Assistant Professor of Psychology


Dr. Nisha Gupta is an assistant professor of psychology at the University of West Georgia. She identifies as a liberation psychologist and an arts-based phenomenological researcher: disseminating research findings about lived experiences of oppression and empowerment as art for social advocacy and community healing. Her work as a researcher, artist, and educator seeks to disrupt cultures of silence, evoke empathy and compassion, initiate dialogue, and build solidarity across difference. She was also trained clinically as a psychotherapist for eight years, with a focus on trauma therapy as well as liberation psychotherapy with queer people of color.

Dr. Gupta's arts-based phenomenological research projects include: "ILLUMINATE" a phenomenological short film about the lived experience of being in the LGBTQ closet, for which she received the 2020 Annual APA Division 5 Distinguished Dissertation Award in Qualitative Methods; and "DESI EROS," a series of surrealist folk art paintings about the lived experience of reclaiming erotic power among women from the South Asian Diaspora, which was featured on the NPR-affiliated podcast and radio program "The Academic Minute." At the University of West Georgia, she launched the Phenomenological Art Collective ( a research & creative arts lab through which she mentors students to disseminate phenomenological research to the public through the expressive arts. She also hosts workshops as a consultant in partnership with community organizations, through which she teaches arts-based phenomenology to community members and the public as a therapeutic method.

Dr. Gupta received her Ph.D. in clinical psychology from Duquesne University, and her B.A. and M.A. in psychology and mental health counseling from New York University. Prior to her career in psychology, she worked in the advertising industry in NYC for Saatchi & Saatchi NY and BBDO Worldwide, conducting ethnographic research and developing consumer insights for brand strategies and campaigns.

Education / Degrees

  • B.S., Psychology and Communications, New York University, 2006
  • MA, Counseling for Mental Health and Wellness, New York University, 2012
  • Ph.D., Clinical Psychology, Duquesne University, 2018
  • Courses Taught
  • Course Sections and Syllabi

    Fall 2021 Sections

    • PSYC-2010 (Psychology as a Human Science) Section: E03
    • PSYC-3730 (Social Psychology) Section: 01
    • PSYC-6881 (Arts-Based Research Lab) Section: E01
    • PSYC-7810 (Research Workshop 2) Section: E01
    • PSYC-7810 (Explorations into Creativity) Section: 03
    • PSYC-8581 (Arts-based Research in Psych) Section: E02
    • PSYC-8581 (Arts-Based Research) Section: E03

    Summer 2021 Sections

    • PSYC-3730 (Social Psychology) Section: E02
    • PSYC-4010 (Theories of Psychology) Section: E01

    Spring 2021 Sections

    • PSYC-3730 (Social Psychology) Section: E03
    • PSYC-4500 (Explorations into Creativity) Section: E01
    • PSYC-6899 (Thesis) Section: E01
    • PSYC-7810A (Research Workshop) Section: E01

    Fall 2020 Sections

    • PSYC-2010 (Psychology as a Human Science) Section: E01
    • PSYC-4350 (Culture and Psychology) Section: E01
    • PSYC-7810A (Explorations into Creativity) Section: E01

    Summer 2020 Sections

    Spring 2020 Sections

    Fall 2019 Sections

    • PSYC-4350 (Culture and Psychology) Section: E02
    • PSYC-4350 (Culture and Psychology) Section: 01 Download Syllabus [PDF]
    • PSYC-6899 (Assimilation 1st & 2nd Gen Imm) Section: 09

    Summer 2019 Sections

    • PSYC-3730 (Social Psychology) Section: E02
    • PSYC-4010 (Theories of Psychology) Section: E01
    • PSYC-6899 (Buber and Subculture) Section: 02

    Spring 2019 Sections

    Fall 2018 Sections

    • PSYC-4350 (Culture and Psychology) Section: 03
    • PSYC-5500 (Explorations into Creativity) Section: 01
    • PSYC-7810F (Tutorial: Film & Psychology) Section: 01
  • Publication List

    Greene, E. and Gupta, N. (2021). Introduction to the special issue on the cultural therapeutics of film. Journal of Humanistic Psychology: Special issue on Film as Cultural Therapeutics.

    Gupta, N. (2020). Teaching phenomenological research as a method of therapeutic art-making: A Covid-19 case study. Qualitative Methods in Psychology Bulletin: Special issue on creative and multimodal approaches to Qualitative Research, Issue 30 Autumn 2020

    Gupta, N. (2020). Illuminating the trauma of the LGBTQ closet: A cinematic-phenomenological study and film about existential rights. Qualitative Research in Psychology.

    Gupta, N. (2020). Singing away the social distancing blues: Art therapy in a time of coronavirus. The Journal of Humanistic Psychology; Special issue on COVID-19. Onlinefirst.

    Gupta, N, Simms, E., and Dougherty, A. (2019). Eyes on the street: Photovoice, liberation psychotherapy, and the emotional landscapes of urban children. Emotion, Space, and Society, 33.

    Gupta, N. (2019). The phenomenological film collective: Introducing a cinematic-phenomenological research method for social advocacy filmmaking. Social and Personality Psychology Compass, 13(4)

    Gupta, N. (2018). Harnessing phenomenological research to facilitate conscientização about oppressive lived experience. The Journal of Humanistic Psychology; Special issue: Radical Humanism, Critical Consciousness, and Social Change. Onlinefirst.

    Gupta, N. (2018). Stories of faith, stories of humanity: Fusing phenomenological research with digital storytelling to facilitate interfaith empathy. Qualitative Research in Psychology. DOI: 10.1080/14780887.2018.1442705

    Gupta, N. (2017). Exploring the schizoid defense of the closet through the existential-phenomenology of R.D. Laing. The Journal of Humanistic Psychology. 5(2), 170-189.

    Gupta, N. (2015). The cinematic chiasm: Evoking societal empathy through the phenomenological language of film. Janus Head: Journal of Interdisciplinary Studies in Literature, Continental Philosophy, Phenomenological Psychology, and the Arts, 14(2), 35-48.