5 Things you should know before bringing your child to a counsellor

by Sneha John on February 4, 2019

Suppose you are considering therapy for your child and are quite skeptical whether he/she will even try. It may just be for career counselling or an IQ assessment.There may be times when you think of letting your child visit a counsellor after you have tried everything you know and it does not seem to work. There are times that happens, and it does not imply a ‘Mom or Dad fail.’It’s often common to see children dislike the C word, otherwise known as counselling or the word ‘Doctor’ as well. Not all children, but definitely a few, get afraid while thinking about the idea of going for counselling.You may think, why speak about children, when some adults themselves cringe while thinking about counselling. However, it may be a little trickier to get children for a counselling session because for a fact, they lack understanding about the process of counselling. Let me illustrate with a small example. Suppose you decide to take your child for a counselling session with a local counsellor for children. You load your child in the car and take him/her to this strange place which resembles a doctor’s office, except in this case your child would be taken to a room after you are introduced to the counsellor. Your child would be sat in front of this new person who begins asking questions. It is natural for your child to respond with complete silence for the whole session. That’s absolutely fine. In such cases, how would you get them to go for counselling? I think we should start from the basics. Here are some useful tips that specifically focus on the communication between you and your child. These tips would help you build a culture of trust with your children so that even when you decide therapy would be beneficial for your child, they would have less fear and anxiety.

Go beyond “How was your day?”

Establish a relationship of openness and transparency with your child. Let them see you as accountable and trustworthy to make choices for them. How’s that achieved? Firstly, spend time talking to your child on a daily basis. The topics may range anywhere between ‘how was your day at school?’ to their favourite period during the day or ‘funny moments that happened to them or around them during the day.’ These are just examples. You would have your own list of topics to talk about once you get the conversation started. However, ensure that you get to invest time asking them beyond the basics. Also, give sufficient time for your child to process their thoughts. If they say ‘my day was good’ and end there, ask them to tell you more. Let them be comfortable and confident to speak to you without hiding anything. Through the way you communicate, convey to them you intend to make the best decisions on their behalf, not just because you’re the parent. Some helpful ways of communication are ‘a relaxed composure, a smile on your face and responding consistently with ‘aha’ or ‘yes that’s right’ throughout the conversation. You will surely find a difference in the relationship between you and your child. You may be thinking ‘I would do this if my child would sit down with me for five minutes.’ Try it nevertheless, take the initiative to go their bedroom and talk to them.

Be a Role Model

Modelling is such a powerful tool which was discovered by an impeccable American Psychologist named Albert Bandura. Quite simply, modelling takes place when someone learns positive or negative behaviour from another person. This phenomenon takes place throughout lifespan, however quite commonly in childhood. By being a role model and exhibiting behaviours that you expect your child to follow, you may notice that it becomes easier for children to follow rules. For example, this could be in the way you talk in the home. Some parents tell children out of sheer helplessness “you make me feel depressed.” Children in turn may speak in a similar way to their siblings, parents or peers. Some may learn to believe this statement. Remember, that your child soaks everything you say or do like a sponge. Hence, monitoring the way you act would do good.

Talk to the face, not the phone

As cliché as that sounds, it is important that you talk to your children face to face. In a lifestyle where we are all about getting things done, we can miss the true essence of a conversation. Life is busy, we’re at work and talking to our children may happen anywhere between catching a few minutes to breathe before you close an important quarter at work or meet a potential customer you have chased far too long. Of course, the best you can give your child is ‘how was your day?’ with their response being the obvious ‘good’ so that you can move on with your day. However, it is all about priorities. Prioritize a conversation that is worth half an hour with your child amidst all the other deadlines. If there’s a will there will definitely be a way.

Be there, be square

Apart from engaging in a conversation with your children, as parents, you would also have to be there for your children as they talk to you. Despite having stresses of your own to manage, it always helps if you are both physically and mentally present as your child speaks to you. Create a safe space for them to divulge anything they have to say. Just listen intently and do not judge them regardless of what they wish to say. Practice listening to your children first before giving them a piece of your mind.

Know your triggers

It always helps to know what your emotional triggers are. Suppose your child behaves in a certain way or tells you something that you consider as unacceptable. You may form your judgement based on your childhood experiences. Instead of reacting, relax. Take the effort to touch base with your feelings before you explode. If you feel sad or angry as soon as your child speaks about a certain topic or reacts a certain way, being aware about that emotional trigger would help you develop alternative helpful strategies. How do I do this? Think about that time recently when you reacted with anger and frustration for something your child had done. Go back to why you reacted that way. Was it a rational reaction? If not what caused it and how could you change it next time? The more you ask yourselves these questions when you go through an emotional outburst, the more it will help you change the way you react to your child.

These are just some ways parents can make it easier for their children to process through some of their struggles. You may be practicing all these tips or even more, but the more you do them consistently, you would notice that it gets much easier to break open the shell that child may seem to guard so carefully.

If you would like to talk, feel free to reach out to us. An LifeWorks therapist would be able to help.

Clinical Psychologist - Arabic

Dr. Marwa Abd El Hamid is a licensed clinical and educational psychologist who completed her dual doctoral (Ph.D.) from AIN SHAMS University. She has many diplomas and Certifications from many international organizations like Beck Institute for Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT) and a clinical diploma.
She is over 20 years of clinical experience in the field of Mental Health, Counseling, supervision and training- teaching in academia as a delegated lecturer in the American University in Emirates (AUE), Middlesex University Dubai (MDX), and Alexandria University in Egypt and several Companies like Vox Media, (RTA) Ministry of Climate Change and Environment, Ministry of Energy and infrastructure in Dubai and working with most of the nationalities.
As a professional psychologist always consider the importance of the client’s religious, national, cultural, and personal circumstances backgrounds. Her therapeutic approach is to use several methods of modern psychotherapy for short – long therapy for children & special needs, young people and adults through sessions with individuals, couples, and families, or group therapy based on the needs of the client (CBT), (DBT), (REBT), (CFT), (ACT), (SFBT),(PPT), (GA), etc. Also, she still studies schema therapy for personality disorder.
Some of her professional Experiences:
Anxiety disorders, including panic disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and phobias Mood disorders (Depression, bipolar disorder)
Eating disorders
Personality disorders
Post-traumatic stress disorder PSTD
Psychotic disorders, including schizophrenia
Somatic symptoms and related disorder
Substance-Related and Addictive Disorder
Paraphilic disorders
Sexual Dysfunctions
Gender Dysphoria & Conversion disorders
Sleep-wake disorder
Adjustment disorders
Stress-related disorders
Grief and loss
Self-harm behaviors
Pre-marital & Marital issues
Low self-esteem & Body image issues
Psychoeducation – Child / special need psychology including Cognitive disorders, Memory disturbance, Attention-deficit, hyperactivity disorder, behavior modification, and any related disorders
Ph.D. In Psychology Ain-Shams University
Master’s In Educational Psychology Ain-Shams University Special Diploma in Mental Health Alexandria University. Professional Diploma in Special Education Alexandria University Educational Diploma in Education At Alexandria University
Cda, Dubai
American Psychological Association (APA)
Egyptian Psychologists Association( RANM)
Egyptian Association for Psychological Studies (EAPS)

Ph.D. in Psychology Ain-Shams University - 17 Years
Zuleikha Sayani
Zuleikha Sayani
Psychologist - English

Zuleikha, a dedicated and licensed psychologist, is committed to providing an empathetic ear and a supportive environment for clients to express their emotions and thoughts, guiding them towards consistent and stable recovery.

Zuleikha offers comprehensive care to individuals struggling with mood, personality, and anxiety disorders. She specializes in supporting clients in overcoming challenges such as low self-esteem, unstable self-image, and emotional difficulties. Her expertise lies in helping clients identify, understand, and overcome their feelings in relation to life events. Zuleikha brings a curious, compassionate, and caring approach, creating a comfortable and secure space for clients.

