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Lyla Smith-Abass

Counselling | NTU™ Psychotherapy | Therapeutic Theatre | Artistic Activism

I hold a Post Graduate Diploma (PGdip.) in Dramatherapy, a Higher Professional Diploma in Person Centred Counselling (HPDip.) and I am a Certified NTU™ Psychotherapist. I currently work in private practice having worked for many years within schools, the NHS, within the community and with individuals and groups.  I have  offered mental, emotional and spiritual support through counselling, psycho-educational work and theatre. I am a registered member of the NCPS (National Counselling and Psychotherapy Society) and BAATN (Black, Afrikan and Asian Therapy Network).

My experience has included training with the Nubia Wellness and Healing Centre (UK) and the Progressive Life Centre (USA).









Both organisations have a strong focus on Afrikan-Centred therapeutic practice with lectures facilitated by distinguished psychologists in Afrikan psychology. Alongside my person-centred practice, I provide decolonised Afrikan-Centred therapy.

I have extensive experience within the field of domestic abuse, managing and leading a domestic abuse perpetrator programme for many years before going on to train as an ISVA (Independent Sexual Violence Advocate).


I have worked as a therapist for over 24 years during which time I have merged my clinical experience with my experience of working in the theatre. I have created therapeutic theatre programmes and written theatrical plays which have been used for psycho-education, increasing self awareness, healing and for social change within the community.




NTU is a Bantu (Central Afrikan) concept that means "essence”.  It is a universal energy running through all of existence. It is referred to by many names in different cultures, e.g. prana, chi, life force etc.  

In Afrikan focussed Psychotherapy we understand that NTU can be increased or decreased depending on one's thoughts and/or behaviours.  When NTU increases in an individual, family or community, then health and well-being increases.  When it decreases, health and well-being declines.  

NTU is a lifestyle.  The NTU therapist understands this and therefore works with the connection between the body, mind and spirit, supporting individuals, families and communities to achieve optimal mental health through the attention and care given to body, mind and spirit during NTUtherapy.

Adapted from: Gregory, H., & Harper, K. (2001) The NTU Approach to Health and Healing,  Journal of Black Psychology, 27(3), 304-320.

Dr. Erica Mapule McInnis
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