Other than Myself: Diversity Conference

This conference is a collaboration between the Existential Academy and OE, our hope is to...

Last updated 3 May 2024

This conference is a collaboration between the Existential Academy and OE, our hope is to celebrate diversity and challenge ourselves as persons and professionals.


Abdullah Maynard

Stephen Maynard is the founder of Stephen Maynard & Associates, a trained counsellor, consultant and educator, working in the public sector and with NGOs.

He has worked with a number of central government departments including The Department of Health, The Home Office, The Department of Children, Schools and Families and The Department of Local Government and Communities. Also a member of National and Regional (West Midlands) Forums for Mental Health and Spirituality, Advisor to the Department of Health IAPT Programme (Increasing Access to Psychological Therapies) BME Communities, and author of their Muslim Mental Health Scoping Report, He co-founded the Islamic counseling courses.

He is the founder member of The Lateef Project, unique in offering Islamic counselling as part of mainstream services for the NHS in Birmingham.

Amy Bramley

Amy Bramley is an existential psychotherapist and counselling psychologist in training in her 4th year of a DCPsych at the New School of Psychotherapy and Counselling. A fluent Russian speaker who lived in Putin’s Russia for 14 years and worked in the Russian NGO sector (human rights, freedom of speech, and children’s special needs), she has been providing therapy to Ukrainian refugees since March of this year. She is based in the Alps and, in addition to her refugee work, works with multicultural and voluntarily displaced individuals and couples in English and Russian. She is currently in supervision with Paris-based psychotherapist and supervisor Anastasia Piatakhina-Gire.

Celena Lewis

My name is Celena Lewis I was born and grew up in Cardiff, South Wales. I describe myself as Human, Black, Female, of Kittitian (from the Island of St Kitts in the East Caribbean) heritage. I became a singer and had my first professional engagement at 13 and first recording contract at age 14. I went to a Stage School in London and appeared in Musicals, Television shows & Tours over a 21- year period of my life.

I am a Narrative Therapist, Zumba Instructor, an Experimental and Experiential Writer. I have been a therapist for 21 years and have used writing to express myself and have encouraged, where appropriate, clients to do the same. The theory that comes close to describing how I write would be Autoethnographic, poetic (at times), performative (at times) & heartfelt (most of the time).

The process of writing is about speaking straight from the heart as and when the need arises – a meaning making effort. I write of my lived experience about Loss, Family Dynamics, Illness, Inter-racial relationship/s, survivor guilt, sexual trauma and associated emotional turmoil with attempts to give all aspects of self a voice.

Digby Tantam

Digby worked in the NHS for nearly 40 years as a general psychiatrist and later a consultant psychotherapist. He began the first clinic in the world for the assessment of autistic adults in 1980. He is an existential psychotherapist and a group analyst. He is an Emeritus Professor of Psychiatry in the University of Sheffield; a Visiting Professor of Psychology at Middlesex University; and Deputy Principal of the New School of Psychotherapy in London, where He is course leader for the MA in Diversity Studies.

Dionysios Sourelis

Dr Dionysios Sourelis, CPsychol is a chartered counselling psychologist and UKCP registered existential psychotherapist based in Athens, Greece. He is the owner and scientific director of the centre «Purpose of Existence – Λόγος Ύπαρξης» where he delivers existential therapy for adults and adolescents as well as training and supervision for mental health practitioners. Along with his colleagues he provides interdisciplinary special education and therapeutic support to children and their families. Dr Sourelis also teaches and supervises doctoral students in the New School of Psychotherapy and Counselling, a partner institute of Middlesex University London, UK.

Dr Chloe Farahar

Dr Chloe Farahar (she/they – Autistic): Late-diagnosed, perpetually, enduringly, eternally, weird, odd, standoffish, but also beautifully, irredeemably Autistic. Chloe is an Autistic academic whose research interests revolve around her Autistic specialisations and dedicated interests (not “special interests”), and they are currently on an Oxford-led project as a research associate, looking at ACEs, mental health, and innate neurodivergence.

Chloe’s specialisations include: supporting Autistic people with their co-founded Autistic Discovery Journey programme; reimagining the spectrum as a three dimension Autistic space; creating neurodivergent-inclusive environments; and educating both Autistic and non-autistic learners about Autistic experience in their training courses and on the free educative platform, Aucademy, with fellow Autistic people.

Dr. Dwight Turner

Dr Dwight Turner is Course Leader on the Humanistic Counselling and Psychotherapy Course at the University of Brighton, a PhD Supervisor at their Doctoral College, a psychotherapist and supervisor in private practice. His latest book Intersections of Privilege and Otherness in Counselling and Psychotherapy was released in February 2021 and is published by Routledge.

