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Dr. Nilanga Abeysinghe

Head | School of Psychology

Faculty of Humanities & Sciences | School of Psychology

Career Summary

  • Senior Lecturer/Head - School of Psychology
  • Visiting lecturer - Faculty of Graduate Studies, University of Colombo - 2010 to date 
  • Counselling Practitioner - 2006 to date
  • Senior Lecturer in Psychology, Faculty of Medicine, SAITM 2013 - 2018
  • Senior Lecturer in Psychology, Colombo Institute of Research and Psychology 2012 - 2013 
  • Programme officer - Mental Health - VSO Sri Lanka 2006 - 2008 /2010 - 2012
  • Research Officer - Peace Unit, CHA Sri Lanka - 2005 - 2006


  • PhD, University of Colombo (2021)
  • Master of Counselling, Victoria University, Melbourne (2019 - 2020)
  • MSc: Issues in Applied Psychology (Clinical and Abnormal Psychology), University of Worcester, UK (2008 -2009)
  • BA (First Class Hons) Psychology, University of Peradeniya (2001 - 2005)
  • Diploma in Counselling, Faculty of Medicine, University of Peradeniya (2004 - 2005)
  • ICTHE, SAITM (2015 - 2017)
  • ICTHE, SLIIT (2021 - 2022)


  • Australia Awards Scholarship: 2-year Full scholarship for Master of Counselling course at Victoria University, Melbourne 2019 – 2020
  • Commonwealth Shared Scholarship to University of Worcester, UK: Full Scholarship for master's level studies in Psychology 2008-2009
  • University Scholarship (University of Peradeniya): Academic Excellence at the Bachelor of Arts Examination 2004/2005 [Best Results in Psychology with First Class Pass]

Research Interests and Memberships

Research Interests

  • Common factors in Counselling 
  • Shyness 
  • Death and death-related anxiety 
  • Group dynamics 


  • Sri Lanka Psychological Association
  • Australian Counselling Association: International Member (IN1522)
  • Professional Counsellors Association of Sri Lanka: Assistant Secretary (Membership # 170075)
  • Commonwealth Scholarship Commission Advisory Panel Member [2021 – 2023]
  • Sri Lanka Association for the Advancement of Science (SLASS)
  • Sri Lanka Association of Australia Awards Alumni (SLAAAA)

Ongoing Research

  • The role of common factors in counselling in determining therapist competency in Sri Lanka 

My Publications

Journal Publications

Book Chapters


  • Abeysinghe, N., Dressel, D., Jaleel, F., Kulathunga, S., Sarveswaran, K., Thaheer, M.  " Supporting an Enabling Environment for Peace in Sri Lanka (Peace Audit 2006)." Colombo,  Consortium of Humanitarian Agencies,  2006,    pp.123,  
  • Abeysinghe, N. Kulathunga, S.  " Psychological First Aid: Guide for Field Workers, by the World Health Organisation in 2011(Sinhala Translation).",  WHO,  2013,    pp.73,  

Conference Presentations

  • Abeysinghe, A. M. N. D, Ekanayake, E.S.  " Family systems therapy in Sri Lanka during and after COVID 19  Lecture,  at Global Family Systems and Psychosocial Resilience webinar series, Citizen Diplomacy Action Fund,   2020
  • Abeysinghe, A. M. N. D., Kohrt, B. A., Galappatti, A.  " Role of common factors in counselling in determining therapist competency in Sri Lanka  Presentation,  at University of Colombo, Sri Lanka,   2017
  • Abeysinghe, A.M.N.D. & Atapattu, M.G.  " Humour as an Effective Pedagogical Tool in Sri Lanka  Presentation,  at International Research Symposium 2017, Uwa Wellassa University, Badulla, Sri Lanka,   2017
  • Abeysinghe, A.M.N.D  " Essential Therapeutic Skills for Mental Health Practitioners: Adaptation of the Enhancing Assessment of Common Therapeutic (ENACT) Factors Scale in Sri Lanka  Presentation,  at 31st International Congress of Psychologists (ICP 2016) in Yokohama, Japan,   2016
  • Abeysinghe, A.M.N.D.  " On culture and shyness: A cross-cultural study comparing shyness in Great Britain and Sri Lanka  Presentation,  at Sri Lanka Association for the Advancement of Sciences (67th annual session), Colombo ,   2011
  • Abeysinghe, A.M.N.D.  " Loss, Death and Grieving in Sri Lankan Context  Lecture,  at Sri Lanka Red Cross Society, Kalutara,   2008

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