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School of Health and Society

Suryia Nayak

Senior Lecturer Social Work


I am a qualified social worker and psychoanalytic psychotherapist and currently training as a psychoanalytic group practitioner. I have over 30 years of practice and training experience within the Rape crisis movement working to confront all forms of violence against women and girls. I have set up two specific services for Black, Asian and Minoriticised ethnic women and girls. I have expensive experience as a clinical supervisor (for example eating disorders, intensive psychiatric in-patient therapeutic work with adolescents, prisons), I have extensive experience of community education, research and clinical practice with asylum seekers, refugees and issues of migration.


  • Trauma and loss
  • Intersectionality
  • Research methodology
  • Feminism (with specific expertise in Black feminism)
  • Psychoanalytic frameworks (theory, practice, supervision in regards to individuals, groups and organizations)
  • Identity formation (including applications of theory on voice, position and representation)
  • Discrimination and oppression (particularly in regards to detailed critical analysis of how mechanisms of oppression operate)
  • Subalternity

Research Interests

  • Application of critical theory to social work and issues concerning social justice, hierarchy and power.
  • Psychoanalysis, group analysis – theory, methodology and practice.
  • Textual / intertexual and discourse analysis
  • Black Feminist, colonial and critical race theory and methodology including the relationship between theory and activism.
  • Deconstructionism including analysis and application of the ideas of thinkers such as: Derrida, Bhabha, Hall,Foucault, Spivak, Barthes and Butler. I am particularly concerned with the application of critical theory in the interrogation of the aporia of voice, positionality, representation, borders and colonization.
  • I remain active in issues concerning migration, education as liberation, violence against women and girls and trauma.

Qualifications and Memberships

2013 PhD ‘Declaring the Activism of Black Feminist Theory’

1996 Advanced Dip Counselling and Psychotherapy University of Manchester

1996 Certificate Psychoanalytic Group analysis (GAN)

1992 CQSW Manchester University

1989 BA (Oxon) MA (Oxon) Modern History University of Oxford

HCPC Registration Number: SW99480


  • Nayak, S. (2015) ‘Lorde’, in I Parker and D. Pavón-Cuéllar (eds) Marxismo, psicología y psicoanálisis. Mexico DF: Ideas y Letras.
  • Nayak, S. (2015) ‘Social Work: Oppression and Resistance’, in I. Parker (ed.) Handbook of Critical Psychology. Abingdon/New York Routledge [ISBN: 978-1-84872-218-7]. Link:
  • Nayak, S. (2015) ‘The activism of Black Feminist Theory: Race, Gender and Social Change. Abingdon: Routledge.
  • Nayak, S. (2013) ‘The Activism of Black Feminist theory in Confronting Violence Against Women: interconnections, Politics and Practice’ in Ines Testoni, Angelika Groterath, Maria Silvia Guglielmin, Michael Wieser (Eds.) Teaching against Violence reassessing the toolbox: Teaching with Gender. European Women’s Studies in International and Interdisciplinary Classrooms. Budapest–New York: The European Association for Gender Research, Education and Documentation, Utrecht & Central European University Press.
  • Hesk, G. and Nayak, S. ( 2013) 'Communication problems in a couple' in Bettmann, J.E., Jacques, G., & Frost, C. (Eds.) International social work practice: Case studies from a global context. London, England: Routledge.
  • Nayak. S. (2012) ‘Equality and Diversity’ in Aidan Worsley and Tim Mann (Eds.) Key Concepts in Social Work London and Thousand Oaks: Sage.
  • Nayak, S. (2012) ‘Testimony, Tolerance and Hospitality: The limitations of The Human Rights Act in Relation to Asylum Seekers’ in Kang-Riou, N., Milner, J and S. Nayak (Eds.) Confronting the Human Rights Act 1998: contemporary themes and perspectives. London and New York: Routledge.
  •  Kang-Riou, N., Milner, J and Nayak, S. (Eds.) (2012) Confronting the Human Rights Act 1998: contemporary themes and perspectives. London and New York: Routledge.