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Dr. Maliha Ibrahim

Assistant Professor, Assistant Dean of Student Affairs

B.A. (Christ University);
M.A. (Tata Institute of Social Sciences);
Ph.D. (Drexel University)

Research Interests

Manualized interventions, psychotherapy process, couples and family therapy, self-harm and coping in adolescents and young adults, LGBTQIA mental health, socio-cultural interventions, intergenerational mental health, resilience research, participation of women in the unorganized and organized sector workforce and self of the therapist training for therapists.


Dr. Maliha Ibrahim is a Mental Health Researcher, Educator and Psychotherapist with a decade of experience. She completed her MA in Counseling at Tata Institute of Social Sciences (2010-2012), graduating with an award for best dissertation. Upon graduation, she worked in employee mental health services with 1to1helpnet, counseled school-going students and began her work in community mental health by providing mobile therapy in rural Karnataka, collecting as well as analyzing survey data and training first-responders for crisis intervention across 14 districts. Dr Ibrahim proceeded to attend the PhD program in Counseling and Family Therapy at Drexel University, Philadelphia (2015-2018). During her time there, she advanced from a research associate to program manager at the Center of Family Intervention Science, being responsible for multiple projects on suicide interventions for youth, implementation of best practices for serious mental illness in community adults, LGBTQIA mental health and trauma-focused interventions for children and adolescents. Post obtaining her doctorate, Dr Ibrahim has continued working as a senior consultant and advisor for non-profits (Young Lives India, UNICEF and Sangath Foundation) and university research centers (Dalhousie University and Drexel University) on mental health projects; taught undergraduate and graduate students; maintained a private practice and supervised a clinical team of counselors (Ashoka Center for Well-Being).

Research Experience

One of Dr Ibrahim’s key interests is clinical research; specifically training, delivery and evaluation of manualized interventions. Dr Ibrahim’s work explores the fit and feasibility of manualized interventions for diverse client groups.  Her PhD dissertation work focused on evaluating a multi-site randomized clinical trial for adolescents across three manualized treatment arms- Attachment based family therapy (ABFT), Trauma-focused cognitive behavioural therapy (TF-CBT) and supportive psychotherapy. She received two seed grants to support this work from the Family Institute in Illinois, Chicago and the Center for Contemporary Community-based Research, California.

Her research portfolio in the last decade has spanned across school, community-based and clinical settings on issues related to depression/self-harm tendencies, substance misuse and harm reduction, eating disorders, LGBTQIA issues and transdiagnostic mental health. Trained as a family therapist, she also works on parent/caregiver education and involvement in therapy. She has been committed to trauma-focused interventions for families and minority groups, community based mental health programming, women and LGBTQIA mental health, cross-cultural mental health as well as mental health and rehabilitation for undertrials/incarcerated youth. Dr Ibrahim utilizes a macro and interdisciplinary lens when it comes to mental health research and has integrated legal, public health, neuroscience and arts based disciplines in her work. She has also been responsible for psychometric tool development, adaptation and piloting as well as building matrices for monitoring and evaluation in large-scale projects.

Clinical and Training Experiences

Her research collaborations with institutions have included NIMHANS, Sangath, Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS), Drexel University Philadelphia, Young Lives, Oxford University and The Resilience Research Center in Canada.

Teaching and Mentorship

Dr Ibrahim has served as an adjunct professor associated with clinical and counseling psychology departments across six different institutions in the last decade. She has taught courses on quantitative and qualitative research methods, introduction to psychology, socio-cultural aspects of mental health, human development, couples and family therapy as well as person of the therapist. She has also mentored undergraduate and graduate students for thesis projects right from research conceptualization and literature reviews, tool building, data collection, analysis and writing up of manuscripts.


Peer-Reviewed Manuscripts

  1. Russon, J; Mensinger, J; Ibrahim, M (2021) Determinants of eating disorders in racially diverse young women, Journal of Public Health (Under review)
  2. Malik, K; Ibrahim, M; Bernstein, A; KV, R; Rai, T; Chorpita, B & Patel., V (2021) Behavioural Activation as an ‘Active Ingredient of Interventions for Young People: A Systematic Review, BMC Psychology (Under Review)
  3. Ibrahim, M; Levy, S; Ewing, SK; Chou, J; Gallop, B; Diamond, G (2021) Therapist Adherence to Two Treatments for Adolescent Suicide Risk: Association to Outcomes and Role of Therapeutic Alliance, Family Process http://doi.org/10.1111/famp.12660
  4. Myers-Coffman, K; Ibrahim,M; Junkins ,J; Bryl, K & Bradt, J. (2021) Learning by Doing: Student Experiences in a Mixed Methods Research Course, International Journal of Doctoral Studies https://doi.org/10.28945/4683
  5. Chou, J; Muruthi, B; Ibrahim, M; James, E; Pennington, L; Seiler, R; Pierce, K; Zand, D & Herbert, D (2020) A Process Evaluation of a Substance Use Program for Pregnant Women: Lessons Learned from the Field, International Journal of Mental Health and Addiction Doi: https://doi.org/10.1007/s11469-020-00374-1
  6. Muruthi, B; Young, S; Chou, J; James, E & Ibrahim, M (2020) We Pray as a Family: The role of religion for resettled Karen refugees’ resilience, Journal of Family Issues, Doi: 1177/0192513X20911068
  7. Muruthi, B.A; Romero, L; Thompson Cañas,; R.E.; Ibrahim, M.;Cheng, Y. (2021) “Sex is bad, sex is bad, sex is bad”: Black immigrant women’s report of conversations with their mothers about sex. International Journal for the Advancement of Counselling. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10447-021-09432-2
  8. Chou, J; Diamond, R; Muruthi, B; Cooper-Sadlo, S; Ibrahim, M; Hillier, S; Aponte, H Family systems theory of addiction: An application of ecostructural family therapy for maternal substance use Journal of Systemic Therapies
  9. Ibrahim, M; Levy, S; Russon, J & Diamond, G (2018) Promoting Parental Acceptance of Bisexuality: A Case Study of Attachment Based Family Therapy, Journal of Family Psychotherapy. Doi: 10.1080/08975353.2018.1427401
  10. Ibrahim, M; Jin, B; Russon, J & Diamond, G (2018) Predicting Alliance for Depressed & Suicidal Adolescents: The role of Maternal Attachment, Evidence-Based Practice in Child and Adolescent Mental Health. Doi: 10.1080/23794925.2018.1423893

