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Dr Lucia Berdondini

Senior Lecturer


Course Leader of the Distance Learning MSc Humanitarian Intervention

    Lucia joined UEL in November 2015, as Lecturer. She is currently the Programme Leader of the BSc (Hons) Counselling and Leader of several Modules.

    Prior to that, Lucia was Lecturer at the Strathclyde University, where she was the Course Director of the PG Diploma in Counselling between 2008 and 2013 and Director of PG in Counselling Skills between 2013 to 2015.

    Lucia is a BACP Accredited Gestalt Psychotherapist since 2003 and she has been working with a variety of clients, individuals and groups, adolescents and adults.

    Lucia Berdondini has a B.Sc. in Pedagogy (Education) + M.Sc. in Developmental Psychology awarded with Summa cum Laude by the State University of Florence, Italy in 1991. In 1993 she was awarded with a 2 years post graduate research grant (1993-1995) from the University of Florence and she moved to Sheffield, where she became part of the first UK team studying bullying in school. This long term project, called the DES Sheffield Bullying Project was led by Prof. Peter Smith and Lucia was one of the graduate researchers involved in the data collection and analysis.

    Lucia’s interest during those years moved from a general curiosity for the phenomenon of bullying to a much more specific interest for action research and qualitative methods to explore children’s experience of anti-bullying intervention programs. Her PhD was in fact an Action Research with a thesis focused on the use of group work and Interpersonal Process Recall (IPR, by Kagan and Kagan, 1993) as an anti-bullying strategy. The title of the thesis is "Bullies, victims and bystanders: how do they react during an anti-bullying session?”. Lucia terminated successfully her PhD in Psychology and Counselling in 1999, awarded by the University of Surrey.

    In 2001 Lucia got her first position as Research at the University of Brighton, as part of ESRC Project on Developing and Evaluating Groupwork in Schools, led by Prof. Peter Kutnick. In 2004 Lucia opened a Unit within the University of Brighton, in collaboration with her colleague Dr Cathy Ota, called Working With Others,  that was providing training and supervision to teaching and non teaching staff in schools of Key-stage 1 and 2 in the whole area of Sussex, on groupwork, social inclusion, counselling skills.

    During the same years (2001-2004) Lucia trained as Gestalt Psychotherapist at the Istituto Gestalt Firenze (Italy) directed by Dr Paolo Quattrini and Dr Anna Rita Ravenna. Lucia carried out her first placement at Kids Company (London) in 2001, where she then worked as psychotherapist for the following two years until June 2003.

    Over time, her interests have expanded to Psychology of Disasters and Humanitarian Interventions and in 2006 she completed a Certificate (100 hours) in Psychology of Emergencies and Disaster at the Istituto Gestalt Firenze. Between September 2006 and December 2008 she collaborated as Psychologist of Emergency with the Italian Red Cross and with the Italian NGO PeaceWaves International Network. In 2008, thanks to PeaceWaves Lucia started to be part of missions in Afghanistan (Kabul and Herat) and established a long term collaboration with the University of Herat.

    In December 2008 Lucia was appointed as Lecturer and Director of PG Diploma Courses in Counselling at the University of Strathclyde (Glasgow, UK) and moved to Scotland. While directing the PG Courses and being a member of the Teaching staff, Lucia got two grants from the British Council for projects in Afghanistan (in collaboration with the University of Herat, in particular with the Head of Department of Sociology, Mr Ali Kaveh). One of the two projects consisted in training Afghan practitioners (doctors, nurses, lecturers) in Counselling and thanks to it, Lucia contributed to establish the first University Students' Counselling Service in Afghanistan in 2014.

    Lucia has since then extended her international collaborations with countries like India and Angola.

    BACP accredited Psychotherapist



    • Phenomenological and Existential Therapies;
    • Peace Reconstruction Processes in countries in war and post conflict;
    • Co-construction and implementation of intercultural counselling training;
    • Social Justice and Psychotherapy;
    • Groupwork and social inclusion;
    • Bullying and cyberbullying.


    • test


    Counselling training in Afghanistan: the long term development of the INSPIRE project.

    Berdondini, L., Kaveh, A. and Grieve, S.. 2019. International Journal for the Advancement of Counselling. 230-239.

    The INSPIRE project: using the ‘unknown’ to co-construct a training course on humanistic counselling in Afghanistan

    Berdondini, L., Grieve, S., Kaveh, A.. 2014. International Journal for the Advancement of Counselling. Springer.

    Brexit and the Counsellor: identity shifts, social responsibility and the therapeutic relation-ship 

    Christodoulidi, F., Berdondini, L., Baskerville, V. . 2018. The Journal of Critical Psychology, Counselling and Psychotherapy. 18 (2), 92-99.

    Existential psychotherapies: Similarities and differences among the main branches

    Correia, E. A., Cooper, M., Berdondini, L., & Correia, K. 2016. Journal of Humanistic Psychology .

    Counselling training in Afghanistan: the impact of the INSPIRE project

    Berdondini, L. Kaveh, A. Greve, S. Submitted . Intervention Journal of Mental Health and Psychosocial Support in Conflict Affected Areas.

    Characteristic practices of existential psychotherapy: A worldwide survey of practitioners’ perspectives

    Correia, E. A., Cooper, M., Berdondini, L., & Correia, K.. 2017. The Humanistic Psychologist. 45(3), 217-237.





    MSc International Humanitarian Psychosocial Intervention  

    BSc (Hons) Counselling