Navid Zamani is a licensed Marriage and Family therapist practicing in San Diego. His work is structured around supporting families experiencing domestic violence, and conceptualizes these experiences from a poststructural, decolonial feminism situated in Narrative practices. His interests in counseling, philosophy, and music are blended together with an interest in relational ethics, the politics of revolutionary love, and leaning into complexity. He currently teaches at San Diego State University and is the Head of Clinical Services at License to Freedom, a non-profit that supports refugees and immigrants from the Middle East who are experiencing domestic violence issues.

Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist

131 Avocado Ave.
El Cajon CA 92020

Head of Clinical Services at License to Freedom

I am privileged to work with a highly skilled multi-linguistic team of community helpers at License to Freedom. I support the therapy team by:

  • Naming and tracking our theory/practice ethics
  • Intentionally positioning within broader political movements
  • Locating structures of accountability in our work
  • Negotiating administrative processes that maintain our preferred ethical and philosophical stances

License to Freedom is a member of the San Diego Domestic Violence Council. We are intentional in working with community partners in supporting families experiencing violence. It is important to me to be an active member and advocate within my communities. I provide support and consultation to DV agencies in the region who are interested in positioning with culturally/linguistically responsive practices. Additionally, I am involved with the:

  • Refugee Domestic Violence Task Force
  • Treatment and Intervention Committee
  • Men's Advocacy Committee
  • East County Domestic Violence Coalition


131 Avocado Ave.
El Cajon CA 92020

Supervisor for Marriage and Family Therapists (AAMFT-approved)

I support MFT trainees and associates at License to Freedom. I locate my supervision practices within a poststructuralist narrative lens. Due to the multi- linguistic nature of our work, I am interested in the ethics that inform our work and bringing language to our practices and assumptions as a practice of accountability and intentionality.

I support MFTs who are interested in becoming supervisors by providing “supervision of supervision”.

Therapy Practice

I maintain a client load at License to Freedom to keep me grounded in our agency's practices, material possibilities in our praxis, and connected with client's lived experiences. And obviously, I enjoy my profession and want to keep doing what I got into the field to do. In these contexts, I:

  • Practice from a decolonial poststructuralist feminism utilizing narrative theory
  • Run a 52-week DVIP group for 'offenders of domestic violence'
  • Provide Farsi interpretation for non-Farsi speaking therapists (this keeps me connected to the experience of our interpreters)

Please Note: I do not currently meet with clients in a private practice setting.


Some recent publications include:


I provide trainings and consultations regularly to various agencies and organizations around the community. I am interested in supporting reflexivity in agencies that brings their practices and theoretical models closer to the ethics they espouse. I provide regular trainings in the 40-hour DV Trainings for advocates and counselors, as well as scholarly presentations in professional organizations like AFTA. Some examples of presentations are:

  • Zamani, N. (2021). Working with Refugee Communities: Considerations of Anti-Colonialism in Domestic Violence Work. Rhombus Counseling. San Diego, CA.
  • Zamani, N. & Moghadam, S. (2020). Couples Counseling in 2 Frames: Psychodynamic and Narrative Therapy. Ham Ava Training Institute. Tehran, Iran.
  • Zamani, N. (2020). Multicultural Considerations in Domestic Violence Work. Rhombus University. San Diego, CA.
  • Zamani, N. (2020). Working with Refugee Communities: Considerations of Anti-Colonialism in Domestic Violence Work. Jewish Family Services. San Diego, CA.
  • Zamani, N. (2020). Intercultural Considerations in a University Program. San Diego State University., San Diego, CA.
  • Zamani, N. & Reiling, H. (2020). Psychological Evaluations for MFTS working with Asylum and VAWA. License to Freedom., El Cajon, CA
  • Monk, G., Percy, I., Rosen, L., & Zamani, N. (2019). Applications of the Affective Turn. Re-Authoring Teaching., San Diego, CA.
  • polanco, m., Zamani, N. (2019) [Discussants] In Domenech Rodriguez, M. M. & Hoff, C. (2019). Releasing the Steam: How to Re-Set Relationships in Multiple Professional Contexts. American Family Therapy Academy Annual Conference. Oakland, CA.
  • Zamani, N. (2019-20). Solution-Focused Brief Therapy 40-hour County Training. San Diego State University Academy of Excellence., San Diego CA
University Work

I am a lecturer at San Diego State University, teaching primarily in the Counseling and School Psychology Department. I teach across several programs, including the Marriage and Family Therapy program, the Masters of Education program, the Counseling and Social Change minor, and school counseling. Some of the classes I teach are:

  • Family Therapy Theories I and II
  • Cross Cultural Counseling
  • Group Counseling
  • Mental Health Recovery: A Social Justice Perspective
Headshot of Navid

I am an Iranian-American man who was born and raised in Southern California. I was raised in the Los Angeles and Orange County areas, until I moved to Davis, CA to continue my studies. After acquiring my BA in Psychology and minor in Music from UC Davis, I moved to San Diego to continue my studies at San Diego State University in Marriage and Family Therapy. I have resided in San Diego since 2010 and have fallen in love with the cultures, geography, food and music.

There are threads in my life that have been constant, and initiatives that have developed due to opportunities at the time and/or my location. Music has always been a big part of my life, and I continue to enjoy playing the piano/keys and the drum kit. I have been a member of the SD music scene since I arrived, having dived into bands and musical communities quickly. I am an avid surfer, and enjoy outdoor activities with my wife, such as camping, hiking and biking around San Diego. Reading and writing have always been a pleasure of mine, and academia became a natural fit in this way. Gardening is also one of my obsessions, and you may see some photos of my garden scattered around the website. I also really love my dog. All of these hobbies are situated within a framework of experiences that come along with identifying as a heterosexual male, an Iranian-American and the experiences of biculturalism that accompany that, my ability to speak Farsi and English, my education, and the values I hold.

I grew up observing the charitableness of my family, and connected with the sense of urgency and gratitude that they experienced from helping others. I watched my mom always donate her time and money to the underprivileged and underserved. I watched my aunts (who are educators in Iran) advocate and stand up for students who often didn't have a voice. I am continuously grounded by the love and compassion my wife models in her daily life. I am privileged to be surrounded by strong and wonderful people, and they are with me in spirit when I show up to do my work. I truly believe that my community's health impacts my health, and I am dedicated in supporting those in need.