Ummul-Kiram Kathawalla, PhD

Assistant Professor of Clinical Practice, Psychology

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  • PhD, Counseling Psychology, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN
  • MA, Counseling Psychology, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN
  • BS, Human Development & Psychological Services, Minor in Global Health, Northwestern University, Evanston, IL

Internship and Postdoctoral Fellowship

  • Internship: VA Boston Healthcare System, Boston, MA
  • Postdoctoral Clinical Fellowship: Edith Nourse Rogers Memorial Veterans’ Hospital (Bedford VA), Bedford, MA
  • Postdoctoral Research Fellowship: Wheelock College of Education & Human Development, Boston University, Boston, MA

Specialty Areas

Clinical supervision, teaching, mentorship, research, and therapy/assessment for adults and couples

I teach applied clinical courses for PhD students in clinical psychology. I use an integrative, person-centered approach in my teaching, supervision and clinical work that focused on an individual’s cultural experience, identity, and values. I have expertise in conducting multiple evidenced-based treatments including (but not limited to) acceptance and commitment therapy, cognitive-behavioral therapy for insomnia, cognitive processing therapy for PTSD, dialectical behavioral therapy, integrative behavioral couples therapy, and career counseling; and group therapies, including pregnancy and postpartum anxiety group, race-based stress and empowerment group. I also have expertise conducting multiple psychological and diagnostic assessments (e.g., career assessments, MMPI, WAIS). I hope to support supervisees and clients to foster personal growth and live life according to one’s values.

I also conduct research on how discrimination, life stress, and sociocultural contexts contribute to the development and persistence of identity development and wellbeing in minorities. I use this understanding to develop and examine culturally informed interventions and technology that consider individual differences and experiences to serve marginalized populations. These lines of research build upon each other so that I can move the field of applied ethnic minority psychology forward using rigorous mixed methodology and transparent, open science research practices with a strong commitment to diversity and social justice.


Stevenson, B. J., Chamberlin, E., Smith, C. M., Teravainen, T., Kathawalla, U. K., & Mueller, L. (2023). Mind the Overlap: A Qualitative Exploration of the Vocational Lives of Veterans Living With Mental Health and Substance Use Conditions. Journal of Career Assessment, 10690727231164646.

Reilly E.D., Kathawalla, U.K., Robins, H.E., Heapy, A.A., Hogan, T.P., Waring, M.E., Quigley, K.S., Drebing, C.E., Bickmore, T.E., Volonte, M., & Kelly M.M. (2023). An Online Acceptance and Mindfulness Intervention for Chronic Pain in Veterans: Development and Protocol for a Pilot Feasibility Randomized Controlled Trial. JMIR Research Protocol. 2023;12:e45887.

Stevenson, B.J., Kathawalla, U., Smith, C., Mueller, L. (2022) Career Development in Transitional Work Settings: A Qualitative Investigation among Veterans and Vocational Counselors. Journal of Career Development.

Kathawalla, U. & Syed, M. (2022). Occupational and sociocultural temporal identity integration: Links to overall health for Muslim heritage immigrants to the USA. Journal of Muslim Mental Health. 6(1).

Syed, M., Fish, J., Hicks, J., Kathawalla, U.-K., & Lee, E. (2021). Somali migration to the United States: Understanding adaptation through digital stories. Cultural Diversity and Ethnic Minority Psychology. Advance online publication.

Kathawalla, U. & Syed, M. (2021). Discrimination, Life Stress, and Mental Health among Muslims: A Preregistered Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. Collabra: Psychology. 7 (1): 28248.

Stewart, A., Kathawalla, U, Wolfe, A., & Everson-Rose, S. (2018). Women’s heart heath at mid-life: What is the role of psychosocial stress? Women’s midlife health, 4(1:11). doi: 10.1186/s40695-018-0041-2.

Mitchell, L. L., Kathawalla, U., Ajayi, A. A., Fish, J., Nelson, S., Walker, L., & Syed, M (2018). Racial/ethnic typicality and its relation to ethnic identity and psychological functioning. Cultural Diversity and Ethnic Minority Psychology, 24(3), 400-413.

Sabol, T., Sommer, T. E., Chase-Lansdale, L., Brooks-Gunn, J., Yoshikawa, H., King, C., Kathawalla, U., Alamudin, R., Gomez, C., & Ross, E. (2015) Parents’ Persistence and Certification in a Two-Generation Education and Training Program. Children and Youth Services Review, 58(1-10).

Kathawalla, Ummul

Contact Me

Office Hours

Courses Taught

PSYCH-730-A Clinical Psychology Lab I
PSYCH-738-A Clinical Practicum & Ethic IA
PSYCH-755-A Addictions
PSYCH-777-A Advanced Clinical Practicum

Professional Links

Open Science Framework