Sawssan R. Ahmed

Sawssan R. Ahmed

سنوات الخبرة: 18
  • Psychology | الصحة العقلية للمرأة
  • About Sawssan

    Dr. Sawssan Ahmed is a clinical psychologist in the Women’s Mental Health Clinic. She provides psychological evaluations and treatment for perinatal women and conducts research to better understand the social and cultural etiology of mental illness. Her expertise lies in providing evidence-based interventions supported by clinical research and ensuring they are culturally appropriate. She is trained in cognitive-behavioral, individual, couples, solution- focused and multi-systemic therapies.


    Dr. Ahmed has been an assistant professor in the Departments of Psychology and Human Development at the California State University and held an appointment as a Voluntary Clinical Instructor at University of California, San Diego, Department of Family Medicine. At Sidra, she currently leads two research projects that explore the validity of depression and anxiety screening measures in pregnant Arabic speaking women and is the lead Principal Investigator on a Qatar National Research Fund grant to culturally adapt an intervention to prevent postpartum depression. She is a delegate of the Council of Representatives at the American Psychological Association and has authored several publications on the role of risk and protective factors as well as culturally competent clinical work with Arab and Muslim communities.


    • B.A. with Honors in Psychology and Arabic Studies, University of California, Los Angeles, U.S.

    • M.A. in Clinical Psychology, Wayne State University, Detroit, MI, U.S.

    • Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology, Wayne State University, Detroit, MI, U.S.

    • APA Accredited Internship at St. John’s Hospital, Santa Monica, CA, U.S.

    • Postdoctoral Fellowship at UCLA’s Center for Culture, Trauma and Mental Health Disparities

    • Postdoctoral Fellowship at UCSD/SDSU’s Child and Adolescent Serviced Research Center

    Awards & Recognitions

    • The American Arab, Middle Eastern and North African Psychological Association’s Distinguished Contribution to Psychological Scholarship Award

    • Oscar Kaplan Postdoctoral Fellow in Developmental Issues

    • UC Regents Scholar

    Research Awards

    • Lead Principal Investigator: National Priorities Research Program, Qatar National Research Fund

    • Lead Principal Investigator: Dr. Philip Kayal Arab American Research Fund & Award


    • American Psychological Association

    • The International Marce Society for Perinatal Mental Health

    • The American Arab, Middle Eastern and North African Psychological Association

    • Society for Community Research and Action

    • Tahseen, M., Ahmed, S.R. & Ahmed, S. (2019). Muslim Youth in the Face of Islamophobia: Risk and Resilience. In H.S. Moffic, R.M., Sheikh, J. Peteet & a. Hankir (Eds.), Muslim Youth in the Face of Islamophobia: Risk and Resilience. Springer. New York.
    • Tahseen, M., Ahmed, S. & Ahmed, S.R. (2019). Bullying of Muslim Youth: A Family Youth Institute Report.,
    • Ahmed, S. R. (2018). The Visibility and Invisibility of Arab Americans and Implications for Psychological Treatment: A Comment on Cho. Ethics & Behavior, 1-4.
    • Ahmed, S. R., Amer, M. M., & Killawi, A. (2017). The ecosystems perspective in social work: Implications for culturally competent practice with American Muslims. Journal of Religion & Spirituality in Social Work: Social Thought, 1-25.
    • Ahmed, S.R., Mana, M., (2016). Arab Americans in Context: A Sociocultural Ecological Perspective in Understanding the Arab American Experience. In M. A. Bond, C. Keys, & I. Serrano-García. (Eds.), APA Handbook of Community Psychology. American Psychologic
    • Mahmood, O.M. & Ahmed, S.R. (2016). Psychological assessment and diagnosis. In Amer, M., & Abdo., G. (Eds.), Handbook of Arab American Psychology. Routledge. New York.
    • Kia-Keating, M., Ahmed, S.R. (2016). Refugees. In Amer, M., & Abdo., G. (Eds.), Handbook of Arab American Psychology. Routledge. New York.
    • Yeh, M., McCabe, K., Ahmed, S., Trang, D., & Ganger, W. (2015). Sociocultural Factors and Parent–Therapist Agreement on Explanatory Etiologies for Youth Mental Health Problems. Administration and Policy in Mental Health and Mental Health Services Research,
    • Ahmed, S.R., Mahmood, O.M., (2014). Access to Mental Health Services for Low Income Immigrant and Refugee Arab Americans: A Case Study In R. M. Huff, M. V. Kline, & D. S. Peterson. (Eds.), Health Promotion in Multicultural Populations, 3rd Edition. Sage P
    • Ahmed, S.R., Kia-Keating, M. & Tsai, K. (2011). A structural model of racial discrimination, acculturative stress, and cultural resources among Arab American Adolescents. American Journal of Community Psychology (48)
    • Mahmood, O.M. & Ahmed, S.R. (2011). Cultural Implications of Psychological Assessment with Muslims. In: Ahmed S., Amer M.A.., editors. Muslim Mental Health: A Treatment Handbook. Routledge. New York.
    • Sumner, L.A., Eisenman, D.P., Valentine, J., Ahmed, S.R., Myers, H., Wyatt, G., Liu, H.., Zhang, M., Rodriguez, M.A. (2011). The Influence of Prenatal Trauma, Stress, Social Support, and Years of Residency in the US on Postpartum Maternal Health Status Amo
    • Ahmed, S.R., Fowler, P.J., Toro, P.A., (2011). Family, public and private religiousness and psychological well-being over time in at-risk adolescents. Mental Health Religion and Culture (14) 4, 393-408
    • Rodriguez, M.A., Valentine, J., Ahmed, S.R., Eisenman, D.P., Sumner, L.A.., Liu, H. (2010). Intimate Partner Violence and Maternal Depression During the Perinatal Period: A Longitudinal Investigation of Latinas. Violence Against Women, (16), 543-559
    • Eisenman, D.P., Richardson, E., Sumner, L.A., Ahmed, S.R., Liu, H., Valentine, J., Rodriguez, M. (2009). Intimate Partner Violence and Community Service Needs Depression and PTSD among Pregnant and Post- partum Latina Women. Violence and Victims, (29), 111
    • Fowler, P.J., Ahmed, S.R., Tompsett, C.J., Jozefowicz-Simbeni, D.M., Toro, P.A. (2008). Community Violence: Effects of Race and Religiosity on Substance Abuse in Emerging Adulthood. Journal of Community Psychology, (36)7, 835-850.
    اللغات المحكي

    الإنجليزية, عربى

    سنوات الخبرة
    الاهتمامات الطبية

    Cultural adaptions of evidence based treatments, use of culture and spirituality in interventions, Multisystemic interventions, Role of culture and religion in physical and mental health, Arab, Muslim, American Muslim and Arab and refugee mental health

    الاهتمامات التعليمية

    Mentoring graduate and medical students in evidenced based psychological interventions

    Mentoring graduate and medical students in psychological research