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 people's lived experiences of oppression and empowerment through artistic formats for the purposes of social advocacy and sociocultural 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.
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, Dr. Gupta has founded the Phenomenological Art Collective (www.phenomenologicalart.com) a research & creative arts lab through which she mentors students to use phenomenological research as a method of art-making, in order to disseminate their psychological research to the public through the sensual, expressive arts, such as: filmmaking, the visual arts, music, poetry, and dance. She also hosts workshops for mental healthcare professionals and the public, through which she teaches arts-based phenomenology as a therapeutic method for psychological healing. Dr. Gupta was 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 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