Zuleikha has provided impactful, tailored assistance to clients in the UAE and the UK, including her role with the South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust. Beyond her clinical work, Zuleikha serves as an Advisory Board Member at Nexgen Wellbeing in London (United Kingdom), contributing valuable insights to mental health courses for adolescents. She promotes awareness of mental health as a Writer at Medium and in recognition of her written contributions, she was invited to present her research at the British and Irish Group for the Study of Personality Disorders.

As a Member of the British Psychological Society, Zuleikha combines theoretical knowledge with practical skills, offering a holistic, evidence-driven approach to empower individuals in navigating challenges and achieving success.

• Depression and mood disorders
• Stress, anxiety, panic attacks and anxiety-based disorders
• Personality disorders and personality-based difficulties
• Emotionally unstable or borderline personality disorder
• Anorexia, bulimia and binge-eating disorders
• Coping with trauma and traumatic situations
• Self-harm, self-destructive and impulsive behaviours
• Self-esteem, self-image and self-identity concerns
• Cultural related difficulties
• Interpersonal and relationship difficulties
• Pre-marital and marital issues
• Body image difficulties
• Overcoming grief and loss
• Adjustments to life-changing events
• Personal growth and work-related difficulties
• Adolescence adjustment difficulties
• Bullying and peer pressure
• Psychoeducation

Therapeutic Approach:
• Counselling & Talking Therapy
• Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)
• Brief Cognitive Behavioural Interventions
• Dialectical Behavioural Therapy (DBT)
• Integrative Approach
• Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT)

Qualifications and Membership:

• Master of Science in Mental Health Studies, King’s College London, Pass with Distinction
• Bachelor of Science (with Honours) in Psychology, University of Warwick
• Licensed Psychologist, Community Development Authority (CDA) Dubai
• Member of the British Psychological Society (BPS)
• Member of the Middle East Psychological Association (MEPA)

4 Years
Ms. Tasneem Radwan
Ms. Tasneem Radwan
Clinical Psychologist - Arabic, English, French

Fatima Elameen is a licensed psychologist by the Community Development Authority, Dubai, with a dynamic portfolio that bridges hands-on clinical work with in-depth academic pursuits. A Libyan national, she is a passionate multilingual expert, furthering her Master of Science in Clinical Psychology at UAEU (CMHS). Her professional landscape encompasses roles as an assistant psychologist at Cedra Center, a remote psychology practitioner, and a research assistant at UAEU and a psychotherapist at LifeWorks holistic center Dubai a Center that caters to various segments of the population’s emotional well-being . Deeply vested in understanding neurodevelopmental disorders, gender differences, and cultural psychology,
“To understand and support the human mind is my calling, and every interaction deepens this bond.” – Fatima Elameen

Professional Expertise of Ms. Fatima Elameen, MSc.

Ms. Fatima Elameen brings a wealth of experience in addressing a broad spectrum of psychological disorders and challenges. Her areas of expertise include:


  1. Mood Disorders:

– Depression: Helping clients navigate the complexities and challenges of depressive episodes.

– Bipolar Disorder: Providing support for both manic and depressive phases.

– Postpartum Depression: Offering guidance and support for new mothers facing emotional challenges after childbirth.

– Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD): Assisting women in managing severe mood swings related to their menstrual cycle.


  1. Personality Disorders: Delving deep into ingrained patterns of behavior and thought, offering strategies to cope and adapt.


  1. Anxiety Disorders: Addressing various facets, from generalized anxiety disorders to specific phobias, ensuring clients can live a less fear-driven life.


  1. Adolescent Mental Health: Catering to the unique challenges faced by teenagers, from identity crises to academic pressures.


  1. Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD): Offering strategies for better focus and impulse control.


  1. Grief and Loss: Providing a compassionate space for individuals navigating the complexities of loss, whether sudden or anticipated.


  1. Trauma: Helping clients process traumatic events, from acute incidents to chronic, long-term experiences.


  1. Chronic Pain: Addressing the emotional and psychological impacts of living with persistent pain.


  1. Other Disorders: Including but not limited to self-harm behaviors, stress-related disorders, grief, and adjustment disorders.


Therapeutic Approaches:


Ms. Elameen integrates the following therapeutic modalities to provide holistic care:


  1. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT): Helping clients challenge negative thought patterns.


  1. Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT): Emphasizing validation and acceptance.


  1. Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT): Focusing on mindfulness and acceptance strategies.


  1. Social Therapy: Enhancing interpersonal skills and navigating social environments.


  1. Eclectic Approach: Tailoring various therapeutic techniques to the client’s specific needs.


Cultural Sensitivity: Ms. Elameen places a strong emphasis on cultural sensitivity, recognizing the profound impact culture has on an individual’s mental well-being. She ensures that her therapeutic interventions respect and acknowledge the diverse backgrounds of her clients.


Ms. Elameen ensures that each intervention is adapted to suit individual requirements, creating a collaborative environment for healing and growth.




BSc. Psychology Ajman university

MSc. clinical psychology UAEU (college of medicine and health sciences)



Licenses & certifications


Society for General Psychology

American Psychological Association


Trauma Psychology

American Psychological Association

Graduate memberGraduate member



Pearson Online Academy UK


Registered Psychological Assistant

Community Development Authority

Psychotherapy and Counselling Diploma – Lead Academy, Mar 2022

CBT Diploma – renaissance therapies, 2021

Diploma of Education – renaissance therapies, 2021

Dialectal Behavioural Therapy Diploma (DBT) – study plex, 2021



Msc. Clinical psychology CMHS UAEU , APA, CDA - 3 Years
Ms. Fatima Elameen
Ms. Fatima Elameen
Psychologist - Arabic

Ms. Tasneem Radwan diverse experience as a clinical psychologist at various centers, I specialize in assisting adults aged 16 and above in their journey toward improved mental health and well-being. I employ a range of evidence-based therapeutic approaches, including Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Behavioral Analysis (ABC), Relaxation techniques, and Meditation, to help clients achieve their mental and emotional goals.

My therapeutic approach extends beyond counseling to encompass mental skills training for effective behavior management. This comprehensive strategy ensures that clients not only comprehend and address their challenges but also acquire the skills to proactively manage their behaviors and emotions.

During our initial session, which lasts approximately 1.5 hours, we will conduct a comprehensive assessment of your condition to tailor our approach to your unique needs. Subsequent sessions, each lasting one hour, are designed to provide ongoing support and guidance on your journey to improved mental health.

Post-traumatic stress disorder
Therapeutic Approach:
Narrative Therapy
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT)
Psychodynamic Approaches
Integrative Approaches

Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) Bachelor of Arts in Applied Psychology, Al Ain University, UAE Assistant Psychologist license, Dubai Community Development Authority
Certified Psychiatrist Assistant, The British University in Dubai, Dubai, UAE
Early intervention course, Swedish Specialized Center for Special Needs, Dubai, UAE
ABA therapist course, ABLE UK
Certificate in Cognitive Training Using Play Attention, obtained from Know How For Management Consulting and Training, specializing in dealing with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).
Qualifications & Memberships:
• Bachelor of Arts in Applied Psychology, Al Ain University, UAE
• Assistant Psychologist license, Dubai Community Development Authority
• Certified Psychiatrist Assistant, The British University in Dubai, Dubai, UAE
• Early intervention course, Swedish Specialized Center for Special Needs, Dubai, UAE
• ABA therapist course, ABLE UK
• Certificate in Cognitive Training Using Play Attention, obtained from Know How For Management Consulting
and Training, specializing in dealing with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).

