In the sixth episode of The Zanaan Wanaan Podcast, we discuss Psychology as an academic discipline in the context of Kashmir. The episode addresses the importance of destigmatising and decolonising mental health discourses, the role of critical research that is context sensitive and the need for more mental health professionals in a militarised conflict. For this episode, we were joined by three dynamic professionals and researchers in the field:
Zoya Mir is a gold medalist, a Beck Certified CBT therapist and a practicing clinical psychologist. She has done license courses in Motivational Interviewing for Addiction, Eye Movement Desensitisation Reprocessing and Solution Focused Brief Therapy. She has several publications in local and online portals and has published a paper on the Effect of Armed Conflict on Mental Health of Youth in Kashmir. She conducts community level workshops in pre-schools, schools and colleges- with children, teachers and parents.
Zahida War is an aspiring mental health professional currently pursuing a mental health fellowship at Pause for Perspective, Hyderabad, India. Her practice is queer affirmative and incorporates different therapeutic techniques in sessions. As part of her fellowship, Zahida is also facilitating an online support group for Kashmiri women to hold space for experiences – the hardships and challenges they face in negotiating their daily routine and support systems present. Zahida’s previous education qualifications include an MSc in War and Psychiatry at King’s College London, a B.A. Honours in Psychology and a Post-Graduate Diploma in Research at Ashoka University where she completed a thesis on Resilience in Kashmir. She further completed her masters dissertation on the mental health of women living in Kashmir with an aim to identify psychosocial factors leading to poor mental health Outcomes.
Asma Nisar has completed a B.A. Honours in Psychology and an M.A. in Psychology from Jamia Milia Islamia, New Delhi. After that she did an MPhil in Social Science with a focus on Psychology from TISS Mumbai and is currently pursuing her PhD there. She is working with Muslim women and the focus of her research is identity formation in Muslim women. She is trying to understand how their religious, social and gender identities intersect and influence the way they perceive and are perceived in the society. She has also been working at Ambedkar University Delhi since 2019 as an Assistant Professor (visiting faculty) and has taught various papers in Psychology to undergraduate students.