognizing a Narcissist" (Guest)
- Progress Notes (2019) "Sharing Your Expertise in the Media" (Guest)
- Mental Illness Happy Hour with Paul Gilmartin (2019) "Narcissists and Psychopaths" (Guest)
- On Purpose with Jay Shetty (2020) – "How To Cope With Feelings Of Uncertainty & Grief During A Pandemic" (Guest)
- H.E.R. Space Podcast (2020) – "Raised By A Narcissist: Signs, Symptoms, and How to Recover" (Guest)
- Teddi Tea Pod With Teddi Mellencamp (2020) – "Don’t Fall In Love with a Narcissist" (Guest)
- Negotiate Your Best Life (2020) – "Do's and Don'ts of Negotiating with a Narcissist" (Guest)