Clinical & Health Psychologist - 3 Years
Maryam Saadat
Maryam Saadat
CDA Licensed Psychologist - Persian

Ms. Maryam Saadat is a Psychotherapist with 20 years of experience in working with individuals including different age ranges from teenagers to adults; having different Situational Problems, Interpersonal and Intrapersonal Issues, Personality and Psychological Disorders, Mood Disorders, Depression, Anxiety and so on.

She provides a safe zone with therapeutic good relationship and unconditional acceptance which can enable Confidence, Reassurance and Openness. She also helps to well investigate the relationship between individuals and their Important Objects, Life Experience, Childhood Memories. In addition to the relationship between their chief complain at the moment, she addresses their experiences more effectively until they reach self-actualization stage. She believes Psychotherapy is a process, beginning with your past to the moment and moves you towards a brighter future.

She has Bachelor’s Degree and Master’s Degree in Counselling, graduated from Shahid Beheshti University, Iran. She did courses on Psychotherapy with the approach of Psychoanalysis. She has taken two major steps in her profession by observing and seeing clients under the supervision of famous and expert Psychoanalysts. There is a positive stage in her career which relates to the time she worked at schools. She worked through addressing the problems with Individuals, Couples, and Families in a particular way to clarify their issues, explore options, develop strategies and increase self-awareness and knowledge.

Furthermore, she has published some articles, attended various conferences and published articles in different Psychology Journals. Moreover, she has participated in interviews on TV as a Psychologist.

20 Years
Ms. Shivanee Singhvi Bhatia
Ms. Shivanee Singhvi Bhatia
Social Counselor - English, Hindi & Urdu

Ms. Shivanee Singhvi, a Counselling Psychologist, based in Dubai, United Arab
Emirates. I have completed my Masters in Counselling from Monash University, Australia.
She specializes in counselling for all kinds of issues ranging from depression, anxiety, low
self-esteem, negative thinking, and identity crisis body image issues to personality disorders
such as borderline personality disorder, dependent personality disorder and much more. And
sincerely believe in taking the sessions to a level where a sense of self awareness and
positivity thrives.

She has a keen interest in psychology since her school days but could not pursue it and
ended up in the field of aviation. Thanks to my mother, she has grown up to believe that
every woman can achieve the world and make the impossible happen. Hence with this
notion, after fifteen years of living through a hardcore corporate life, being a mother of two
beautiful children, witnessed a call from her conscious. It was a strong indication that drove
me to change the direction of my life in order to contribute something towards our society
and add meaning to others lives. This is when she enrolled into the Masters programme,
studied for three years and successfully graduated to become a Counsellor. Her aim is to
listen to people and create a personal connection in order to help them explore themselves
towards a better and healthier tomorrow by focusing more on the various coping
mechanisms that can be adapted to one’s daily lifestyle.


Area of Specialization:

  • Adolescence issues such as body image, low self-esteem, peer pressure etc.

  • Mood Disorders

  • Anxiety and Depression Disorders

  • Behavioural Issues

  • Behavioral Problems

  • Relationship challenges

  • Coping with loss Traumatic events

  • Corporate and workplace-related issues

Qualification and Membership:

  • Masters of Counselling | Monash University, Australia

  • Certificate in Counselling | University of Southern Queensland, Australia

  • Member of Australian Counselling Association (ACA)

  • Adult to adult mental aid certification

Master of Counselling, Monash University, Australia - 2 Years
Mr. Mohammad Fraij
Mr. Mohammad Fraij
Johns Hopkins University, MD, USA - Director, Counseling and Wellbeing Services

Mr. Mohammad Fraijis a Jordanian / Palestinian Psychologist, He joined Lifeworks Counselling and Mental Health in April 2023. He was coming from GMC Clinics where he started practising in 2020 as a Clinical Psychologist till March 2023.



Mr. Fraij is a Psychotherapist with a Master of Arts degree in Psychology from the University of Jordan.


Experience in Jordan:

Mr. Fraij has worked with a number of International Non Governmental Organizations (INGOs) including:

Care International: where he has to work as a Community Counselor for Refugees communities in Jordan.

International Medical Corps: worked as a Psychosocial Program Officer to build the capacity for vulnerable communities.

The Center for Victims of Torture: Mr. Fraij worked as a psychosocial consultant for survivors of turture who moved to Jordan coming from hot conflict areas like Syria and Iraq.

in addition Mr. Fraij used to work as a freelancer psychotherapist and trainer for other Organizations: (Save The Children, Relief International, UNHCR, Red Crescent and more)


Experience in UAE:

Mr. Fraij working in Saudi German Hospital since 2019. and used to practice Psychotherapy at Northwest Clinic in Dubai from July 2017 till 2020. before that he worked with American Center for Psychiatry and Neurology (ACPN) where he has practising psychotherapy as a clinical psychologist for a 4 years. In 2011 he joined Rashid Hospital in Dubai Health Authority as Senior Psychology Practitioner, where he worked in the Mental Health Department as a Psychotherapist.


Area of Interest:

Mr. Fraij has experience working with children and adults who suffering from:


Anxiety Disorders:

  • Phobias
  • Social Phobias
  • Panic Disorder
  • Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD)
  • Obsessive – Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
  • Post – Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
  • Adjustment Disorders


Mood Disorders:

  • Depression
  • Manic Episode
  • Bipolar Disorder


Somatoform Disorders:

  • Hypochondriacal Disorder
  • Pain Disorder


Sleeping Disorders.


Personality Disorders.


Behavioral and Emotional Disorders:

  • Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
  • Conduct Disorders
  • Separation Anxiety Disorder
  • Elective Mutism
  • Tic Disorders


Activities and membership:

Mr. Fraij is active in the Social Media and T.V Shows, he participating in most hit T.V programs like:

  • Good Morning Arab on mbc1
  • Good morning Dubai on DUBAI T.V
  • Week in Hour on CNBC Arabia
  • Bala Routine with Merna on Al-Arabiya 99 FM
  • Gentle Steps on mbc3
  • Today Al-Hurra T.V
  • And many more
  • Member of American Psychological Association (APA) as International Affiliate.


Licensed Counseling Psychologist - 30 years
Sailaja Menon
Sailaja Menon
Johns Hopkins University, MD, USA - Director, Counseling and Wellbeing Services

Sailaja is an American trained Licensed Counseling Psychologist, with 30 years of clinical experience in the field of Mental Health, Counseling, training, teaching and supervision.

Prior to joining Lifeworks, Sailaja worked in various leading Public and private settings – non-profit mental health centres, prestigious Universities and clinical mental health settings in the USA, Singapore, India and Dubai.

Sailaja graduated as the first Psychologist with a Post Masters Degree specializing in Multicultural Counseling from the world-renowned and prestigious Johns Hopkins University, Maryland, USA and has a Masters Degree in Psychology from Radford University, Virginia, USA and a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Presidency College, Chennai, India. Sailaja is an American of Indian-origin, born in Malaysia and spent her childhood there before moving to India where she spent most of her formative years.

In her clinical capacity, Sailaja strongly emphasizes the importance of incorporating a holistic model of services that takes into consideration the mental/emotional, physical/biological, social, community and the spiritual aspects of the client to ensure well-being and self-sufficiency.

Her theoretical orientation is primarily client centered; however, she is eclectic in her approach and often integrates other models of therapy such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Solution Focused Compassion based therapy, Mindfulness based therapy, Emotion focused therapy, Acceptance and Commitment therapy.

Sailaja works primarily with couples, individuals and families on a broad range of mental health issues.

With Couples, Sailaja has worked extensively on issues related to- relationship issues, breakdown in communication, trust and confidence, loneliness and sadness, inability to adjust to a marital life conflicts with extended families, infidelity, addictions, anger management and abuse.

