Dr. Noorfarah Merali is a Registered Psychologist with expertise in Culturally Competent Counselling and Mental Health Care (often referred to as Cross-Cultural Counselling). She also has expertise in Cross-Cultural Adaptation and Immigrant/Refugee Mental Health. Dr. Merali is a tenured professor in the Counselling Psychology Graduate Program at the University of Alberta, and is a Faculty Fellow of the Centre for Global Citizenship Education and Research. She is a practicing psychologist, psychologist educator, and psychological researcher.
Dr. Merali utilizes an integrative approach to individual counselling, drawing on evidence-based strategies from Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy, Solution-Focused Therapy, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, and Multicultural Counselling and Therapy (MCT). When working with couples, Dr. Merali integrates the two most effective couples therapy approaches (The Gottman Method and Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy) with Family Systems Theory and MCT to respond to variations in family structure, relationships, roles, values, and experiences across cultures and diverse intersecting identities.
Dr. Merali served as the Director of Clinical Training for the Doctoral Program in Counselling Psychology Accredited by the Canadian Psychological Association, as well as the Coordinator for all Counselling Psychology Graduate Programs at the University of Alberta for the 5 year period from September 2008 to April 2013, including the Master’s thesis-based, course-based, and School Counselling programs. She has resumed the role of Coordinator and Director for the School Counselling Master’s Program since September 2017.
Areas of Contribution:
Noorfarah has 20 years of combined experience in work and volunteer roles across the community, post-secondary education, health care, government and private sectors in the areas of: (1) Mental Health Service Delivery and Program Leadership, (2) Teaching, Curriculum Design, and Diversity Training, (3) Program Design and Evaluation, (4) Cross-cultural, Community-based, and Immigration Policy Research, (5) Strategic Planning and Advisement, and (6) Graduate Student Supervision. She has been approached by organizations such as the United Nations, Citizenship and Immigration Canada, Health and Human Resources Development Canada, the Alberta Mental Health Board, and the YWCA for help with projects and programs related to cross-cultural counselling, immigration, refugees, and diversity, or for staff training. Programs she has designed have received recognition from the Canada Council for Refugees and the (national) Minister for the Status of Women as prototypes for excellence in service delivery to culturally diverse communities.
Noorfarah Merali's research interests and publications encompass four intersecting areas: (1) the impact of Canadian immigration policies on migrants’ adjustment and quality of life, (2) cross-cultural individual and family experiences, such as acculturation patterns and the impact of the cultural transition process on immigrant and refugee families and unique challenges that arise in arranged marriages across international borders, (3) immigrant and refugee mental health, and (4) multicultural counselling competence. Dr. Merali's research program has been funded by grants from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, Status of Women Canada, the Prairie Metropolis Centre of Excellence for Research on Immigration, Integration and Diversity, and the Immigration & Intergovernmental Relations Branch of Alberta Advanced Education & Career Development. Dr. Merali has over 50 publications. A few examples of publications on different topics over the years are included in this profile.
Courses Taught Over the Years:
This course introduces the major theories used in counselling/psychotherapy. Priority given to students enrolled in the School and Clinical Child Psychology or Counselling Psychology programs or consent of Department.Fall Term 2021
Designed to establish a theoretical and practical understanding of the factors that influence the nature and effectiveness of the cross-cultural counselling process. Includes multicultural counselling competencies, ethics in cross-cultural counselling interactions, models of racial and cultural identity development, multicultural assessment procedures, and culture-specific (emic) and universal (etic) helping styles. Priority given to students enrolled in the School and Clinical Child Psychology, Counselling Psychology or Teaching English as a Second Language programs or consent of Department.Winter Term 2022
Content varies from year to year. Topics announced prior to registration period. The student's transcript carries title descriptive of content. May be repeated.Fall Term 2021