An activist, writer and public speaker on issues of race, difference and intersectionality in counselling and psychotherapy.

Jennie Cummings-Knight

Jennie Cummings-Knight (MA,RMBACP, PGCE, FHEA, Accred. Mediator) runs a private psychotherapeutic counselling practice in Norfolk and is also an Associate Lecturer at the NSPC. She also writes and presents counselling workshops for CPD in Norwich 3-4 times a year. Jennie has 20 years of counselling experience. She works existentially within an integrative framework and her research interests include Male Identity Issues and Existential Anxiety. She has just started a D Prof at Anglia Ruskin University in Practical Theology, where she will be researching Patriarchy.

Golden Leaf Counselling Services – Making Life Changes
About Counselling in General… NB During the Covid 19 outbreak, Golden Leaf Counselling is currently functioning as normal, as we are an essential mental health service, but there are limitations on how many face to face sessions that I can offer during any lockdown periods.Government guidelines continue to be followed.

John Wilson

I have been facilitating in Counselling & Psychotherapy programmes in the UK for more than 10 years.

I am currently the director at Temenos Education and have a private practice where I offer online Psychotherapy and Supervision using video and chat communication platforms along with virtual environments. I am also the co-founder of onlinevents which has grown to be the world’s largest library of online video and audio content with instant certification and a learning log.

I am also a past chair of the Association for Counselling & Therapy Online (ACTO) and have served for 6 years on the board of the World Association for Person Centered & Experiential Psychotherapy & Counselling. My passion to bring online learning into the field of Counselling & Psychotherapy has also led to the development of online experiential learning within the Temenos programme, facilitating the exposure of Temenos students to external tutors who are located in different parts of the world. Along with the inclusion of experiential learning of online Counselling & Psychotherapy for Temenos students so that they qualify with knowledge and practice in online communication and relationship.

Marcie Boyer

Marcie Boyer is an experienced Existential Life Coach and a third-year doctoral student in Existential Psychotherapy and Counselling at the New School of Psychotherapy and Counselling. Working with the anxiety, grief, trauma, and healing that comes from loving, living, and being in the world with others sits at the heart of both her both practice and research.

Her current research explores the experiences of daughters who made the decision to withdraw life support for their mothers, following a sudden life-threatening health event. Her clinical interests, like those of her research, draw upon many of her own life experiences to support others to find meaning and healing following abuse, racism, and loss.

Nadia El-Nakla

I am a proud Scottish-Palestinian, raised in Dundee, Scotland. I graduated in 2005 with an MA in Politics and returned to University in 2018 to obtain my Masters in Counselling. I started my private practise ‘NY Counselling & Training’ which has just celebrated its first birthday. I previously worked for a Member of the Scottish Parliament for 8 years and prior to that I was in the third sector as a Development Manager for an equalities organisation. In May 2021, I was elected as a Councillor for Dundee City Council, becoming Dundee’s first Muslim female Councillor.

Nancy Hakim Dowek

Nancy is the course leader at NSPC for the DProf Programme. She is a lecturer and the doctoral programmes and provides clinical research supervision to both doctoral and masters students. She completed her doctoral degree in Existential Psychotherapy on ‘The lived experience of the bi-rooted migrant’.

Nancy’s research interests include: Identity, Migration, Belonging, Roots, uprooting, Bi-Rooted, Cosmopolitanism, Dualism in Self and Identity, Life Crisis and Life Transitions, Existential and Human Issues and Limited Situations.


Hakim Dowek, N. (2019). The Existential Journey of the Bi-Rooted Migrant. Self & Society, An international Journal for Humanistic Psychology, vol.47, No1 Spring 2019, pp140 -145
Hakim Dowek, N. (2020). The Bi-Rooted Migrant – an Existential Journey, chapter 14 in Re-visioning Existential Psychotherapy. Ed Manu Bazzano. London: Routledge

Priscilla Eyles

Priscilla (she/they) is passionate about finding long-term solutions to the barriers Neurodivergent and Disabled people with marginalised and intersectional identities face. And as a cult survivor is passionate about destigmatising the conversation around the cult experience and raising awareness of the vulnerability to these destructive organisations when you are multiply marginalised and neurodivergent.

They are also passionate about valuing the lived experience and contribution of multiply marginalised and neurodivergent people, as a mixed (with Zimbabwean and English heritage) neurodivergent (ADHD/ASD) and queer fluid-flux femme/AFAB themselves.