With Individuals, Sailaja has worked extensively on depression, anxiety, personality issues, anger management, stress management, and issues related to adjustment and acculturation in new surroundings, relationship issues and management, workplace conflicts, loss of identity and grief and loss

With Families, Sailaja has worked extensively on issues related to intergenerational issues, parenting, conflict management, grief and loss, stress management, abusive and dysfunctional family functioning

Therapeutic Approaches:

  • Couple’s/ Marital therapy
  • Client Centered therapy
  • Acceptance and Commitment therapy (ACT)
  • Solution focused therapy
  • Cognitive Behavioral therapy(CBT)
  • Supportive therapy
  • Mindfulness and compassion based therapy
  • Critical incident Stress Debriefing
  • Family therapy
  • Psycho-Educational therapy


  • Mood disorder (e.g. Depression)
  • Adjustment Issues
  • Marital /relationship issues
  • Acculturation / Assimilation issues
  • Intergenerational conflicts
  • Psycho education
  • Family conflicts
  • Issues of transition in youth
  • Corporate/employee assistance
  • Academic challenges and behavioral issues in youth
  • Cross Cultural Training

Educational Qualifications:

  • Post Masters (CAGS- Multicultural Counseling), Johns Hopkins University, USA

  • MS (Psychology), Radford University, USA

  • BA (Psychology), Presidency College, Chennai, India

Professional Memberships:

  • American Counseling Association (ACA),

  • American Psychological Association (APA)

  • American Multicultural Counseling and Development (AMCD)

  • International Association of Marriage and Family Counseling (IAMFC)

Licensed Counseling Psychologist - 30 years
Gopika Govindan
Gopika Govindan
Clinical Psychologist - English, Malayalam, Tamil, Kannada & Hindi

Ms. Gopika Govindan is a highly skilled Clinical Psychologist with extensive and diverse experience across clinical, educational and organizational sectors in UK, India and UAE. Prior to joining Lifeworks, Gopika was the Clinical Director for Ghobash group of clinics, spearheading rehabilitation teams and clinical operations for both clinics in Dubai and Abu Dhabi.

Gopika also served as Senior Clinical Psychologist for Novomed Hospitals, Dubai Marina.

Gopika holds MSc in Clinical and Abnormal Psychology from Swansea University, UK and an MPhil in Clinical Psychology from one of the most reputed medical colleges in India, Kasturba Medical College. She is also a certified Neuro-Cognitive trainer by BrainRx, USA and was Asst. Programme Director for Brain Rx in Neuropedia, Dubai. In addition, Gopika is certified in Dance Movement Therapy (UK) and Neuro-Linguistic Programming (USA). She began her career in 2009 with the NHS, UK as the youngest Psychologist to join the team at Cefn Coed Hospital, Wales helping individuals deal with psychological difficulties.

She was an active volunteer for the COVID-19 mental health project launched by the Dubai Health Authority providing psychological support for those affected by the pandemic.

Gopika provides a holistic and multi-disciplinary approach to therapy, working closely with psychiatrists and neurologists. She uses an eclectic and integrative approach to her clinical practice that is tailored to suit each individual’s specific needs.

Gopika believes that non-judgmental acceptance, trust and empathy are of utmost importance in establishing a therapeutic bond with her clients, thereby guiding her clients through their journey of self-discovery and healing.

Gopika is currently based in Cleveland, USA and will be offering telehealth services.

Therapy modalities:

  • Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT)

  • Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT)

  • Mindfulness

  • Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT)

  • Creative Arts Therapy (CAT)

  • Emotion Focused Therapy (EFT)

Areas of expertise:

  • Adjustment

  • Addiction

  • Anger

  • Attachment patterns

  • Anxiety

  • Behavioural Medicine

  • Chronic pain and illness

  • Depression

  • Emotional regulation

  • Grief

  • Life Crisis

  • Marital discord

  • Neuropsychology

  • OCD

  • Organizational & time management skills

  • Personality disorders

  • Phobia

  • PTSD

  • Relationship dynamics

  • Self-image & Self-confidence

  • Stress management

  • Trauma & Abuse

  • Work -Life Balance


MPhil Clinical Psychology, Kasturba Medical College, Manipal University, India

MSc Clinical & Abnormal Psychology, Swansea University, UK

Post Graduate Certificate in Psychological Counselling, Christian Medical College, India

BSc Psychology, Bharathiar University, India

Certified in Dance Movement Therapy, UK

Certified in Neuro-Linguistic Programming, USA

Certified in Cognitive Training, BrainRx, USA


British Psychological Society (BPS)

Dubai Health Authority (DHA)

Department of Health Abu Dhabi (DOH)

Rehabilitation Council of India (RCI)

MPhil Clinical Psychology, Manipal University, India MSc Clinical & Abnormal Psychology, Swansea University, UK
Safwat Galal Eldin ElShafey
Safwat Galal Eldin ElShafey
Consultant Psychiatrist - Arabic and English
MBBCh, MSc. (Neuropsychiatry), ABMS Psych., PhD. (Psychiatry) - 35 years
Eugene Traboulsi
Eugene Traboulsi
Social Worker - English

For almost 20 years, Mr. Eugene Traboulsi has had a passion for supporting people through times of difficulty. Known for his intuitive and soulful spirit, both online and in-person, he brings authenticity, genuineness, and good humour into everything he does. Motivating people to reach their maximum potential is at the forefront of his approach.

He has worked in a wide range of professional settings. He has held positions in both government and non-government organizations with extensive experience in the field of mental health and dual diagnosis, in both clinical and non-clinical based roles.

He earned his Bachelor of Social Work from the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology University (RMIT) in 2009. Since graduating, Eugene gained licensing as an Accredited Mental Health Social Worker (AMHSW) and established and operated a full-time private practice in Australia. In addition, he has years of experience utilizing variety of evidence-based strategies to support both youth and adults across a range of personal concerns. Eugene is a CDA Licensed Social Worker (LSW).

Area of interest:

  • Stress

  • Anxiety

  • Addictions

  • Gambling

  • Depression

  • Grief and Loss

  • School Issues

  • Family Separation & Divorce

  • Suicidal Thoughts

  • Gender issues

  • Cultural issues

  • Bullying

  • Gaming

  • Life-stage changes

  • Life Transitions

  • Occupational Burnout

  • Pre-Marital and Marital Assessments.

  • Clinical Supervision

Qualification and Membership:

  • Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT)

  • Master of International and Community Development – Deakin University

  • Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training (ASSIST) – Suicide First Aid

  • Mental State Examination

  • Mental Health Clinical Supervision Training “Supervisor Training”

  • Psychological First Aid Training

  • Community Justice Services Commissioner for Declarations and Justice of the Peace – QLD Justices Association

  • PREPARE/ENRICH Facilitator

  • Community Development Authority Licensed Social Worker (CDA)

    • Dubai.

  • Australian Association of Social Workers Membership (AASW)

Therapeutic Approach:

Eugene incorporates a collaborative therapeutic approach that is person- centered, strengths-based and honours the individual. This eclectic approach marries person-centered, solution- focused, and cognitive behavioural methods to help everyone get what they need in a supportive and understanding environment.

Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT) - 20 Years
Ailien Sy
Ailien Sy
Psychologist - Filipino/Tagalog & English

Ms. Ailien Sy is a Clinical Psychologist that is experienced in treating clients of different ages, backgrounds, sexual orientations, and psychological and psychiatric conditions. She got her Master’s degree in Clinical Psychology for United Arab Emirates University, UAE.  She is a member of the Middle East Psychological Association (pending approval).

She’s offered her services to individuals of diverse backgrounds, ages, and socioeconomic statuses. She strongly supports versatility in psychotherapy treatments because she acknowledges that there is no single approach that would work for every individual.

