Why did you choose to become a counsellor?
Growing up, I had a close a family member who was struggling with their mental health. I saw first-hand how the stigma and lack of awareness surrounding mental health impacted access to their care and support. Very early on, I became curious to understand human behavior and why these differences existed. Audre Lorde in one of her poems accurately stated, “It is not our differences that divide us. It is our inability to recognize, accept, and celebrate those differences.” I recognize how much my family members would have benefited if there was more awareness and acceptance around mental health. These experiences sparked a keen interest in me which led me to pursue a degree in psychology. Today, I continue to be passionate about eliminating the stigma surrounding mental health, increasing awareness and access to quality and inclusive mental health care.
What excites you about your work as a counsellor?
As a counselor, it is such a privilege to be able to build meaningful connections with fellow humans and getting to walk alongside them in their journey of healing, growth, self-discovery and building meaningful relationships with themselves & others.
What do you hope for your clients to experience after their first session with you?
After a first session with a client, I hope my clients feel seen, heard and understood in their experiences and continue to feel that through consequent sessions. I hope through the session they were able to experience a safe, compassionate, accepting and collaborative space. Also, leaving the first session I would like my clients feel a sense of hope and motivation to continue the therapeutic process.
What would you wish to tell a client who is thinking about seeking counselling?
Reaching out to a therapist can seem like an intimidating task, especially in a country still packed with various stigmas surrounding mental health. I want you to know that it is ok to seek help. I understand that it takes a lot of courage to take the first step, and I am glad you are here. The beauty of therapy is that it can be of support to everyone and not just for those experiencing a crisis or a mental health concern. If you don’t know where to begin, reach out to a couple of therapists–learn more about their therapeutic process, the services they offer, their specializations, values, all of which will enable you to gain more clarity around the process. It is ok to take your time to determine if they are a good fit, and match with your values.
Describe the relationship that you would wish to build with your client in counselling.
I strive to build a client therapist relationship founded in collaboration, authenticity, acceptance, trust, and one that fosters growth, self-discovery and healing.
In your counselling work so far, what has been your greatest learning from your clients?
That people have a vast capacity for resilience, courage, perseverance and the ability to heal and grow from even the most challenging experiences. I learn everyday and in many different ways from each of my clients.
What are some of your strengths as a counsellor that you value and appreciate?
Some of my strengths that I value as a therapist, are being able to show up authentically in my work, being culturally sensitive, ethical, and compassionate.
What are some of the things you like to do in your free time?
In my free time, I am usually playing with my dog, reading, watching a show or a movie, exploring coffee shops around the city, and catching up with my friends and family.
What are the areas of concern you address in counselling? Do you work with specific populations?
I specialize in working with teens, adults and families. In my work I see individuals who are looking for support around their experiences with life transitions, trauma, family conflict/relationship distress, anxiety, depression and career/education stressors. Additionally, I work with families experiencing interpersonal struggles and are looking for support to improve family functioning.
What is the therapeutic approach you use? How would you describe it to someone who wants to consult you for therapy?
My approach to therapy is trauma informed and client-centered. I draw from a blend of psychotherapeutic modalities such as Psychodynamic, Mindfulness, CBT, and systems theories. All in all, I view therapy as a collaborative process in which I value each client’s unique experience. With your identities and cultural context in mind, I tailor my approach to support your needs, goals and strengths. We will bring focus to the mind-body connection, work towards building awareness and deepening insight to your thoughts, emotions and body sensations. With curiosity and compassionate reflection, we will draw out beliefs and patterns, process emotions and develop healthy coping strategies, allowing for a more empowered self.
How do you make your therapeutic practice a safe and affirmative space for queer and trans* folx?
I am committed to creating safe, and affirmative space for queer and trans folx. I bring focus to the multifaceted aspects of each client’s identities, life experiences and explore the role of culture, race, caste, discrimination, social structures, systemic oppression and how it impacts our psychological well-being. Through continuing education and trainings, I ensure my own learning around concerns faced by queer and trans folx. My language is inclusive, and I ensure that my practices are inclusive and intersectional. I am proactively working on identifying my own implicit biases, how my experiences, privileges shape the way I navigate the world and thus intersect with my clients in my work. I am attuned to how my identities as a therapist also impact the therapeutic relationship and strive to create a space that is collaborative and safe for queer and trans folx.
The Quote Natasha Resonates With
If a person is understood, they belong