Professor Profiles

Noorfarah Merali

Noorfarah Merali

Associate Professor, Counselling Psychology


Educational Psychology

About Me

Dr. Noorfarah Merali is a Registered Counselling Psychologist with expertise in Cross-Cultural Counselling and Cross-Cultural Adaptation. She is a tenured professor in the Counselling Psychology Graduate Program at the University of Alberta, and is a Faculty Fellow of the Centre for Global Citizenship Education and Research. She is a scientist-practitioner, meaning she provides counselling, conducts scientific research on counselling at the university, and also trains other psychologists how to counsel.

Dr. Merali served as the Director of Clinical Training for the Doctoral Program in Counselling Psychology Accredited by the Canadian Psychological Association, as well as the Coordinator for all Counselling Psychology Graduate Programs at the University of Alberta for the 5 year period from September 2008 to April 2013, including the Master’s thesis-based, course-based, and School Counselling programs. She has resumed the role of Coordinator and Director for the School Counselling Master’s Program since September 2017.

Noorfarah has 20 years of combined experience in work and volunteer roles across the community, post-secondary education, health care, and government sectors in the areas of: (1) Mental Health Service Delivery and Program Leadership, (2) Teaching, Curriculum Design, and Diversity Training, (3) Program Design and Evaluation, (4) Cross-cultural, Community-based, and Immigration Policy Research, (5) Strategic Planning and Advisement, (6) Fundraising, and (7) Graduate Student Supervision. She has been approached by organizations such as the United Nations, Citizenship and Immigration Canada, Health and Human Resources Development Canada, the Alberta Mental Health Board, and the YWCA for help with projects and programs related to cross-cultural counselling, immigration, refugees, and diversity, or for staff training. Programs she has designed have received recognition from the Canada Council for Refugees and the (national) Minister for the Status of Women as prototypes for excellence in service delivery to culturally diverse communities.

Dr. Merali utilizes an integrative approach to counselling practice, drawing on evidence-based strategies from cognitive-behavioural therapy, solution-focused therapy, the Gottman Method, the theory of multicultural counselling and therapy (MCT), family systems theory, acceptance and commitment therapy, positive psychology, and recent advances in the science of mind/body medicine.


Noorfarah Merali's research interests and publications encompass four intersecting areas: (1) the impact of Canadian immigration policies on migrants’ adjustment and quality of life, (2) cross-cultural individual and family experiences, such as acculturation patterns and the impact of the cultural transition process on immigrant and refugee families and unique challenges that arise in arranged marriages across international borders, (3) immigrant and refugee mental health, and (4) multicultural counselling competence. 

Dr. Merali's research program has been funded by grants from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, Status of Women Canada, the Prairie Metropolis Centre of Excellence for Research on Immigration, Integration and Diversity, and the Immigration & Intergovernmental Relations Branch of Alberta Advanced Education & Career Development. 


Courses Taught

  • EDPY 442 Introduction to Counselling
  • EDPY 532 Systems of Counselling
  • EDPY 542 Cross-Cultural Counselling
  • EDPY 543/597 Mental Health Assessment
  • EDPY 544: Principles of Psychological Testing and Assessment
  • EDPY 550A School Counselling Practicum Part I
  • EDPY 550B School Counselling Practicum Part II
  • EDPY 597 Cross-Cultural Research & Practice
  • EDPY 640 Advanced Diagnostic Assessment
  • EDPY 903, B1 Project and Capping Exercise in the Course-based Master's Program in Counselling Psychology
  • EDPY 903 X1 Project and Capping Exercise in the Master's Program in School Counselling