Zounish Rafique

Zounish Rafique works as a clinical psychologist in South Staffordshire and Shropshire NHS Foundation Trust. She is passionate about considering alternative ways of understanding emotional distress which take in to account the role of power, inequality and oppression. She is also interested in exploring the applicability of Western understandings of psychological distress across cultures and using approaches that draw upon many different cultural beliefs when trying to provide help that is both respectful and appropriate.

Zounish feels that community based groupwork is invaluable in terms of challenging stigma, prejudice and social isolation, and helps her to manage her frustrations around the limitations of individual therapy. She has been involved in the following Psychology in the Real World groups:

Thinking about Medication
The group was for anyone currently taking psychiatric medication and interested in exploring questions such as: What are the pros and cons of taking psychiatric medication? How do psychiatric drugs affect people? What support is available to people wanting to come off psychiatric medication?
We were joined by guest speakers with various expertise in the field, including people who have successfully come off psychiatric drugs, psychiatrists, community mental health nurses and substance misuse workers.

Women in the Real World
The group was aimed at people interested in discussing issues related to women in society and mental health, and critiquing the influence of different systems on women’s lives (including the media, local and national agencies, and others around us). Sessions including exploring the following questions: Why are so many women unhappy with the way they look? Might some women’s depression be a reaction to oppression? Who defines what it is to be a good mother?

Walk and Talk Telford 2010
This group ran along the same lines of the original Walk and Talk group in Shrewsbury. It was open to anyone and between 4 and 10 people attended every week from April to September 2010. People who attended reported enjoying the company of others, the informal setting and the opportunity to get out for a walk. Unfortunately the group has not run in subsequent years due to work pressures, team changes and a perceived lack of support for community work.

Contact Zounish on: zounish.rafique@nhs.net