Wednesday the 12th of December 2018
About Us

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What we do

Nafsiyat offers short-term intercultural therapy to people from diverse backgrounds who live in Islington, Enfield, Camden and Haringey. We provide therapy in 24 languages.

If you live in one of these areas and would like to talk to someone about a challenge in your life, we can offer 12 weekly sessions with a referral from your GP.

To download a printable Nafsiyat brochure: click here (English) or click here (Turkish) 

Contact us to find out more.

Nafsiyat has been a registered charity since 1983.

Our mission

Nafsiyat would like to see all mental health services being sensitive to, and appropriate for, the diverse cultural, racial, ethnic populations who live in the United Kingdom.

To this end we not only provide a clinical psychotherapy and counselling service for individuals and families based on an intercultural model, but also offer case consultation for professionals as well as affordable training programmes, both bespoke and in-house.

Our history

The organisation was established in 1983 by psychotherapist Jafar Kareem (pictured right) in order that the diverse religious, cultural and ethnic communities in London could access psychotherapy and counselling services. A prevailing thought at the time was that psychotherapy was not appropriate for these groups. The Nafsiyat Centre was the first in the UK that took account of the cultural background of the patient and therapist and recognised its importance in therapy.

Nafsiyat’s primary service offer is in the area of individual short-term inter-cultural therapy. However, the organisation has developed to include group and family therapy, as well as couples and children/adolescents.

Nafsiyat has a solid and sustained team of twenty paid and volunteer therapists with many different backgrounds and covering many different languages – providing psychotherapy and counselling services to members of cultural minority groups.

Nafsiyat provides counselling / psychotherapy for people from black and minority ethnic communities who are not being adequately catered for through statutory and non-statutory service provision. For this purpose, Nafsiyat employs counsellors and therapists who are sensitive to the cultural diversity of clients and to the effects of racism in both personal interaction and institutional practices.

Furthermore, Nafsiyat aims to provide staff and volunteers, the opportunity to enhance the quality of their work by obtaining appropriate supervision, training and development leading to the provision of highly qualified and respected specialists.

The organisation recognises that co-operation, partnership working and the sharing of knowledge and experience through training, education, and research, will result in improving the quality of mental health services to black and minority ethnic communities in the longer-term. In the early 1990’s the organisation developed an intercultural therapy diploma, and within two years of this, a Master of Science Degree in partnership with University College, London - staffed largely by Nafsiyat therapists. Although not currently running, the diploma and MSc programmes have been used to train some of the therapists currently working at the Centre.

Our approach

Intercultural therapy as practised at Nafsiyat is a method of working therapeutically with the individual experience of patients, 'taking into account the whole being of the patient – not only the individual concepts and constructs as presented to the therapists – but also the patients’ communal life experience in the world, both past and present. The very fact of being from another culture employs both conscious and unconscious assumptions – both in the patient and in the therapist' (Kareem, 1987).

We actively promote our approach as a positive intervention to alleviate mental distress and help communities adjust and work together. We are focused on reaching the most disadvantaged, socially excluded and distressed communities.

Our core values


Counselling/psychotherapy can benefit anyone with mental health problems irrespective of their cultural background, perceived ethnic origin, religion or linguistic competence

Respectful of diversity

Counselling/psychotherapy should be delivered in ways that are consistent with the cultural background, world-views, traditions and language of the people seeking such therapy.

Socially aware

Counselling/psychotherapy should take account of the social realities lived in by clients seeking such therapy.


Counselling/psychotherapy should be sensitive to issues including racism and sexism.

Our team has a successful track record in clinical work, and we are accredited as a membership organisation of the UK Council for Psychotherapy (UKCP).

We are continually looking at ways to expand our services to reach all those who can benefit from it in London and beyond. This involves securing grants from trusts and mainstream healthcare sources.

Registered Charity number: 287819

Unit 4 Lysander Mews, Lysander Grove, London N19 3QP
Tel: 020 7263 6947, Fax: 020 7281 3074