To continue being an effective psychologist, she familiarizes herself with different types of psychotherapies.  She recently got certified as an Advanced Grief Counselling Specialist and is currently working on her Trauma professional certification.  She administers different types of psychological assessments as well.  She has a keen interest in Research, and has co-written an article that was published in the Journal of Anxiety and Depression Research | Vol 3 Iss 2 ISSN: 2582-3264, and worked as a Research Assistant at United Arab Emirates University to standardize Behavioral Assessment System for Children (BASC-3) among the Arab population.

Therapy is not a “one size fits all” kind of treatment.  That being said, Ailien employs an integrative approach to her treatment planning and execution.  She combines therapeutic elements from different theories to cater to the treatment and experience specific to the clients.  She is particularly fond of using Schema therapy, Solution-focused therapy, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, and other effective brief therapies.

Areas of Specialization

  • Anxiety disorders
  • Mood disorders
  • Psychotic disorders
  • Personality disorders
  • Eating disorders
  • Trauma & Abuse
  • Complicated Grief
  • Addiction
  • Stress Management
  • Relationships

With everything that is going on and the fast-changing development of the world right now, it is so easy to feel lost and overwhelmed; oftentimes, our mental health takes a huge beating.  Ironically, it is also the most neglected.  A lot of us also carry trauma in our bodies that many of us may not even be aware of, which makes us respond to certain situations in very unhealthy ways and affects how we deal with and connect with other people.  I encourage everyone to pay attention to their mental health and start listening to what our bodies and our minds are trying to tell us. There is no shame in seeking help when needed.  You’ve taken the first step by being here.  It will be my privilege to work through things with you, bring you comfort, and help you in any way I can as your therapist

MSc. Clinical Psychology - 3 years
Dr. Deepa Sankar
Dr. Deepa Sankar
Clinical Psychologist - English, Malayalam, Tamil & Kannada

Dr. Deepa Sankar is a level 4 -DBT trained Clinical Psychologist (DHA and HAAD Licensed) withmore than 20 Years of experience working with children, adolescents, adults, couples,and families. She completed intensive training in DBT and specialized training in adaptations of DBT
for adolescents and children, Trauma and Eating Disorders.
She believe in providing evidence-based psychotherapy. She is passionate about helping adolescents, teenagers, and adults who struggle to manage their mood, extreme emotion dysregulation, suicidal/parasuicidalbehaviours, Non-Suicidal Self- Injury, and problem behaviours. She provide a non-judgmental and genuine space for my clients to feel heard.

She can also provide hands-on strategies for parents who struggle to manage behavioural difficulties in children. She utilize various evidence-based treatment approaches to work with her clients.

Comprehensive Dialectical Therapy (DBT adult and Adolescent), which includes

  • Individual therapy, DBT Group Skills Training, Phone Coaching and Team Consultation)
  • Dialectical behaviour Therapy for children (DBT- C)
  • Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT)
  • Motivational Interviewing (MI)
  • Prolonged Exposure protocols (PE)
MPhil in Clinical Psychology (National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences) - 20 Years
Chaanan Kaur
Chaanan Kaur
Psychologist - English, Hindi, Punjabi & Dutch

Ms. Chaanan Kaur is a psychologist with a mixed bag of experiences in the mental health field- from understanding the “behind the scenes” of treatments and interventions to practicing as a psychologist and mentoring other young psychologists. She has helped several adolescents, adults, and couples experiencing unique emotional stressors and challenges in their environments. She has a master’s degree in Health, Social, and Organizational Psychology from Utrecht University in Utrecht, The Netherlands.

Ms. Chanaan is a member of the British Psychological Society (BPS) and has also been associated with the Nederlands Instituut van Psychologen (NIP). In her experience as a psychologist, she has offered therapy to individuals of diverse backgrounds, namely ex-pats and international students while being associated with YourDOST, an online mental health platform, and Heyy, a mental health app based in Singapore. Besides offering online therapy, Chaanan has also been volunteering with her knowledge of mental health in non-profit organizations since 2013.

Her key focus areas are gender discrimination, ADHD, identity and sexuality, life transitions, marital and family difficulties, reclaiming cultural roots, relationship challenges, anxiety, stress, loss, bereavement, and trauma.

In addition to traditional therapy, Ms. Chaanan is familiar with using Positive Psychology Interventions; and Solution Focused Brief therapy when working with corporates and their Employees.

Area of interest:

  • Depression

  • Stress, Anxiety and Panic

  • Attacks

  • Trauma and abuse

  • Gender Discrimination


  • Smoking Cessation

  • Social Withdrawal, isolation

  • Work-related difficulties

  • Procrastination

  • Adjustment to life-changing events

  • Relationships, couples and

  • family difficulties

  • Grief and loss

  • Self-Esteem, Self-image, Self- identity

  • Body Image

Qualification and Membership:

  • Social Health and Organizational Psychology from Utrecht University, Utrecht

  • Psychology with Management from Heriot Watt University, Dubai

  • Human Sexuality Continuing Education Course Aspira

  • Community Development Authority Licensed Psychologist (CDA) – Dubai.

  • British Psychological Society membership

Therapeutic Approach:

  • Eclectic Therapy (usually through a trauma informed and narrative therapy lens).

Master's degree in Health, Social and Organizational Psychology - 5 years
Annabel George
Annabel George
Psychologist - English & Hindi

Ms. Annabel George is a Psychologist, Psychotherapist and Counsellor with a master’s in counselling psychology from University of Mumbai, India where she earned her degree with distinction.

She has worked as a psychologist at various schools back in India and the UAE. She is also a consultant psychologist on several online platform.

She works with clients from a wide variety of age-groups and backgrounds – students, parents, young adults, as well as people in the corporate sector. She has been successful in assisting them as they deal with several different issues such as stress, anxiety, phobias, academic concern or career related issues, mood disorders, family concerns, relationships, procrastination, behavioural issues, self-harm, abuse and has also worked with clients focused on self-improvement.

Apart from individual sessions she also held group sessions and several workshops on confidence building, communication skills, non-judgmental listening, and career growth.

She makes use of Cognitive behavioural therapy, art and play therapy, interpersonal psychotherapy and solution-focused brief therapy in her sessions depending on what is relevant for the client.

She wants to help people deal with the challenges and concerns they are faced with. To help them grow as individuals and live their lives to the fullest. Additionally, she wants people to understand the importance of mental health and wellbeing and freely seek help when it’s required.

In my sessions, the aim is on identifying the client’s concerns and working through it together. I believe that people know the path that they are on… and when their car breaks down along the way… I’d like to be the one who provides them with the right tools so that they know how to fix it and deal with it should such a situation arise again” .

Area of interest:

  • Social and Emotional concerns
  • Children and adolescent counselling
  • Trauma counselling
  • Improving life skills (social skills, self- esteem, decision making, coping with stress, problem solving, and time management)

Qualification and Membership:

  • Community Development Authority (CDA) Licensed Psychologist

Therapeutic Approach:

  • Eclectic Approach
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
  • Solution Focused Behavioral Therapy
  • Art and play therapy and
  • Interpersonal Therapy
Master’s in Counselling Psychology - 4 years
Tumi Sefolo
Tumi Sefolo
Clinical Psychologist - English and South African languages

Ms Boitumelo Sefolo, affectionately known as Tumi Sefolo is a DHA licenced Clinical Psychologist with 13 years’ expertise, and a committee chair for the American Psychological Association (APA) Division 52 of International Psychologists. She is devoted to helping individuals, couples, and families build healthier relationships. As a family systems-oriented therapist and an expert in relationships, she provides empathy and unconditional acceptance for essential transformations to unfold, leading to more fulfilled life experiences and relationships. She believes relationships determine the quality of the person’s life from childhood to adulthood and in other spheres of life such as workplace.

She is deeply involved in the LifeWorks Employee Assistance Program and serves multiple big corporates through psycho-educational talks and workshops, as well as program development. She cares about giving support to Dubai employees and their families, who struggle with a myriad of migration, relationships, and cultural issues.