Book Chapters

  1. Ibrahim,M; Vaughan, K & Diamond, G (2017) Alliance Scales in Couple & Family Therapy, Encyclopedia of Couple & Family Therapy
  2. Russon, J; Ibrahim,M & Diamond, G (2017) Alliance in Couple & Family Therapy, Encyclopedia of Couple & Family Therapy
  3. Hunt, Q; Ibrahim,M & Diamond, G Attachment Disorders, Encyclopedia of Couple & Family Therapy
  4. Ibrahim, M; Diamond, G & Russon, J (2017) Attachment Based Family Therapy: An Intervention for Suicidal Adolescents, Handbook of Suicide, Springer Publications, In press

Conference Presentations

  1. Ibrahim, M (2018) Therapist Fidelity in Two Family-based Treatments for Adolescents: Association with Client Outcomes, Client-Therapist Relationship and Therapist Contextual Factors, American Association of Marriage and Family Therapists’ Conference, Louisville, Kentucky.
  2. Russon, J; Ibrahim, M; Diamond, G (2017) ABFT versus FE-NST for Depressed LGBQ Youth: Outcomes from a Randomized Controlled Trial, American Association of Marriage and Family Therapists’ Conference, Atlanta, Georgia.
  3. Ibrahim, M; Diamond, G (2016) Attachment Based Family Therapy: A workshop for clinicians, National Institute of Mental Health & Allied Sciences (NIMHANS) Conference, Bangalore, India.
  4. Diamond,G;.Russon, J; Ibrahim,M (2016) Suicide Risk Assessment: A workshop for clinicians, American Association of Marriage and Family Therapists’ Conference, Indianapolis, Indiana
  5. Ibrahim, M; Diamond, G. (2016) Adherence in Psychotherapy: A Guided Interaction American Association of Marriage and Family Therapists’ Conference, Indianapolis, Indiana.
  6. Russon, J; Ibrahim, M (2016) Family Factors in High Risk Suicidal LGBQ Adolescents American Association of Marriage and Family Therapists’ Conference, Indianapolis, Indiana.
  7. Ibrahim,M; Joshi, A (2016) Gender Identity: Experiences of the Indian Youth, American Family Therapy Association Conference, Denver, Colorado.
  8. Stubbs, R; Ibrahim, M (2016) Music Therapy in Child-Caregiver Relationships: Application & Future Directions; Pennsylvania Association of Marriage & Family Therapy Conference, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
  9. Ibrahim, M; Russon, J (2016) Attachment Based Family Therapy: Development & Techniques; Pennsylvania Association of Marriage & Family Therapy Conference, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
  10. Issacson, D; Ibrahim, M; Russon, J; Diamond, G (2016) Identifying The Moderating Factors in Depression and Suicidality in LGBQ Adolescents: Implications for Clinical Practice and Future Research; Association of Depression and Anxiety Conference, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
  11. Ibrahim, M; Shearer, A; Squiteri, H, Kodish, T, Herres, J, Diamond, G (2016) Strategies in Emotional Regulation: A Mediation Between Attachment and Depression; Association of Depression and Anxiety Conference, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Community Service

Dr Ibrahim has served as a peer reviewer for several large-scale grants at awarding institutions. She has also been a praxis coordinator and academic support for community-based institutions to carry out research, obtain permissions from civic bodies and document their protocols. Dr Ibrahim is regular peer reviewer for about 10 indexed publications with a good impact factor.

Certifications and Awards

  1. License-eligible Marriage and Family Therapist (MFT), Pennsylvania
  2. Certified as a Person-of-the therapist trainer and supervisor under Prof. Harry Aponte
  3. Certified Attachment-Based Family Therapy (ABFT) therapist and trainer
  4. Outstanding trainer and educator, NIMHANS, 2017
  5. Family Process Writing Fellow, 2017
  6. Diversity Scholar, American Family Therapy Association, 2016
  7. Racial Justice Trainer, Eikenberg Institute, 2016
  8. Minority Scholar, Karnataka Government, India, 2015
  9. Lady Meherbai Memorial Scholar, 2015
  10. JN Tata Graduate Fellow, 2015
  11. UGC NET lecturer, 2014
  12. Best Dissertation, Center for Human Ecology, TISS, 2012


  1. Member, American Association of Marriage & Family Therapy (AAMFT)
  2. Clinical fellow, American Family Therapy Association (AFTA)
  3. Member, Division 43, Society for Family Psychology, APA
  4. Member, Division 29, Society for the Advancement of Psychotherapy, APA
  5. Member, Mixed Methods International Research Association
  6. Member, International Center for Excellence in Emotionally Focused Therapy
  7. Member, Association of Indian Psychologists