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Aaliyah Shaikh

Research Student

School of Health Sciences, Division of Nursing


Postal address

City, University of London
Northampton Square
United Kingdom



Aaliyah is Certified as a Clinical Trauma Professional (CCTP) and a psychotherapist in private practice. She is the founder of the RAHMAHApproach© to psychology (grounded within a non pathologising view of human distress, integrating psychotherapy, neuroscience, and spiritual insights working on trauma and well-being rooted in our earliest experiences from the time in the womb and prior) which she established in 2012 working predominantly with Muslim women.

Currently, in the latter stages of her PhD in Health Psychology at City, University of London on a fully funded Aziz Foundation Scholarship and also having been awarded the Dora Opoku award. Her thesis is looking at Muslims experiences of pregnacy and birth trauma using a decolonising methodologies framework.

Aaliyah completed a Master’s in Education in Psychotherapeutic Counselling at the University of Cambridge in 2015 at the Faculty of Education as a member of St Catharine’s College. Prior to that she completed a Masters in Muslim Community Studies with chaplaincy & spiritual care and ‘Islam, women and feminism’, a PGDiploma in Social Studies with a psychoanalytic philosophy at UEL and Tavistock NHS, and Psychodynamic Counselling at University of Leicester, as well as short courses in Islamic counselling and psychology.

Aaliyah's research interests are multi disciplinary and include the intersection of women’s health, health psychology, critical medical humanities, intergenerational trauma and the impact of early experiences of pregnancy and birth with a context of migration, colonisation of minds and bodies, socio-religious discourses, discrimination, and how people make sense of their experiences psychologically considering impact on health outcomes. She is particularly interested in Muslim 'mental' health narratives, perinatal and birth trauma, critical psych*studies, ACE’s, CPTSD, psychotherapy, global mental health, decolonising methodologies, Islamic ontology and epistemologies for research with Muslims.

She has recently been awarded funding to lead an edited book bringing together Muslim psychotherapists and psychologists to share their experiences, practice and theories.


  1. Certified Clinical Trauma Professional, PESI UK, Sep 2020 – Nov 2021
  2. Masters of Education Psychotherapeutic Counselling (Child & Adolescent specialism), University of Cambridge, United Kingdom
  3. Masters of Arts Muslim Community Studies, Loughborough University, United Kingdom
  4. Psychodynamic Counselling skills, University of Leicester, United Kingdom


  1. Dora Opoku Scholarship (2020) Dora Opoku Scholarship
  2. Aziz Foundation (2017) Aziz Scholarship
    Ful PhD Scholarship award


Arabic (can read), English (can read, write, speak, understand spoken and peer review), Hindi (can speak and understand spoken), Panjabi; Punjabi (can speak and understand spoken) and Urdu (can speak and understand spoken).