She has certification from the Progressive Goal Attainment Program (PGAP) in Canada, a rehabilitative evidence-based intervention that minimizes disability and psychosocial stress following illness or injury and assists them to successfully returning to work.

Her expertise extends to neurological assessments which identify and manage neuropsychological illnesses due to injuries and work incapacity. She has extensive experience as a forensic expert determining the impact of personal injury into future functioning and reporting as well as testifying to the High Court of South Africa.

Her assessments and interventions encompass a culturally sensitive approach that is cognizant of the cultures and cultural milieu of respective individuals.

In addition to her experience in medical and mental health hospitals, Tumi Sefolo often engages in media and public speaking events. She has worked as an adjunct lecturer/professor in a South African university. She has also contributed to some articles in South Africa and mental health products in Kuwait.

Area of interest:

  • Relationship difficulties

  • Family problems

  • Bereavement/loss

  • Trauma and abuse

  • Anxiety disorders

  • Adjustment difficulties (dealing with life changes)

  • Mood disorders (depression and bipolar)

  • Parental guidance (single, blended & divorced families, dealing with acculturation)

  • Cultural related difficulties

  • Acculturation stress (related to migration)

  • Coping with medical condition

  • Work-related stressors

  • Organizational and change management

Qualification and Membership:

  • Pursuing PhD in International Psychology (USA)

  • MSc in Clinical Psychology (South Africa)

  • Dubai Health Authority

  • Health Professions Council South Africa

  • Singapore Psychological Society

  • Member of Singapore Register of Psychologists

  • Member of American Psychological Association International Affiliate

  • Co-chair of American Psychological Society Division 52 of International Psychologists

Therapeutic Approach:

  • Family systems therapy

  • Humanistic Therapy

  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

  • Gestalt Therapy

  • Solution Focused Therapy

MSc in Clinical Psychology - 13 Years
Dr. Akhtar Syed
Dr. Akhtar Syed
Clinical Psychologist - Urdu, English, Hindi, Punjabi & Seraiki

Dr Akhtar Ali Syed is a practitioner, teacher, trainer and researcher of psychotherapy with more than thirty-one years of experience. He did his PhD in Psychology from the University College Dublin, Ireland. Dr Syed got his training in Eidetic Psychotherapy from New York. He is a licensed Clinical Psychologist in the UAE and a Chartered Clinical Psychologist with the Psychological Society of Ireland.

Having worked for two decades as Head of the Psychology Department with Brothers of Charity Services in Ireland, Dr Sayed subsequently took up positions at various organizations across Ireland as Visiting Clinical Psychologist. After extensive research and training, he originated two models of psychotherapy for two different groups of people: the Eidetic Model of Growth for people with intellectual disability and Brief Trauma Therapy, with empirical evidence of efficacy.

Dr Syed taught psychotherapy and related issues at different universities and is a co-supervisor for PhD projects.

Dr Syed’s work has been published in reputed Journals and presented at conferences. He also writes on psychosocial issues for websites and newspapers regularly.

Besides the models of psychotherapy he adopted, Dr Syed helps people with psychological, emotional, and experiential difficulties through his clinical work. He also supervises trainees from different backgrounds and cultures. Belonging to the school of post-modern psychotherapy, he uses up-to-date, evidence-based psychological treatments with his patients.


  • English, Urdu, Hindi, Punjabi, Seraiki

PhD in Psychology from the University College Dublin, Ireland - 31 Years
Naeema Ali
Naeema Ali
Psychologist - Arabic & English

Dr. Naeema Ali trained psychology and social worker students of UAE University. She is actively providing counselling support to cancer patients and their families. She launched an occupational therapy for cancer patients and cognitive behavioural therapy in Tawam.

Due to her continued support in oncology and ongoing support to cancer patients, Naeema received countless awards locally and international to recognize her achievements and skills. She has been invited to participate in various conferences and workshops around the world and invited as a guest speaker in various subjects that covers psychology.

She also joined Al Sayegh Medical Center as a Social Worker, providing comprehensive assessment and treatment services to children and families, in inpatient and/or outpatient settings, and communicates with referral sources as indicated by applying psychometric test, such as IQ Test, MMPI, Wechsler Test for children. Exhibit superior communication skills to uncover complicated mental health issues; develop and recommend treatment plans based on patient needs and diagnosis.

She continued working as a clinical psychologist providing counselling within the multi-cultural environment of the Emirates Airlines for the past 15 years. Her main task is providing mental health support to inflight and ground staff and addresses any problems, anxieties, or job-related stresses that they are dealing with. She uses her findings to help improve processes and behaviors of a patient to maintain a safe environment, to manage stress, overcome trauma, or avoid job-related conflicts. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is the method Naeema is using to reduce the difficulties, anxieties, and stress that employee faces.

Naeema is also part of “ Shawer ”, the “Seek Our Advice”, and “We Listen To You” program of the Family Development Foundation of Abu Dhabi. The aim of the program was to promote family awareness and support a stable family life. It involves a group of community members who deal with family problems in a positive manner and provide individual and group counseling in social, psychological, and educational areas. They do so in a systematic way according to the needs of community members.

Besides “ Shawer ”, Naeema is also a volunteer of “ Friends of Cancer ” of Sharjah, supporting patients and their families to overcome the multitude psychological difficulties that they are experiencing due to cancer treatment as well as introducing some programs such as health education, self-care and some community programs wherein they can collaborate and share their experiences.

Area of interest:

  • Psycho-oncology

  • CBT

  • Psychometric Assessments

  • Children, Adults and Family therapy

Qualification and Membership:

  • Psychology graduation from the University of Wisconsin

  • Licensed by Community Development Authority

Graduation in Psychology, (Phd) - 30 Years
Jacqueline Naidoo
Jacqueline Naidoo

Ms. Jacqueline Naidoo was born in Durban, South Africa and relocated to Dubai in Oct 1998.

She obtained her master’s degree in Clinical Psychology at the United Arab Emirates University in Al Ain.

Her global travels combined with her time in Dubai provide Jaqueline with invaluable experience, insights and knowledge of diverse cultures and people, reaffirmed by continuous interaction within a multicultural and cosmopolitan environment on a social as well as professional level.

Area of interest:

Her spectrum of specialization includes diagnosis and treatment of:

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Panic attacks
  • OCD
  • Bereavements and loss
  • Domestic violence
  • Bipolar and mood related disorders
  • Eating disorders
  • Gender related difficulties
  • Neurological disorders including Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s
  • ADHD and behavioural related difficulties
  • Stress and fatigue management.
  • Isolation and adjustments difficulties
  • Family and couple therapy

Qualification and Membership:

  • M.Sc. – Masters in Clinical Psychology
  • CDA – Social Professional License

Therapeutic Approach:

Jacqueline’s approach is unique to everyone. Clients are actively involved in their treatment process and can share their inner thoughts and feelings without any bias or judgement.

She follows various integrated therapeutic techniques including Cognitive and Dialectical Behavioural Therapy, Solution Focused Therapy, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, and Client centred therapy, all, in an approachable and warm manner, creating a welcoming and safe environment for her clients of all backgrounds.

Administration scoring and report writing of behavioural, educational clinical, intellectual assessments and personality assessments.

English & Afrikaans - 13 Years
Zahra Afshari
Zahra Afshari
Pyschologist - English , Persian

Dr. Zahra Afsahari is a psychodynamic therapist, helping people to gain insight into their lives and present-day problems. She also evaluates patterns people develop over time. Through this, she reviews certain life factors with a person in therapy:

• Emotions

• Thoughts

• Early-life experiences

• Beliefs

She recognizes recurring patterns that can help people to see how they can avoid distress or develop defense mechanisms to cope. This insight may allow them to begin changing those patterns.

