One on one… Dr Ameera Zumla

We dip into the society member database and pick out Dr Ameera Zumla, Clinical Psychologist at Spire Leicester Hospital.

One inspiration
This has got to be my uncle, Professor Sir Alimuddin Zumla. Having contracted Tuberculosis (TB) as a junior doctor in London, which nearly killed him, he then spent his adult life helping eradicate the disease. Sir Alimuddin’s research and development over 30 years has allowed for breakthroughs in TB, HIV, co-infections and infectious diseases with epidemic potential, as well as improving health of disadvantaged people. He currently works for University College London and Hospital. He received the Mahathir science award in 2020, the most prestigious international science award, and was knighted in 2017 in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List. Well done Kaka, may you continue to inspire others!

One alternative career path
I love football, so it would have to be a footballer.

One nugget of advice for aspiring psychologists
The same piece of advice my Headteacher Mr Honeyboarn at college told me: ‘always try, try and try again…’. This stuck with me, resonating during every step of entering into the career of Clinical Psychology and beyond.

One thing Psychologists could do better
Contribute to more evidence-based practice, and practice-based evidence, in the areas of faith, disadvantaged individuals, and BAME populations. This would further facilitate equitable and accessible services, and high quality effective treatments and packages of care for these individuals.

I hope we continue to recruit and promote more individuals from BAME populations, representative of the growing diverse communities. I am incredibly passionate about supporting the Doctoral programme at the University of Leicester in terms of the selection process, the diversity strategy reference group and diversity teaching, and supervising Doctoral trainee BAME research projects. I have also started mentoring students from faith based studies such as the Aalimiyah course at Darul Arqam Leicester.

One proud moment
As I have four beautiful children, it would be four immensely proud moments of returning home each time after giving birth. My children continue to make me smile every day and I look forward to them continuing to blossom into their unique personalities and characters. 

One favourite psychological model
Having trained at the University of Manchester, my core is Cognitive Behavioural Therapy. However, I recognise the limits of this approach across cultures, ages and cognitive abilities. I take a holistic approach to my work and draw upon other models and principles, including Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, Mindfulness, Health Psychology, and Systemic principles. When working with families, I particularly value Triple-P principles and I have been able to grow in my skills and knowledge in this area especially after becoming a parent myself.

One quotation
‘There can be no greater gift than that of giving one’s time and energy to help others without expecting anything in return.’ Nelson Mandela.

One great thing about my job
Being able to support others to take positive steps in achieving their goals. I love the variety in my role and working across varying settings, contexts, and meeting great people along the journey.

One thing the pandemic has taught me
The importance of accepting and tolerating uncertainty, living mindfully each day, and maximising the time we have with our loved ones. Plus having a positive mindset and appreciating everything we have, even things that appear trivial. Finally, how much I miss retail therapy, my friends, the gym, restaurants and holidays!

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