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Dr Sukhi Sembi

Dr Sukhi Sembi

Assistant Professor, Counselling and Psychotherapy

+44 024 765 73989

Sukhdev (Sukhi) Sembi is an Assistant Professor of Counselling and Psychotherapy, teaching on both undergraduate and post-graduate Counselling and Psychotherapy courses. Sukhi joined the team in September 2021, and works part-time across the two courses.

Sukhi has developed an integrative practice, having qualified as a person-centred psychotherapist in 2011. She furthered her education with a postgraduate qualification in Infant Mental Health from the Tavistock Clinic (Bristol), where she honed her skills in psychoanalytic concepts and their application in early years' contexts through early child development, unconscious processes and infant observation. Having embraced the work of Freud, Winnicott, Klein and concepts such as ‘ghosts in the nursery (Fraiberg et al 1975), with the more recent works of ‘why love matter’s (Gerhardt 2014) and ‘what can the matter be’ (Bradley & Emanuel 2008), Sukhi is passionate about working at relational depth with the dynamics between the parent and child, being a voice for the child.

Sukhi also works as a Parent-Infant-Therapist for Sound Foundations Early Intervention & Psychotherapy Hub. The organization was established to provide community-led support services for babies and young children and their families.

Sukhi's passion for early intervention was ignited during her time as the lead researcher at the University of Warwick where she worked on projects/interventions that supported parents; the Mums4Mums (telephone based peer support for postnatal depression) and Parents under Pressure (intervention to support parents with substance misuse issues) projects as part of the Warwick Infant and Family Wellbeing Unit.

Sukhi's doctorate in Health Sciences was based on a research study evaluating the impact of telephone-based peer-support on postnatal depression, which she conducted as part of the Mums4Mums study. Her mixed methods approach provided valuable insight into the acceptability and effectiveness of telephone-based peer-support in helping new mothers cope with postnatal depression.

Published Papers

Barlow J, Sembi S, Parsons H, Kim S, Petrou S, Harnett P, Dawe S. A randomized controlled trial and economic evaluation of the Parents Under Pressure program for parents in substance abuse treatment. Drug Alcohol Depend. 2019 Jan 1;194:184-194. doi: 10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2018.08.044. Epub 2018 Nov 3. PMID: 30447510.

Barlow, J., Sembi, S., Underdown, A. (2016) Pilot RCT of the use of video interactive guidance with preterm babies. Journal of Reproductive and Infant Psychology 34 (5).

Barlow, JB., Sembi, K., Gardner, F., Macdonald, G., Petrou, S., Parsons, H., Harnett, P., & Dawe, S. (2013). An evaluation of the parents under pressure programme: a study protocol for an RCT into its clinical and cost effectiveness. Trials, 12 (88).

Caramlau, I., Barlow, J., Sembi, S. (2011). Mums 4 Mums: structured telephone peer-support for women experiencing postnatal depression. Pilot and exploratory RCT of its clinical and cost effectiveness, Trials 12 (3) 1-5

Schlaghecken, F., Rowley, L., Sembi, S., Simmons, R., & Whitcomb, D. (2008). The negative compatibility effect: A case for self-inhibition. Advances in cognitive psychology, 3(1-2), 227-40. doi:10.2478/v10053-008-0027-y