The therapeutic relationship is central to psychodynamic therapy. It can demonstrate how a person interacts with their friends and loved ones. In addition, transference in therapy can show how early-life relationships affect a person today. Transference is the transferring one’s feelings for a parent, for example, onto the therapist. This intimate look at interpersonal relationships can help people understand their part in relationship patterns. It may empower them to transform that dynamic.

She also encourages people to speak freely about their emotions, desires, and fears. Being open may help reveal vulnerable feelings that have been pushed out of our conscious awareness. According to psychodynamic theory, behavior is influenced by unconscious thought. Once vulnerable or painful feelings are processed, the defense mechanisms reduce or resolve.

She also works with clients ages 10 years old and above.

Area of interest:

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Family counseling
  • Couples therapy
  • Anxiety, trauma
  • Life transitions
  • Question of identity and purpose
  • Psychodynamic, social justice, body image
  • Somatic and present- moment therapy
  • Sexuality and intimacy

Qualification and Membership:

  • Doctorate in clinical Health Psychology from Payame Noor Tehran University of Iran
  • Master’s in Clinical psychology from Islamic Azad University of Iran – Tehran

Therapeutic Approach:

  • Psychodynamic therapy

Doctorate in Clinical Health Psychology from Payame Noor Tehran University of Iran - 10 Years
Dr. Mohammed Bardi
Dr. Mohammed Bardi
Consultant Psychiatrist - Arabic, English

Dr. Mohammed Bardi M.B.B.S, M.D (Psychiatry) has worked under different capacities in clinical and hospital setups in Saudi, USA, and UAE. He comes with over 15 years of experience in mental health. He specifically worked with cases relating to schizophrenic, bipolar disorder, dual diagnosis, major depressive disorder with suicidal risks, anxiety disorders, Intellectual disabilities, Autistic spectrum disorders and attention deficit hyperactivity disorders (ADHD).

Area of interest:

  • Mood disorders

  • Anxiety disorders

  • Improving life skills (social skills, self- esteem, decision making, coping with stress, problem solving, and time management)

Qualification and Membership:










  • CDA) Licensed Psychologist

Therapeutic Approach:

  • At LifeWorks Holistic Counselling Center Dubai, Dr. Bardi works collaboratively within our expert multidisciplinary team, in treating a wide array of psychiatric conditions including:

  • Anxiety disorders

  • Substance use disorders

  • Mood disorders including depression and Bipolar affective disorders

  • Psychotic disorders (Schizophrenia and other psychotic disorders)

  • Personality disorders

  • Cognitive disorders including Dementia

  • Learning disabilities (intellectual disability disorders)

  • Child and adolescents’ disorders like Separation anxiety disorders, conduct

  • disorders and ADHD

M.B.B.S, M.D (Psychiatry) - 15 years
Lorena Santambrogio
Lorena Santambrogio
Italian - Clinical Psychologist

Holistic Care

Raised and educated in Italy, Dr. Lorena is a highly experienced Cognitive Behavioural Clinical Psychologist-Psychotherapist.

She achieved her 5 years Bachelor/Master Degree in Clinical Psychology at Padua University (Italy) and further she completed her professional profile with a 4 Years Master Specialization in Como (Italy) at the Post Bachelor Specialization School in Cognitive Therapy.

She also has a Master in Counselling at Brescia University (Italy) and completed level 1 and 2 training in EMDR.

She has been working as a Psychologist /Psychotherapist for 20 years in both Public, Private Hospitals and outpatients clinics.

In addition to her clinical skills experience, Dr Lorena has had an extensive involvement in teaching, clinical research and publications in different fields such as Binge Eating Disorders and Psychological Rehabilitation after heart attack.

After moving to Dubai in 2012 Dr. Lorena got a DHA Licence as Clinical Psychologist and provides psychological treatments in a wide range of mental health and emotional issues.


  • Master’s Degree in Clinical Psychology-University of Padua(Italy)

  • Postgraduate degree in Cognitive Therapy – Postgraduate School of Como (Italy)

  • Postgraduate degree in Counselling-University of Brescia (Italy)

  • EMDR- level 1 and 2

  • Couple Therapy Gottman Method -Level1

  • Member of Italian Society of Psychologists-Pychotherapists – Lombardy Region

  • Member of CBT–Italy

  • Dubai Health Authority Licence


  • Anxiety Disorders ( Panic attack, Generalized Anxiety, Social Phobia, Specific Phobia , Obsessive Compulsive Disorders)

  • Mood Disorders ( Major Depression , Post partum Depression, Cyclothymia, Dysthymia) Adjustment Disorders

  • Personality Disorders (Narcissistic Personality Disorder. – Avoidant PD- Dependent PD.)

  • Eating Disorders -Anorexia-Bulimia- Binge Eating Disorder

  • Relational Difficulties

  • Worry and Rumination

  • Workplace stress and burnout

  • Self- esteem

  • Parent training

  • Post -Traumatic Stress Disorder

  • Coping with Emotional and psychological problems during Covid19


  • Cognitive Behavioural Therapy ( third wave approach)

  • Post-Rationalism Cognitive Therapy approach

  • Attachment theory approach

  • Mindfulness Approaches

  • EMDR

  • Marital/couple Therapy ( Gottman approach)

Masters in Clinical Psychologist - 31 Years
Maryam Ebrahimnezhad
Maryam Ebrahimnezhad
Social Worker - English, Dutch, Persian, German

Maryam member of the American Psychological Association, She has master’s degree in Relationship therapist and has been working in the Mental Health field since 2009. She believes that therapy is a collaborative process and she kindly guides clients to increase self-awareness, gain new perspectives, decrease symptoms, and increase personal strengths to have a more meaningful life experience.

Throughout her career, Maryam has worked with adults, adolescents, and children, across various settings, including private practice and outpatient primary care clinics, in Netherlands and UAE. She has been working as a psychologist in UAE since 2013.

Maryam has extensive experience in applying various Social worker including Neurofeedback therapy, ABA (behavior) therapy, Counseling and relationship therapy.

In her clinical practice, Maryam helps the individuals to

  • Manage their moods and emotions

  • Process anxiety

  • Reduce levels of general distress and discomfort

  • Increase attention and the ability to focus

  • Improvement of memory

  • Treatment of headache and migraine

Maryam uses a warm, empathetic approach to create a safe and nonjudgmental space where clients can learn, grow, and achieve their goals. She makes sure to offer flexibility, meet the individuals where they are, and have patience to help each individual feel secure throughout the process. She always encourages open communication regarding the course of therapy and goal achievement.


  • Master of Relationship therapist/System therapy VU University, Amsterdam

  • Bachelor of Social Work (BSW), Hogeschool University of Holland, Enschede

  • Neurofeedback therapist

Board Certifications:

  • Community Development Authority License (CDA), Dubai, UAE

  • Certificate of completion the Biofeedback and Neurofeedback of New York.


English, Dutch, Persian,German

Master of Relationship therapist/System therapy VU University, Amsterdam - 13 Years
Ritasha Varsani
Ritasha Varsani
Psychologist - English , Hindi & Gujarati

Ritasha Varsani is a CDA licensed Psychologist practicing in Dubai. She has an experience of over ten years in providing psychotherapy to a diverse population in a mental health settings in India and United States. She has been professionally trained from USA and her expertise lies in Marriage, Family and Child Therapy. She offers problem solving insights with evidence based therapies to clients giving them the strength to express themselves and promotes equal privilege is what she believes in.

“Empathy and sensitivity is key to connecting with people on a human level”. I support my clients by cultivating the ability and demonstrating with authenticity, vulnerability and honesty and increase their sense of their own well being. As a result of her approachable, non-judgmental and compassionate attitude her clients feel safe in addressing and overcoming developmental challenges, psychological obstacles and traumatic life experiences.

