Mariya Levitanus

Lecturer in Counselling and Psychotherapy

  • Counselling, Psychotherapy and Applied Social Science

Contact details



Room 1.13
18 Buccleuch Place

Post code


Mariya is a scholar, queer activist, and psychotherapist trained in the dialogue between the person-centred approach and psychodynamic perspectives. She received her Doctorate in Psychotherapy from the University of Edinburgh in 2020. Her past research delved into the narratives of everyday life of queer people living in Kazakhstan. Mariya's current research looks at the Russian queer migration to Central Asia following the full-scale invasion of Ukraine in February 2022. Her previous and upcoming publications have focused on the role of Soviet discourses in the narratives of queer people in Kazakhstan, queer emigration and queer activism in Kazakhstan and Russia. Mariya's work foregrounds lived experiences, examining how the socio-political context shapes everyday life in authoritarian regimes.


  • Fellowship of the Higher Education Academy
  • The Postgraduate Certificate in Learning and Teaching in Higher Education (PGCLTHE), University of South Wales
  • Professional Doctorate in Counselling and Psychotherapy, University of Edinburgh
  • Postgraduate Diploma in Counselling (Interpersonal Dialogue), with Distinction, The University of Edinburgh/COSCA 
  • Bachelor of Science in Psychology, First-Class, University of St Andrews

Postgraduate teaching

Postgraduate Certificate in Counselling Studies

  • Listening, Attunement  and Empathy
  • Self, Other and Society 
  • Ethics, Boundaries and Supervision

Master of Counselling / PG Dip in Counselling (Interpersonal Dialogue)

  • Beginnings in Counselling Practice
  • From Two Person to Three Person to the Group: A Psychodynamic Perspective
  • Difference, Diversity and Power

Professional Doctorate in Psychotherapy and Counselling

  • Professional Accreditation and Personal Development

Open to PhD supervision enquiries?


Current PhD students supervised

Fergus Evans, Psychotherapeutic Applications of Trans Theory

Past PhD students supervised

Jonathan Stockwell, Making sense of father-son estrangement

Natalia Cisneros Buiton, Not our script: a Narrative Exploration of Voluntary Childlessness in Ecuador

Jasmine Halow, Stories from the River: Developing Political Awareness Within Psychotherapy in Counselling Sexual Violence

Research summary

  • Queer lives in Central Asia
  • Agency, queer activism, alternative forms of activism 
  • Queer migration
  • Queerness within authoritarian regimes
  • Gender, sexuality and relationship diversity within counselling and psychotherapy
  • Queer and Trans theories
  • Queer Ethics
  • Narrative inquiry 
  • Discourse analysis
  • Decolonial Approaches


View all 9 publications on Research Explorer