Working to support positive change
Colleague Spotlight | Maryam Riaz
I am an experienced lecturer teaching in Counselling and Mental Health courses offered by the School of Health in Psychological Therapies and Mental Health. I am a BACP-registered psychotherapist with over 15 years’ experience of working in healthcare, specialised in working with trauma, bereavement and transcultural therapy, and most recently supported frontline staff and families during the Covid-19 pandemic. My research interests are in transcultural therapy.
Tell us a bit about yourself and what led you to working within the School of Health
I came into this profession to support positive change, especially in the field of counselling and mental health. Education is a powerful resource that can change a person’s life and open doors to equal opportunities. Being able to support students on this journey is a privilege and to see the growth and development in a person is an honour, that is why I love my job as a lecturer.
What makes you passionate around your work around psychological therapies and why is it important?
I believe the healing relationship offered by counselling, psychotherapy and mental services has a positive impact and can often be life-changing for many, and I am passionate about this being accessible to all.
I am proud of all the courses we offer. Our courses offer extra value because we work consciously to represent and address diversity, issues and debates within the mental health and counselling field to encourage our students to develop an open-minded, inclusive practice and to become positive role models and leaders in the field.
How is collaboration integral to your work, and what are one or two collaborations that have been most meaningful to you?
One of the first steps towards developing inclusive practice and working to increase representation from traditionally underrepresented demographic in counselling and mental health services was being part of the Northpoint Wellbeing & Leeds Beckett University Fee Scholarship for Trainee Counsellors studying on the MA Integrative Counselling. Northpoint Wellbeing, a local mental health charity, and Leeds Beckett University have formed a partnership to support Black, Asian and other people of colour who are traditionally underrepresented in the counselling and mental health professions to train to become a qualified practising therapeutic counsellor.
I hope to build on this and develop more collaborative partnerships to benefit and support our students and local communities.
What achievements in this area have you been most proud of while working in the School of Health?
Being the first woman of colour to work on the teaching team has been a great achievement and progress that illustrates our commitment to developing inclusive practice, and my work will also include working with our teams to design and deliver an inclusive curriculum and research.
Maryam is an experienced lecturer teaching in Counselling and Mental Health courses offered by the School in Psychological Therapies and Mental Health. She is a BACP registered Psychotherapist.