Sara Nasserzadeh
سارا ناصرزاده
EducationMiddlesex University (PhD)
Relate Institute
Palo Alto University
AwardsAASECT Professional Standard of Excellence Award (2021), AASECT Book Award (2010)
Scientific career
FieldsSocial psychology, sexuality and relational science
InstitutionsRelationship Panoramic, Inc.
ThesisUnderstanding the sexual health information needs and preferences of “hard to reach” young people (2010)
Doctoral advisorBetsy Thom
Daniel Kelly
Other academic advisorsRay Iles

Sara Nasserzadeh is an Iranian-American social psychologist, relationship counselor, psychosexual therapist, public speaker and author.[1][2][3] She is known mostly for her educational programs on BBC Persian Radio and TV on human sexuality and relationships. She received the BBC’s Innovation of the Year Award in 2007 and was among the BBC Persian 100 Influential Women. Nasserzadeh received the People of Distinction Humanitarian Award in New York City in 2014.[4][5][6] She is also a winner of AASECT Book Award[7] and AASECT Professional Standard of Excellence Award.[8]


Sara Nasserzadeh completed her undergraduate degree in linguistics and continued her graduate studies in London at Middlesex University, Relate Institute, Sheffield Hallam University and University of East London. In the UK, she obtained a master’s degree in social sciences research methodologies, a PhD in social psychology, a graduate certificate in couple counseling and a postgraduate diploma in psychosexual therapy. In the US, she also obtained a master’s degree in marriage and family therapy from Palo Alto University in California.[9][10]


Nasserzadeh is a UK-trained social psychologist and psychosexual therapist who started her career with a focus on psychosexual dysfunctions and comprehensive sexuality education for marginalized groups.[11] Between 2006 and 2008, BBC World Service commissioned her to produce three seasons of a radio show called the Whispers providing sex education for Persian-speaking audiences across Iran, Afghanistan and those living in diaspora.[12] The show won a prestigious award by the BBC World Service in 2007 and was further commissioned by BBC Persian TV and aired from 2015 to 2019.[13][9]

Nasserzadeh’s expertise in customer insights and ability to decode complex relationships resulted in her collaborations with the UN agencies (primarily with UNFPA), non-profit organizations, Pfizer, Stanford and professional organizations such as the American Association for Sexuality Educators, Counselors and Therapists (AASECT) and the World Association for Sexual Health (WAS).[14]

As a public speaker and subject matter expert, Nasserzadeh has delivered hundreds of training workshop, plenary sessions, keynotes and lectures to thousands of mental health and healthcare professionals, educators, researchers, government officials and members of public on a wide range of topics such as emergent love, cultural humility and genital practices around the globe, to name a few.[15] Nasserzadeh has developed the theoretical framework around the concept of "emergent love" as an anti-dote for love confusion at a time that current models of love seem to be inadequate or failing.[16]

Nasserzadeh has been engaged in various leadership roles of a few professional association. In 2009, she created and continuously chaired the Middle East Sexual Health Committee of the World Association for Sexual Health (WAS)[17] and held other offices such as Acting Vice President, Associate Secretary for North America, and member of the International Scientific Committee. At AASECT, Nasserzadeh chaired the Awards Committee, the Communications Steering Committee, and the International Outreach Committee for various terms. She is currently the chair of the board of Diversity and Social Justice at California Psychological Association.[18]

In 2013, Nasserzadeh started the World Sexual Health Day events (North America chapter) in New York, which was later transferred to Stanford University. In 2019, she co-founded a California Benefit Corporation called Relationship Panoramic and co-created and scientifically validated an inventory to holistically assess dyadic relationships. She is currently based in West Los Angeles and works/travels globally.[19][20]

Selected publications


  1. ^ Howard, Jane (2010). "The Orgasm Answer Guide (Book Review)". Sexual Health. 7 (2): 217. doi:10.1071/SHv7n2_BR2.
  2. ^ Quilliam, Susan (1 July 2010). "The Orgasm Answer Guide". BMJ Sexual & Reproductive Health. 36 (3): 160. doi:10.1783/147118910791749317. S2CID 73244494.
  3. ^ "What is Emergent Love?". Relationship Panoramic. 9 January 2020.
  4. ^ "دکتر سارا ناصرزاده: بیست سال پیش به عنوان یک زن جوان وارد رشته سلامت جنسی شدن آسان نبود". BBC News (in Persian). 20 October 2019.
  5. ^ Calendar, Stanford Event. "Sexual Violence in our Communities | A Chai Chat with Dr. Sara Nasserzadeh".
  6. ^ "Dr. Sara Nasserzadeh To Star In Naked in a Fishbowl June 20". BroadwayWorld.
  7. ^ "2010 AASECT Book Award". Johns Hopkins University Press.
  8. ^ "Awards". AASECT Annual Conference.
  9. ^ a b "About Dr. Sara". Dr. Sara Nasserzadeh. May 2015.
  10. ^ "Sara Nasserzadeh, MSc. PhD. DipPST CSC". AASECT.
  11. ^ Nasserzadeh, Sara. "Understanding the sexual health information needs and preferences of "hard to reach" young people" (PDF). Middlesex University.
  12. ^ "Archive of the three seasons of the Whispers Radio Show". BBC Persian.
  13. ^ "چطور با نوجوانان در مورد عادت ماهانه یا بلوغ جنسی پسران صحبت کنیم؟". YouTube.
  14. ^ "For Organizations". 20 July 2013.
  15. ^ "Speaking". 13 February 2016.
  16. ^ "Research and findings about creating relationship satisfaction. The good news is that you can!". Intimacy With Ease. 10 March 2020.
  17. ^ "Middle East Sexual Health Committee". World Association for Sexual Health.
  18. ^ "Division VII Board of Directors". California Psychological Association.
  20. ^ "World Sexual Health Day — North America Hosted by Stanford University". Sexual Health Day NA.