Nicola Benyahia has extensive experience within the social care sector, spanning more than 25 years with work in the context of mental health provision. She is a fully qualified, registered BACP (British Association of Counseling and Psychotherapy) counselor with specific experience in mental health, brain injury and most recently working and counseling young people aged 14 to 25 years old. As a mother who was personally affected by the impact of violent radicalization processes in her own family, she decided to give her own experiences a voice and recently stepped forward for other families sharing similar problems.
Benyahia has been featured in international media on various topics related to prevention and intervention with violent radicalization. Following the death of her son in Syria in 2015, she founded Families for Life, a counseling organization which aims to support families through the psychological and counter radicalization process. She hopes, through her organization, to support and empower families to combat the shame of radicalization and provide them with a platform for their voices to be heard. She continues to speak and present at various international events and hopes in her continued efforts and work to create a humanistic understanding of violent extremism and begin to provide genuine opportunities for families to engage and participate in future policy making.