About Dr Josna Pankhania

Josna has over thirty years of professional experience across a range of clinical services. She’s a registered counsellor of the Australian Counselling Association and an accredited counsellor and psychotherapist of the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy. She currently works as a senior caseworker for a state-wide counselling service that supports women experiencing domestic violence. Josna has also chaired a human research ethics committee for the Australian National Health and Medical Research Council.

Josna’s training in counselling includes person-centred counselling, crisis and critical incidence debriefing, narrative therapy, vicarious trauma counselling and group psychodynamic psychotherapy. In the spirit of multi-culturalism, Josna is a passionate advocate for incorporating eastern wisdom into the mainstream therapies of counselling, psychology and psychotherapy.

Josna has also researched and published on traditional Chinese medicine, with a specific focus on mental health, and has training in traditional Chinese acupressure. Her studies of traditional Indian forms of psychotherapy involved undertaking a five-year, full time PhD research project which included training in yoga and meditation both in Australia and India.

As well as working as a counsellor, Josna was a community worker and has lectured in cultural studies, women’s studies, international politics and history. Josna has also campaigned for the rights of women and people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds, and is the founding member of the Race Awareness in Counselling Education (RACE) Division of the British Association for Counselling. She spearheaded the campaign for a refuge and a therapeutic residential home for young Asian women experiencing abuse, and helped to run this organisation in the 1980s.

Josna has published extensively in diverse areas such as counselling, yoga ethics, mindfulness meditation and traditional Chinese medicine. She has also presented at conferences in the UK and Australia on a range of issues such as counselling, yoga, ethics, and traditional Indian and Chinese healing systems.


Josna Pankhania


Josna’s qualifications

Bachelor of Education Crewe & Alsager Teacher Training College, Cheshire, England, 1981

Master of Philosophy University of Manchester, 1988

General Course in Analytic Group Psychotherapy (Psychodynamic Psychotherapy) Institute of Group Analysis, London, 1996

Diploma in Acupressure Chi Chinese Healing College, Sydney, 2000

Doctor of Philosophy University of Western Sydney, 2008

Diploma of Yogic Studies and Teacher Training, Academy of Yoga Science, Sydney, 2014

Professional memberships

Registered Counsellor of the Australian Counselling Association

Registered Clinical Psychotherapist of the British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy


Pankhania, J. (1994) Liberating the National History Curriculum. London: Falmer Press.

Pankhania, J. (1995) Benevolent Racism: Making Sense of Policies Aiming to Improve the Position of Youth in Society. Youth & Policy the Journal of Critical Analysis (Issue 49)

Pankhania, J. (1996) Black Feminist Counselling. In M. Jacobs (Ed.) Jitendra: Lost connections, in search of a therapist. Buckingham: Open University Press.

Pankhania, J. (2003) Alternative Health Care: Learning From Traditional Chinese Medicine. In W-O Phoon, & I. McIndoe (Eds.) Untangling the threads: perspectives on mental health in Chinese communities. Sydney: Transcultural Mental Health Centre.

Pankhania, J. (2004) The ‘armour-plated man’ in cross-racial counselling. In R. Moodley, L. Lago, & A. Talahite (Eds.) Carl Rogers Counsels a Black Client: Race and Culture in Person-Centred Counselling. Ross-on-Wye, UK: PCCS Books.

Pankhania, J. (2005) Yoga and its practice in psychological healing. In R. Moodley & W. West (Eds.) Integrating traditional healing practices into counseling and psychotherapy (pp. 246–268). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

Pankhania, J. (2016) The Ethics of Yoga. Australian Association for Professional and Applied Ethics AAPAE Newsletter: http://aapae.org.au/documents/Australian%20Ethics-12-2016.pdf

Pankhania, J. (2017) The Ethical and Leadership Challenges Posed by the Royal Commission’s Revelations of Sexual Abuse at a Satyananda Yoga Ashram in Australia, in Sunil Savur , Sukhbir Sandhu (ed.) Responsible Leadership and Ethical Decision-Making (Research in Ethical Issues in Organizations, Volume 17) Emerald Publishing Limited, pp.105 - 123


Conference papers

“The Conscientaization of Black and White Youth” at the conference on Black Youth in a Transitional European Community: A Focus on Citizenship and Nationality, January 1995, University of Reading, United Kingdom

Keynote presentation: “Constructing an Agenda for Black Studies as an inter-disciplinary discourse in Further and Higher Education” at the conference on Education for Transformation, June 1995, University of Sheffield, United Kingdom

“Ethnicity, Migration and Multiculturalism: The British Experience”, at The Australian Sociological Association Conference, December 1996, University of Tasmania

“The Impact of History and Culture on Adolescent Health” at the 2nd International Association for Adolescent Health Pacific Rim Conference, 1997, Bondi Beach, Sydney

“The Teaching of History and Social Justice” at the Social Justice/Social Judgement Conference, 1998, University of Western Sydney

“Introduction to Yoga Therapy” at the Aboriginal Health and Medical Research Council of NSW Living Better Longer, Chronic Disease Conference 2010, Sydney

“The ethical and leadership challenges posed by the Royal Commission’s revelations of sexual abuse at a Satyananda Yoga ashram in Australia” at the 23rd Annual AAPAE Conference: Applied Ethics in the Fractured State, 2016, School of Management, University of South Australia Adelaide

“Fractured Minds within the Satyananda Yoga community” at the 24th Annual AAPAE Conference: Applied Ethics in the Fractured State, 2017, Institute for Public Policy and Governance, University of Technology Sydney