Dr Nini Kerr (DPsych(Edin), MBACP(Accred), FHEA)



I have established an extensive research track record by critically exploring the lived experiences of marginalised communities. My research delves into the intricate and nuanced connections between identity, psychological experiences, and social reality, providing actionable insights into the impacts of various forms of inequality. My research outputs are frequently featured in renowned journals, particularly in the fields of psychoanalytic and psychosocial studies. I have developed research expertise in creative and qualitative methodologies to construct critical and performative accounts of minority experiences. In recognition of my sustained achievements in innovating and revitalising research practices that promote social justice and equality, I was honoured with the University-wide Good Research Practice Award in the 'Positive Disruptor' category in 2022.

I gained my Doctorate in Psychotherapy from the University of Edinburgh in 2016 (awarded without corrections). My doctoral thesis focused on mourning and melancholia, specifically examining and extending Ronald Fairbairn's object-relations theory using a creative methodology of imaginal dialogue with Virginia Woolf.

As an accredited psychoanalytic practitioner by the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP), I have authored and published numerous research articles that draw upon my clinical practice and theoretical reflections in reputable international specialist journals. In addition, I serve as a COSCA-accredited trainer for the Postgraduate programmes (Masters/PgDiploma/ProfDoc in Counselling) at the University of Edinburgh. My teaching approach embraces anti-oppressive pedagogical praxis and advocates for a politically sensitive curriculum that addresses social and political inequality in therapeutic settings. I was awarded the Principal's Teaching Award Scheme (PTAS) in 2023 for my project on 'Decolonising Counselling and Psychotherapy: Reflections from Psychosocial Perspectives' - the first project to engage with the decolonial initiatives in counselling training at Edinburgh.

I am a Scholar of the British Psychoanalytic Council (BPC) and hold positions on the Executive Board for the Association for Psychosocial Studies (APS), the Editorial Boards for New Associations (British Psychoanalytic Council), and Psychoanalysis, Culture & Society. I actively participate in various research networks, including the Association for the Psychoanalysis of Culture and Society (APCS), the Higher Education Research Group (HERG) at the University of Edinburgh, and the research network Race.Ed (UoE).


Professional memberships / Research Networks

  • Registered member of British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP) since September 2015; professional accreditation awarded since May 2018. 
  • Accredited trainer of COSCA for the Postgraduate counselling programmes (Masters /Diploma in Counselling)
  • Executive Board Member of the Association for Psychosocial Studies (APS)
  • Member of the Association for Psychoanalysis of Culture and Society (APCS)
  • Member of the UoE Higher Education Research Group (HERG)
  • Member of the UoE Race.Ed Research Network
  • Member of the EDI Committee and Decolonisation Working Group, School of Health in Social Science
  • Community Anchor of the university-wide Decolonised Transformation Project 


Editorial and Academic Services

  • Reviewer for the Journal of Psychosocial Studies;  Psychodynamic Practice; Psychoanalysis, Culture and Society, Ethnic and Racial Studies
  • Guest Editor on the special issue: “Psychosocial perspectives on race, racism and anti-racist action” (2021), The Journal of Psychosocial Studies.
  • Guest Editor on the special issue: “Qualitative inquiry as activism" (2021), International Review of Qualitative Research.
  • External Examiner for the programme: ‘Professional doctorate in advanced practice and research: social work and social care (D55)’, the Tavistock and Portman NHS 
  • External Examiner for the programme:  MA Psychodynamic Counselling and Psychotherapy, University of Essex
  • Editorial Board, New Associations, British Psychoanalytic Council (BPC) (2021-2024)
  • Editorial Board, Psychoanalysis, Culture and Society
  • Scholar, British Psychoanalytic Council (BPC)
  • Executive Board, Association for Psychosocial Studies


Undergraduate teaching

MA Health in Social Science: https://www.ed.ac.uk/health/subject-areas/counselling/ma-health-science-society

- Identity and Experience in Health and Society

- Nature, Greenspace and Health

Postgraduate teaching

 MSc Counselling Studies: https://www.ed.ac.uk/health/subject-areas/counselling/postgraduate-taught/taught/msc-counselling

- Counselling across Language and Culture 

Master of Counselling / PG Dip in Counselling (Interpersonal Dialogue): https://www.ed.ac.uk/health/subject-areas/counselling/postgraduate-taught/placement-based-programmes/master-counselling-id

-  Beginnings in Counselling Practice

- The Counselling Relationship: Theory, Practice and Process

- Developing Narratives of Self

- Difference, Diversity and Power

- From Two Person to Three Person to the Group: A Psychodynamic Perspective

- Psychological Vulnerabilities and Distress in Counselling Practice

- Transitions, Endings and Beginnings

Open to PhD supervision enquiries?


Research summary

- Psychoanalytic inquiry: Ronald D Fairbairn, object-relations theory, depression, anti-psychiatry critique

- Psychosocial studies: culture and identity, 'race' and ethnicity studies, critical theory and postcolonial criticism, psychoanalytically-informed cultural analysis, post-human critical theory

- Critical University Studies: education and democracy, neoliberalism and late / advanced capitalism, social justice through education, reflexivity in counselling education

- Narrative inquiry / Auto-ethnographic studies

Affiliated research centres

View all 32 publications on Research Explorer