Priscilla Eyles is currently the Project Coordinator Inclusion London, working on an intersectional disability project and is an DEI trainer specialising in neurodivergence with Challenge Consultancy. As well as a trustee for their local DDPO, Camden Disability Action as well as being an active advocate for multiply-marginalised neurodivergent people and neurodivergent cult survivors.

Sabnum Dharamsi

As the co-founder of the Islamic Counselling training programme, the first Islamic accredited training in the UK, I developed a theoretical underpinning for Islamic Counselling as well as a curriculum, and currently teach students in Islamic Counselling up to practitioner level.

Our model of Islamic Counselling (there’s more than one) reflects our contemporary, non-sectarian outlook, responding to the needs of our diverse communities. It’s inspired by our deep spiritual apprenticeship with Sufi Master, Shaykh Fadhlalla Haeri, with whom I learnt the importance of internalising the inner teachings of Islam, and further readings in Islamic Psychology.

I’ve lectured/trained in Islamic Counselling & Spirituality in Counselling in many mainstream and Muslim organisations, including the Universities of Tübingen, Durham, and Punjab, as well as the Muslim Youth Helpline, SOAS Islamic Society, Islamic Medical Association, and Markfield College for New Muslims. I’ve enabled Muslim grassroots organisations to offer Islamic counselling skills to their members like Wingz in Northampton, Pearls of Peace in Gloucester, and Whitechapel Islamic Centre. The facebook group I established on Islamic Counselling has almost 2000 members worldwide.

Abdullah and I contributed a chapter for the book ‘Counselling Muslims‘. I’ve spoken on Islamic TV/Radio programmes to raise awareness on Muslim mental health, and was Chair of the Muslim Women and Families Helpline for over 10 years. Originally trained in youth work and then in person-centred counselling, I’ve worked extensively in the drugs and alcohol field, briefly been a student counsellor, and have provided local government and other bodies with research, training, policy development, and consultancy in the area of teenage pregnancy, looked after children, sex and relationships, adult education, and diversity. I also offer consultancy on adult education to councils throughout Britain.

Salma Siddique

Salma Siddique, PhD, FHEA, FRSA, FRAI is an academic and clinical (psychotherapist) clinical anthropologist working. She obtained her doctorate in anthropology from the University of St. Andrews and later qualified as a UKCP registered psychotherapist and clinical supervisor. Deputy Director of the Diversity Courses @nspcstudies – (The home of freelance thinkers) Research areas – Her main research teaching is based on the dialogue between psychoanalysis, psychotherapy and anthropology and is influenced by her clinical experience working with people in trauma resulting from oppression, abuse, torture, fleeing disaster and conflict zones within and between organisations and professional groups. She is a contributor to research writing and media participation as a clinical anthropologist. Her work and practice engage with the tension between collective guilt and personal responsibility examined from the witnessing of identity and belonging through displaced lives, racism, and systemic oppression.

Stella Duffy

Stella Duffy is completing her third year of a doctorate training in Existential Psychotherapy at NSPC, her research is in the embodied experience of postmenopause. Alongside her private psychotherapy practice, Stella has worked in NHS cancer psychological support, and hospice bereavement support, currently working with a low-cost community mental health service. With fellow NSPC doctorate student Chris Cleave she runs workshops in existential writing for therapists. Alongside her therapy work, Stella is an award-winning writer of seventeen novels, over seventy short stories and fourteen plays and worked in theatre for over thirty-five years as an actor, director, facilitator and improvisor. She has been active in equalities and inclusion work in the arts, women’s and LGBTQ+ communities for many decades.

Susan Groves

Susan has an MA in Core Process Psychotherapy and theology as well as an initial training in social work. She grew up in Southern Africa and has been offering work around whiteness in South Africa and the UK over the last few years. She values creativity and play and draws strength from various spiritual traditions. She is the author of 4 books, one of which addresses the theme of whiteness.

Zahraa Scott

Zahraa Scott is a first year DProf candidate in Existential Psychotherapy at the NSPC. She has an academic background in Classical Studies and Philosophy, having completed her undergraduate degree on both subjects at the University of Exeter in 2014, where she explored the relationship between language and consciousness. Since, she has further developed literary analysis and theoretical skills at King’s College London, where she wrote her MA dissertation in Comparative Literature comparing the narratives of the ‘Harry Potter’ book series and ‘The Matrix’ film trilogy under a psychoanalytic lens. She has a personal interest in analytic psychology, attachment theory, Sufism, postcolonial narratives and the function of role play in the formation of identity.