Nafsiyat was established in 1983 by psychotherapist Jafar Kareem to ensure that the diverse religious, cultural and ethnic communities in London could access appropriate psychotherapy and counselling services. Nafsiyat was the first therapy centre in the UK to take account of the cultural background of the patient and therapist, and recognise its importance in psychological treatment. Our role is to reach those who have been systematically failed elsewhere in society, isolated by skewed power dynamics which underly, and/or intensify, mental ill health.
Today, we offer free, short-term intercultural therapy to people from diverse backgrounds who live in Islington, Enfield, Camden and Haringey. We provide therapy in 20+ languages and have a culturally diverse staff team, of whom 35% are refugees. Those we work with are experiencing often complex mental illness, which can be intersected and exacerbated by experiences of marginalisation and prejudice. English is a second language of all our clients, and many of them have experienced acute trauma as a result of experiences including war, persecution, sexual violence, and being forced to flee their home country.