Her Therapeutic Approach

Ritasha uses an integrative approach by incorporating interpersonal and psychodynamic principles and evidence based therapies such as Cognitive behavior therapy, motivational interviewing, narrative therapy, compassion focused therapy, solution focused therapy, family therapy. She takes a client centered and culturally competent approach to facilitate progress and change by quality of care and moving through the journey of recovery.

Her age range of clients varies from preschool kids to adolescents, individuals and couples/ families providing therapeutic interventions in individual and group settings.

Areas of Specialization

  • Depression

  • Anxiety

  • Marital and family Disputes

  • Personality Disorders

  • Anger Management

  • Bereavement

  • Premarital guidance

  • Self identity and life transition issues

  • Obsessive Compulsive Disorder ( OCD )

  • Trauma and stressor-related disorders

  • Mindfulness

  • Psycho education

Qualifications and Memberships

  • Bachelor of Arts in Psychology – St Xavier’s College, Ahmedabad

  • Masters in Psychology with a concentration in Marriage & Family Therapy – San Francisco, USA

  • Certificate of Introduction to Compassion Focused Therapy – NHS, London

  • Certificate of Compassion Focused Therapy, Advanced Skills, UK

  • Certificate of Gottman Institute Couples Therapy
    ( Level 1 and Level 2 ) USA

  • Certificate for Anxiety from Beck Institute USA

  • Certificate of Applying Hope to Couple Therapy – American Psychological Association

  • Member of American Psychological Association, International Affiliate ( APA )

  • Member of Middle Eastern Psychology Association
    ( MEPA )


English, Hindi & Gujarati

Master’s in psychology with a concentration in Marriage & Family Therapy - San Francisco, USA - Experience: 10 Years
Safia Ali Malik
Safia Ali Malik
Clinical Psychologist - English, Urdu & Hindi

Safia Ali Malik is DHA licensed Clinical Psychologist with comprehensive knowledge and understanding on different therapeutic techniques. Compassionate, dedicated and empathetic with clients. Experience of working with clients with different needs and nationalities with utmost cultural sensitivity. Excel at providing adolescents and adults with individual psychotherapy to help them facilitate their social and personal growth and allow them to lead more meaningful and fulfilling lives.

She specializes in psychological and educational assessments and provides individual, family and group therapies.

Her Therapeutic Approach

Psychometric and Psychological assessment, Cognitive therapy, Group therapy, individual therapy, Management, Dialectic Behaviour therapy, Solution Focused and Problem solving Approaches depending on the need of the client.


  • Behavioural Disorders

  • Anxiety Management

  • Psychometric Assessment

  • Cognitive problems

  • Coping skills

  • Grief therapy

  • Mindfulness

  • OCD and PTSD.


  • Masters in Psychology from Government College University Lhr, Pakistan.

  • Post Graduate Diploma in Child and adult Psychotherapy from Government College University Lhr, Pakistan.

  • Graduation in Psychology from Punjab university Lhr, Pakistan.

License : Dubai Health Authority.

Language: English , Urdu (Hindi)

Masters in psychology from Government College University Lhr, Pakistan - 5 Years
Dr. Marwa Abd El Hamid
Dr. Marwa Abd El Hamid
Clinical Psychologist - Arabic

Dr. Marwa Abd El Hamid is a licensed clinical and educational psychologist who completed her dual doctoral (Ph.D.) from AIN SHAMS University. She has many diplomas and Certifications from many international organizations like Beck Institute for Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT) and a clinical diploma.

She is over 20 years of clinical experience in the field of Mental Health, Counseling, supervision and training- teaching in academia as a delegated lecturer in the American University in Emirates (AUE), Middlesex University Dubai (MDX), and Alexandria University in Egypt and several Companies like Vox Media, (RTA) Ministry of Climate Change and Environment, Ministry of Energy and infrastructure in Dubai and working with most of the nationalities.

As a professional psychologist always consider the importance of the client’s religious, national, cultural, and personal circumstances backgrounds. Her therapeutic approach is to use several methods of modern psychotherapy for short – long therapy for children & special needs, young people and adults through sessions with individuals, couples, and families, or group therapy based on the needs of the client (CBT), (DBT), (REBT), (CFT), (ACT), (SFBT),(PPT), (GA), etc. Also, she still studies schema therapy for personality disorder.

Some of her professional Experiences:

  • Anxiety disorders, including panic disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and phobias
  • Mood disorders (Depression, bipolar disorder)
  • Eating disorders
  • Personality disorders
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder PSTD
  • Psychotic disorders, including schizophrenia
  • Somatic symptoms and related disorder
  • Substance-Related and Addictive Disorder
  • Paraphilic disorders
  • Sexual Dysfunctions
  • Gender Dysphoria & Conversion disorders
  • Sleep-wake disorder
  • Adjustment disorders
  • Stress-related disorders
  • Grief and loss
  • Self-harm behaviors
  • Pre-marital & Marital issues
  • Low self-esteem & Body image issues
  • Psychoeducation -Child / special need psychology Including Cognitive disorders, Memory disturbance, Attention-deficit, hyperactivity disorder, behavior modification, and any related disorders

Area of Specialization:

  • Kids & Special needs (play therapy)

  • Dealing with Autism – Asperger – Down syndrome using (PECS –TEACCH –HELP –LOVAAS-INTEGRATION-PORTAGE).

  • Skills development

  • Childhood Emotional disorders.

  • Behavioral Problems

  • Attention difficulties

  • Developmental learning difficulties

  • Cognitive difficulties

  • Difficulties of remembering

  • Difficulties in conceptual formation

  • Difficulty solving problems

Qualification and Membership:

  • Ph.D. In Psychology Ain-Shams University

  • Master’s In Educational Psychology Ain-Shams University

  • Special Diploma in Mental Health Alexandria University.

  • Professional Diploma in Special Education Alexandria University

  • Educational Diploma in Education At Alexandria University

  • Cda, Dubai

  • American Psychological Association (APA)

  • Egyptian Psychologists Association( RANM)

  • Egyptian Association for Psychological Studies (EAPS)

  • Psychologist

Therapeutic Approach:

  • Kids & Special needs (play therapy).

  • Dealing with Autism – Asperger – Down syndrome using (PECS – TEACCH –HELP –LOVAAS- INTEGRATION-PORTAGE).

  • Skills development.

  • Childhood Emotional disorders.

  • Behavioral Problems.

  • Attention difficulties.

  • Developmental learning difficulties.

  • Cognitive difficulties.

  • Difficulties of remembering.

  • Difficulties in conceptual formation.

  • Difficulty solving problems

Ph.D. in Psychology Ain-Shams University - 17 Years
Dr. Sravani Behara
Dr. Sravani Behara
Specialist Psychiatrist - English, Hindi & Telugu

Dr. Sravani Behara




DHA – 71403154

Dr. Sravani M.B.B.S, M.D (Psychiatry), MRCPsych (U.K.) served as an Asst professor in a 650 Bedded tertiary care teaching hospital(Nimra Institute of Medical Sciences) for more than three years and one year in a government medical college(Siddhartha  medical college).

Experienced in managing mental health conditions across all age groups in both OP, IP settings using various pharmacological and psychological approaches.

Experienced in handling child guidance, geriatric,, general adult clinics.

Taken part in research studies and provided teaching to MBBS students.

Areas of expertise :

•  Anxiety disorders
•  Phobias
•  Obsessive and compulsive disorders
•  Puerperal disorders
•  Affective disorders
•  Psychosis
•  Stress related disorders
•  Substance abuse disorders
•  Eating disorders
•  Personality disorders
•  Child Psychiatry
•  Conversion disorders
•  Neuropsychiatry
•  Geriatric psychiatry

Honors and Awards

Reward 1

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Reward 2

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MBBS, MD (Psychiatry), MRCPsych (UK) - 8 Years

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