My Approach and Style
I have always believed that when people are provided with a safe space and responded to with compassion, everyone has the ability to gain clarity, meet their goals, and reach their full potential. I am naturally an optimistic person and operate from a strength-based lens. While I will show up with a compassionate listening ear, I will also gently challenge clients as needed and keep them motivated towards meeting their desired goals.
How my interventions have evolved over time:
My approach to therapy has evolved over the years and continues to evolve. My training initially focused on “talk therapy” in sessions. This included using models such as CBT, DBT, solution focused, narrative and emotion focused. All of which are incredibly helpful in the healing journey.
I learned early on in my career that talk therapy alone is not enough for some clients. I am specifically referring to clients who have experienced trauma. Research has shown that when we experience trauma, it creates a sense of fragmentation within us. Talking alone is not always helpful in these cases and can sometimes retraumatize the client. This led me to take part in trauma trainings to eventually become a Certified Trauma Clinician.
What is trauma and why is it important to work with a Certified Trauma Clinician?
Part of being human means we will go through difficult experiences. Some of these experiences, in particular, may leave us feeling overwhelmed and challenge us beyond what we have the tools to cope with. Whether it's a single significant event or a series of ongoing smaller events, over time this can have a negative impact on our mental and emotional wellbeing. These experiences can be defined as traumatic. Traumatic experiences often leave us feeling unsafe in the world and in relationships making being open and vulnerable much harder.
As a certified trauma clinician, I'm aware of the impact trauma can have on a person's sense of self and their relationships. I am knowledgeable about using appropriate tools and strategies to manage and undo the impact of trauma without re-traumatizing the client. I draw from trauma-informed models such as IFS and enjoy parts work with clients. My trauma training allows me to go beyond talk therapy and work with the brain and nervous system in order to help clients move towards feeling a sense of integration and wholeness.
Islamically Integrated Psychotherapy:
What is Islamically Integrated Psychotherapy?
Many of my Muslim clients ask about integrating faith into our therapy sessions. In order to better support these clients, I completed a Post-Graduate Diploma in Islamic Psychology (IP) with Cambridge Muslim College in the UK. This training has allowed me to incorporate the teachings of the Islamic faith into sessions in a way that both respects and upholds the Islamic tradition.
How does Islamically Integrated Psychotherapy differ from Western Psychotherapy?
I have found that IP provides additional tools to my tool kit as a therapist. How is this the case?
IP goes beyond talk therapy and also looks at the well-being of the body (ie. somatic (body-based) interventions)
IP goes beyond therapy sessions and looks at connecting with God, nature, and the greater community to promote a holistic sense of wellbeing
Beyond discussions about the mind and body, IP looks for ways to connect with the inner wisdom of the heart and the soul
God plays a significant role in sessions and both client and therapist are anchored in the belief that there is a just Lord who is ultimately in control
My Passion for Social and Systemic Justice:
Growing up in Canada as a Muslim and an Afghan Canadian has helped to significantly inform my lens as a therapist. Naturally, I am passionate about issues of social justice and my mission is to use my unique lens and awareness to provide culturally and spiritually sensitive counselling services. I am attuned to influences of culture and power dynamics and I practice from an anti-opressive and anti-racist lens.
Before starting my own private practice, I worked with various mental health agencies and have years of direct experience with individuals, couples, young people, and their families.
Helping To Reconnect
I worked at Helping to Reconnect as a Psychotherapist. I provide ongoing therapy to individuals, couples, and families experiencing mental health concerns, substance abuse, relationship difficulties, grief & loss, loneliness, low self-esteem, and concerns with self-harming/suicidal behaviour or thoughts.
Family Connections Counsellor at Associated Youth Services of Peel (AYSP)
For almost two and a half years I worked as part of the Family Connections intervention program in order to stabilize crisis and high levels of conflict within families.
Co-facilitator of Six-Month Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT) Skills Group with AYSP
I provided psycho-education on DBT strategies and skills for youth and their caregivers in order to manage distressing emotions and suicidal thoughts and/or behaviour.
Catholic Family Services of Peel-Dufferin
I supported countless clients through the agency's long-term and single-session walk-in therapy programs.
Guelph Couple and Family Therapy Centre
I used a systemic lens to provide ongoing counselling to individuals, couples, and families. I also supported a high volume of students attending the University of Guelph in managing concerns related to anxiety, depression, loneliness, self-esteem, grades, and time management.