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Dr. Nilufar Ahmed

Academic – Psychologist – Psychotherapist – Behavioural Expert – Diversity Trainer

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With over 20 years experience working in academia, the third sector, and as a freelance researcher and evaluator, Dr Nilufar Ahmed, BA (Hons), MSc, PhD, CPsychol, HE Cert (Couns.), PG Dip (Couns.), AFBPsS, FHEA, FRGS, MBACP (Accred.), is a multi-award winning professional bringing specialised expertise from across sectors to offer tailored work packages to meet clients needs.
With particular skills in working with minoritised communities, Nilufar has cultural competency skills to engage with a wide cross section of individuals and populations.

About Me

With Mark Drakeford, First Minister for Wales, receiving my award for Management and Leadership

With my award for Inspiring and Innovative Teaching as voted for by University of Bristol Students

I am a Chartered Psychologist  and I work as Senior Lecturer in Social Sciences at Bristol University, where I was the Antiracism and Inclusion Lead for my School. I am an Accredited Psychotherapist working in private practice, and am a Diversity and Inclusion trainer working across organisations of different sizes. I am frequently commissioned to consult on projects and institutional matters, particularly institutional racism by large organisations seeking advice on current protocols and to improve their practice, or to mediate and provide support to prevent matters escalating.

As a professional social researcher, academic, and mental health expert I have trained in a multidisciplinary context and my work is situated in an Intersectional framework. I bring skills, theory, knowledge, and experience from a range of areas including psychology, sociology, ethnography, geography, and gender studies.

My work has been published widely across a range of platforms, and I regularly contribute to media on topical issues. I volunteer widely with local community groups and run creative textile and art therapy workshops for groups of all sizes. I am on the Governing Board of a number of organisations.

In 2021 I received a prestigious national Ethnic Minority Welsh Woman of Achievement Award for Management and Leadership in recognition of the scope and intersectionality of my work tackling inequalities through antiracism and promoting mental health.

In 2023 I received a highly competitive teaching award for my inspiring and innovative teaching, with students who nominated me citing examples of my inclusive approach to teaching. I am passionate about inclusive and antiracist pedagogy.

As featured in

My approach is situated within an intersectional framework which recognises we all have multiple identification categories that are fluid and dynamic and make up our identity. And our identity and everyday lived experience is enacted within structures of power and inequality which we all experience at individual and societal levels. You can read how I apply this in my therapy work here.

There are three main strands to my work:

Psychology  – As well as working as a psychotherapist,  I am a Chartered Psychologist and my work explores how we understand and navigate relationships and the world around us. I work with corporations to help understand the psychology of their members and service users and to future plan.  My academic work includes burnout, anxiety, resilience, coping, self harm, suicide, isolation, loneliness; and examining mental health in specific contexts – health settings, ethnicity, ageing, carers, asylum seekers, police. I am passionate about coproduction and involving everyone as equal partners in my work. 

People and place The interaction between people and place is always dynamic. Understanding the psychology of this can help develop services and resources to meet needs, and facilitate long lasting reciprocal relationships. I work in areas of migration, policy, Britishness, new and established migrant communities, community cohesion and integration, refugees and asylum seekers, ageing in place, belonging, social inequalities, and structural factors, impact of colonialism and developing measurable  strategies for inclusion. 

Working with diverse groups – It is more imperative than ever to be able to work cohesively as part of commitments to social accountability and social justice. My work explores cultural competency within and beyond the workplace, antiracism, decolonising, intergenerational experiences, Muslims in the UK, histories of migration patterns, intersectionality, building inclusive spaces, building decolonial thinking and practice. I have a particular expertise in patient and public involvement.

How can I help you?

My areas of expertise include:

I bring a unique blend of multidisciplinary skills to help you achieve your individual or organisational aims.  My research skills have been honed over decades of independent and collaborative research projects. I have won research contracts and funding; delivered high quality research and evaluations, as well as bespoke training packages and published books, journal articles, chapters, and am regularly consulted for my expert opinion within and beyond academia. My years of work and volunteering with community organisations continues to keep me grounded in everyday lives of people, and brings real perspective to big issues. I can provide expert advice in designing and commissioning research or community projects, as well as conducting and delivering to the end product. With an eye to detail and rigorous methodology, I write deep dive reports, rapid responses to market trends, funding proposals, and bids, which ensure ideas can be translated in to practical and achievable results. My training packages draw from eclectic yet evidence based sources including social studies, psychology, history, economics, politics, and current affairs. I work with every client to ensure the content meets the needs of your organisation, tailoring to your teams needs.

My mental health work spans everything from designing and delivering large randomised controlled trials, designing and setting up culturally relevant mental health services for local authorities, to one to one counselling and psychotherapy and clinical supervision for frontline workers and those undertaking race and wider inclusion work. I specialise in offering a culturally informed therapeutic approach which inhabits and understands Western and non-Western worldviews.

As well as research, teaching, and training on mental health (particularly mental health and diversity), I deliver a range of mindfulness and wellbeing workshops using a variety of creative art therapy approaches. 

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