Meet the Practitioners: Zameer Esmail

When did you start at NBP? What were you doing before that?

I started at NBP in November 2020. Before that I spent some time in rural NSW where I was doing assessments and intervention mostly with kids in the neurodevelopmental area. Before that I was in Perth, and before that Zambia, and before that Canada and the list goes on. 

Why did you get into psychology/therapy in the first place?

I have moved around a lot in my life. I found I was constantly having to adapt to new cultures, new norms, new languages and new styles of thinking. I began to see patterns prevailing across different cultures. The struggles and joys people experienced, all different, yet somehow all very much the same. I made it a point to pursue this further. Naturally, this lead me down the path of psychology. 

In addition, I find I can help people to help themselves as a psychologist. Being a psychologist is unique, because I will forever be a background figure or a side note in someone’s story, but I find solace in knowing that I was an imperative part of their journey. I may not change the world, but I can guide someone on their journey, and one day they may change the world. 

What would you have done if you didn’t become a psychologist/therapist?

A musician or an athlete. I used to produce music, host radio shows and events, and I was a DJ. I gave that up in order to complete my biochemistry degree. If I was not a psychologist, I might make music for a living and play squash or do Muay Thai as a way of life. Unfortunately, my background does not allow access to these ways of life as easily in the West. That being said, I would pick psychology again if I had the choice. A therapy session is no less intense than a round in the octagon!

What do you like best about your job?

For a moment, I get to be a part of someone’s life. I get to see what it’s like to walk a mile in their shoes. I get to feel all the highs and all the lows that come as a part of this journey we are all on. And through this, if I am lucky, I can help bring them to a better place in a way no vice or vacation can. I wouldn’t trade this for the world!

Which are your favourite therapies to draw from and why?

I use a few different modalities. I mostly utilise elements of cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT), mindfulness, schema therapy, and acceptance commitment therapy (ACT). I try to combine a goal-focused approach, while also showing compassion and delving deep into the understanding of why we do what we do. I am not the biggest fan of throwing a textbook at someone and expecting it to work. Each individual is unique, and the intervention must be catered to that person. I always tell my clients that there is a world-sized library of knowledge out there. You can think of me as the bridge who can help you understand yourself and the world around you by sharing some of that knowledge through ways you can apply to your life. 

What activities do you enjoy outside work?

I wouldn’t even know where to begin. I spend a lot of my life doing some form of physical exercise. On a weekly basis, I do boxing, running, yoga, callisthenics, weight lifting, squash and maybe a hike or fishing if I can fit it in. I love reading, but as an adult, there isn’t always time to, so I listen to a lot of audiobooks and music while on the go. I do enjoy writing down thoughts and quotes from music, shows or movies. A meal with family every few days is a must, as they are the reason I moved to Brisbane. I am also passionate about cooking, coffee, foods, and fragrances… and alliteration apparently!

Learn more about Zameer on Our Team page.